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Media Guidelines

Purpose

The purpose of the media policy is to provide members of the media with access to medical specialists and as much information as reasonably possible while protecting the rights, confidentiality and comfort of patients and their families, hospital employees and others directly involved with Augusta Health.

Media Responsibility

The Communications & Public Relations Department is responsible for all media relations for Augusta Health and its associated departments, divisions and organizations. This includes disseminating all news releases and handling of all media inquiries, including requests for information and interviews.

This includes interviews and inquiries by phone and/or e-mail, and interviews done for trade journals or vendors.

Communications & Public Relations is the official Augusta Health contact during a crisis situation and in all matters concerning organizational policy, services, programs, procedures, patients and employees.

Communications & Public Relations tracks inquiries from the media, and when appropriate, can provide additional or more appropriate sources of information.

The Communications & Public Relations office is open from 8 am – 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Please call the Director of Communications & Public Relations at (540) 221-7329 or (540) 245-7329 for media requests or inquiries.

Media Coming to Augusta Health

All media interviews, videotapes or photographs with Augusta Health patients, administrators, physicians and employees must be cleared through Communications & Public Relations. No other hospital employees are authorized to grant media access.

While on the property of any Augusta Health owned or operated facility or clinical practice, members of the media must always be accompanied by the Director of Communications & Public Relations or representative designated by Public Relations.

Media reporters, videographers and photographers should enter Augusta Health facilities through the main entrance and wait in the lobby area until met by the Communications & Public Relations staff. Media who enter Augusta Health property without clearance should be stopped and asked to go to the lobby area until a Public Relations staff member can be contacted. This policy is in effect to secure the confidentiality of our patients in concurrence with the American Hospital Association and HIPPA guidelines.

Access to Patient Care Areas

Media access may be limited or denied to any area of an Augusta Health facility at the discretion of the patients' healthcare team or an individual physician.

Photography / Videotaping

Augusta Health requires all patients to sign a consent form before agreeing to be photographed or videotaped by the news media or an in-house photographer. Public Relations will secure the signed release form before any photography or videotaping begins.

Identification of Facility and Center

Reporters are asked to use the complete name of the facility—Augusta Health—when referring to it in a story. Reporters must identify Augusta Health staff by title in stories related to the staff member's work at Augusta Health.

Thank you for your help and cooperation.

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