Public Information Office
Monday thru Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Monterey County Public Health Department News Media Policy
The purpose of the Health Department’s News Media policy is to ensure that information provided by the media is timely and accurate, and that inquiries from the media are responded to appropriately, are in compliance with state and federal laws, and safeguards patient privacy.
The following information is provided to the members of the news media so that requests for data interviews, photographs, video, film footage, audio recordings and general information will be handled appropriately, timely and in accordance with our policies, as well as federal and state laws.
- During regular business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), all media requests involving clients/patients, employees, workforce members or Monterey County Public Health Department should be directed to the Public Information Officer or designee.
- The Public Information Officer is available after hours for urgent or emergency issues or events.
- Prior to releasing any protected health information to the media, an Authorization for Release of Information to the Media Form must be completed by the client/patient or the client/patient’s legal representative. Prior to the photographing, videotaping, filming, audio recording or otherwise recording the likeness of a client/patient by the media, a Photographic Consent Form must be completed by the client/patient or the client/patient’s legal representative.
- To safeguard patient privacy, it is the policy of the Monterey County Health Department that the Public Information Officer (PIO) or designee accompany news media representatives any time they are in any one of our facilities. Media representatives, including television crews, reporters and photographers, who want to interview, photograph, film, videotape, audiotape or otherwise record the likeness of any person by any means while at a Monterey County Health Department facility, must be escorted by the Public Information Officer or designee.
- If a media representative appears at a Monterey County Health Department facility unescorted, employees will notify the Public Information Officer and/or the Protective Services Department.
Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), information about and individual client/patient may be release only if the inquiry specifically contains the patient’s name. No information can be given out if a request does not include the name.
- Issuing a statement regarding the nature of the client/patient’s injuries or illness, treatments or prognosis.
- Photographing or videotaping clients/patients.
- Interviewing clients/patients.