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Media Policy

  • Medical, administrative and support staff at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre are expected to forward all media information requests to communications & stakeholder relations (CSR). 
  • Media are advised to call CSR directly in advance of contact with staff. CSR staff consider it a priority to address requests for interviews promptly & with respect to various print and electronic media deadlines. There may be times when the appropriate specialist, researcher or staff member is not available. When this occurs we also see it as our priority to inform you promptly and, if possible, refer you to another hospital or individual that might be able to help with the request.
  • Reporters must identify Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre staff by their Sunnybrook title in stories related to the staff member’s work or role at the hospital.
  • Media are not allowed to interview staff, patients, families or enter patient care areas including waiting rooms unless authorized and accompanied by a CSR staff member. For reasons of safety and patient confidentiality security must remove media from the premises if they are unauthorized or unaccompanied.
  • After hours it is important to leave a full contact name and phone number for the CSR staff member who will respond to your call. DO NOT leave a pager number. Communications & stakeholder relations staff may not be in a position to accept a return page after hours and on the weekends.
  • For reasons of patient confidentiality and new privacy legislation, CSR will no longer provide patient condition checks to the media. Media interview requests can be made known to the family by CSR. Without the express permission of the patient or patient’s family no other information will be supplied including: an explanation of the prognosis, type or extent of injury, confirmation of medical treatment, interview with the attending physician, expected time of release, descriptions of family relationships, etc. 
  • Should a patient die, CSR will not be notified and will not be allowed to release this information until the family has been informed. The family may request extra time to make specific arrangements so it is often several hours before the information about a patient death can be made public. Unless the family provides its consent, CSR staff can only confirm the time of death and will not be able to confirm cause of death, presence of family members at the time of death, funeral arrangements, etc.