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February 2020

Feb 2020

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Media and News

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Published on November 01, 2016. Last modified on September 30, 2019


Current Press ReleasesPublic Information Office

Monday thru Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Public Information Officer: Karen Smith

Members of the news media can call 831-755-4639 during business hours to request an interview, or for more information on issues or topics of interest.  The Public Information Officer is also available after hours for urgent or emergency issues or events.

Monterey County Health Department is social.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.

  • Cover reporting on Suicide 2018During 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 HIPAA, the following activities require prior written authorization from a client/patient:

  • 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.

More information about Monterey County Health Department privacy policies is available here

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