Baptist Media Directory
The Public Relations division of the Corporate Communications department is Baptist Memorial Health Care's official communications link to local, national and international news media and the journalists who represent them. The staff supports all BMHCC entities in the Mid-South with centralized, coordinated communications.
Public Relations Staff
Ayoka Pond, Director of Public Relations and Internal Communications
As the director of public relations and internal communications for Baptist Memorial Health Care, Ayoka Pond supervises and supports a team of public relations professionals who provide media relations, issues management, coaching and counsel to Baptist's 14 hospitals and dozens of entities and services. She also supervises employee communication, including the organization's newsletter and intranet site.
Her daily responsibilities include editing the PR team's written materials, advising the PR team when needed and monitoring Baptist's traditional and social media coverage. She also teaches communication training classes for Baptist colleagues, helps produce a monthly news magazine show that airs on Memphis' PBS affiliate and maintains relationships with local and national reporters.
A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Ayoka began her career at Baptist as an intern and was hired as a public relations specialist in May 1999. She earned a Master of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Memphis in 2000. During her tenure, Ayoka has won a number of awards, including a national Public Relations Society of America Silver Anvil award, four PRSA Memphis VOX awards and three Mississippi Hospital Association Maggie awards. She was named a Memphis Advertising Federation Ad Woman of the Year, one of the Memphis Business Journal's Top 40 Under 40, a Tri-State Defender Woman of Distinction and one of Memphis Woman Magazine's 50 Women Who Make a Difference. Ayoka is a 2008 graduate of the Leadership Academy.
Valerie Robilio Burrow, Senior Public Relations Coordinator
As a senior public relations coordinator for Baptist Memorial Health Care, Valerie Burrow writes and pitches news releases, responds to requests of local and national reporters and creates and helps implement media and communication tactics for hospital, corporate and physician practice clients. She has been with Baptist since 1999.
Valerie graduated from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 1999 with a B.S. in public health. She began her career at Baptist as an intern and was hired as a public relations specialist. Valerie is a 2012 graduate of the Leadership Academy. Valerie has won a VOX Grandis Award from the Public Relations Society of America as well as numerous public relations awards, including a MarComm Platinum Award.
Media can contact Valerie for story ideas and health experts.