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Media Relations

Media Relations

Media Representaives

Mount St. John's Medical Center Communications staff is available to help you find an expert source for a story, an opinion on a national trend or an interview with an MSJMC patient. 

MSJMC's marketing and public relations professionals are committed to being responsive and as helpful as possible with media inquiries within the time frames requested. 

To ensure you have the most accurate information, are connected with the appropriate spokesperson, and are respecting patient privacy laws, all media interviews and inquiries must be arranged through the Communications department. 

If you are a media representative working on a story and need to access a healthcare expert or patient at MSJMC or if you have any questions about our organization, please contact us at (268) 484-2711.

Patient Condition

If you are a reporter looking for a condition report, please call the Communications office at 268-484-2711 during regular business hours, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. After hours, on weekends and on holidays, the On-Call Administrator should be paged through the Mount St. John's Medical Center (MSJMC) operator by calling 268-484-2700.

Mount St. John's Medical Center is committed to maintaining the privacy of our patients and their medical information as stipulated in our Patient Rights policy. We may disclose a patient's location in the hospital and a one-word report to any person who asks about the patient by name and if the patient does not object. If you do not have the patient's name, MSJMC cannot provide a condition report. We cannot disclose any further information about patients without their written authorization. 

In rare cases, some patients request that their hospitalization remain completely confidential, and we will respect their wishes. In these cases we are unable to confirm, or deny, that the patient is at MSJMC. 

How we provide patient conditions:

  • You must have the patient's full name.
  • We will only provide a one-word description about a patient's condition: "good", "fair," "serious" or "critical." Please note "stable" is not used. If there is no information available on the patient, the condition update will be "undetermined."
  • In the event of a large-scale disaster, we will attempt to provide non-specific information about patients brought to the Medical Center.


Hidden Patients
In some cases the patient may be categorized by hospital administration as a "hidden patient," a designation that is occasionally used to protect the identity of a patient for security or other significant reasons. For example, in case of violence where the perpetrator remains at large and the security of the patient and/or staff may be compromised, or in order to protect the identity of a rape or child abuse victim, no information will be given. 

Interviewing or Photographing Patients at MSJMC:
Please contact the Communications Office before coming to MSJMC or contacting MSJMC patients, physicians or employees for a story.

Patient Conditions 
We will only give a one-word description of a patient's condition unless we have the patient's written authorization. To help ensure this right, we have adopted the following definitions for reporting patient conditions to the media: 

UNDETERMINED: Patient awaiting physician assessment. 
GOOD: Vital signs are stable and within normal limits, patient is conscious and comfortable. Indicators are excellent. 
FAIR: Vital signs may be stable and within normal limits. Patient is conscious, but may be uncomfortable. Indicators are favorable.
SERIOUS: Vital signs may be unstable and not within normal limits. Patient is acutely ill. Indicators are questionable.
CRITICAL: Vital signs are unstable and not within normal limits. Patient may be unconscious. Indicators are unfavorable.
In a Disaster or Mass-Casualty Situation:
If necessary, the Communications Office may establish a briefing center for the media in Room MR 200 at MSJMC (Administration). The hospital itself may be "locked down" or off limits for security reasons.

Please follow the instructions of MSJMC security or communications staff about parking in a disaster situation. Media vehicles must not obstruct the hospital's entryways, roads or parking lots near the Emergency Department.

Please also be aware that MSJMC cannot release of the following patient information:

  • Patient's age or date of birth
  • Patient's home address
  • Nature and description of patient's injuries

Consent to film, photograph or interview a patient at MSJMC

The Communications Office is responsible for ensuring that whenever patients are photographed, filmed or interviewed at MSJMC there is full written consent to do so from the patients, parents or legal guardian. 
Members of the media interested in conducting interviews or taking photographs of patients must first request permission from MSJMC's public relations staff. This includes visits to MSJMC for tours and other external photos of the facility.
All media will be required to sign our Confidentiality Agreement Form for Recording, Filming and Media Interviews. Public relations will issue identification badges to authorize photographers and reporters to conduct interviews or take photographs on site.
All members of the press will be escorted by public relations staff while on hospital grounds. Written consent from the patient or a legal representative must be given before the interview, filming or photography takes place. 
Filming at MSJMC
If you would like to film at MSJMC as part of a documentary, program or series, please contact the Communications Office to discuss feasibility. A location fee may need to be agreed which would be paid to MSJMC. 
MSJMC Documentaries
We are happy to discuss proposals for documentaries at MSJMC, however please note we receive many requests of this nature and may not be able to help you. We discuss proposals on the understanding that exclusive access to any part of the hospital is not granted until confirmation has been given by us in writing. We will not confirm involvement in any program before firm commission. Ongoing filming requires a contract to be signed between MSJMC and the TV/Production Company, which will bind the production to our strict consent procedures. For more information please contact the press office.