Policy on Press Relations

  1. General

    Because dealing effectively with the media requires special knowledge and skill, the Department of Public Affairs, Marketing and Communications should be consulted and/or serve as intermediary in all dealings with the press. Public Affairs serves as liaison to the Office of the Dean and senior administration in evaluating the benefits and risks of media contacts, determining the form and content of information to be provided to the media, assuring that only individuals with the authority to do so speak on behalf of the School of Medicine, and assuring that all interaction with the media is conducted in a professional manner consistent with Mount Sinai's mission and institutional goals.

  2. Speaking for Mount Sinai

    Only those individuals expressly authorized by senior administration to do so may speak for the School of Medicine. All media requests for contact with a School of Medicine spokesperson, as well as all questions on matters of policy, procedure or operations should be referred to Public Affairs at (212) 241-9200 or newsmedia@mssm.edu.

  3. Contact with the Media

    While the School of Medicine does not restrict the right of faculty and staff to communicate with the media as individuals, such contacts carry the potential for misrepresentation, dissemination of incorrect information, disclosure of confidential matters, violation of privacy, and the misinterpretation of the comments of an individual as being representative of the policy or viewpoint of the entire School of Medicine. Therefore, all media inquiries should be referred directly to Public Affairs. Faculty and staff are advised to consult with Public Affairs prior to issuing any press release, press statement, or other press materials; proactively contacting or responding to inquiries from members of the media; agreeing to, arranging, or conducting an interview; or to any other coverage by or interaction with the news media.

    It should be noted that unless limitations are agreed upon and specified (preferably in writing) in advance, once an interview has taken place, the content of the interview as well as any and all notes, photographs, and audio/video recordings become the property of the individual or media organization that conducted the interview, precluding either interview participants or the School of Medicine from reviewing or exercising any control over the use of the material.

  4. Recording, Filming and Photography

    No news media or promotional audio or video recording, filming, or still photography may be conducted within the Medical Center without authorization and advance arrangement through Public Affairs, which will advise Security of all such arrangements. Security will prevent any news media or professional photographer or camera crew arriving unexpectedly from entering the Medical Center, and will contact Public Affairs. Therefore, Public Affairs should be advised in advance whenever any outside press or professional photographer or camera crew will be coming to the campus for any purpose. Public Affairs or other designated Medical Center personnel will accompany camera crews and photographers to assure that filming is confined to authorized subjects and areas of the Medical Center.

  5. Patient Information, Interviews, Recording, Filming and Photography

    All media requests for information about a patient should be referred directly to Public Affairs and will be handled in accord with applicable provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Any patient to be interviewed, recorded, filmed or photographed by or discussed with the news media must sign (or have his/her Legal Guardian or Personal Representative sign) appropriate forms (MR-207 and MR-226) which authorize disclosure of Protected Health Information (PHI) as defined by HIPAA, consent to the media interaction, and make clear that Mount Sinai has neither control over nor responsibility for the way the resulting material is used by the media. Public Affairs will arrange necessary clearances (with physicians, administrators, chairpersons, nursing supervisors, etc.) for interviews, recording, filming or photography to be conducted in patient units or other clinical areas.

    In the event of any press inquiries or situations which appear likely to involve the news media during evenings, nights or weekends, a member of the Public Affairs staff should be contacted: a representative of the Public Affairs office is always on-call and reachable via The Mount Sinai Hospital page operator.