University of Rochester Medical Center Public Relations and Communications

601 Elmwood Ave., Box 643
Rochester, N.Y. 14642
(585) 275-3676
Fax: (585) 256-3805

The Public Relations and Communications Office is staffed 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. An on-call staff member is available for after-hours inquiries or emergencies from 5 to 11:30 p.m. weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. weekends and holidays. To reach the on-call staff member, call (585) 275-2222 and ask to have the on-call public relations staff person paged. You should expect a phone call within one half-hour of your initial page.

To help expedite media inquiries, each member of our staff specializes in specific areas. If you do not find a particular issue listed, call (585) 275-3676 and we will connect you to the right staff member, or e-mail inquiries to

Beat assignments

To help expedite media inquiries, each member of our staff specializes in specific areas. If you do not find a particular issue listed, call (585) 275-3676 and we will connect you to the right staff member, or e-mail inquiries to

Contact Beats
Lori Barrette
(585) 275-1310
Long-term Care
Plastic Surgery
Women's Health
Karen Black
(585) 758-0972
Center for Oral Biology (research)
Emily Boynton
(585) 273-1757
Anesthesiology (research)
Biochemistry (research)
Cardiology (research)
Center of Vaccine Biology
Dermatology (research)
Imaging Sciences (research)
Infectious Diseases
Metabolism (research)
Microbiology and Immunology (research)
Pharmacology (research)
Surgery (research)
Women’s Health (research)
Karin Christensen
(585) 275-1311
Center for Community Health
Center for Primary Care
Family Medicine
Physical Medicine and Rehab
Emergency Medicine
Liver and Kidney Transplant
Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network
Christopher DiFrancesco
(585) 276-6582
Administrative issues
Patient Safety/Quality
Biomedical Engineering (research)
Environmental Medicine
Ophthalmology (research)
Orthopaedics (research)
Otolaryngology (research)
Rheumatology (research)
Sean Dobbin
(585) 275-1171
Translational Science
Lydia Fernandez
(585) 276-5788
Barbarra Ficarra
(585) 276-7409
Womens Services
Ruth Harper-Rhode
(585) 273-2573
Kate Kreuger
(585) 275-8490
Internal Communications
Mark Michaud
(585) 273-4790
Public Health Sciences
Economic Development
Government Relations
Neurology (research)
Neurosurgery (research)
Leslie Orr
(585) 275-5774
Biomedical Genetics
Cancer (research)
Emergency Medicine (research)
Family Medicine (research)
Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (research)
Urology (research)
Christine Roth
(585) 273-4494
Nursing Education and Research
Matt Ulakovic
(585) 275-0258
Friends of Strong
Victory Alliance
Leslie White
(585) 273-1119
Cardiac Surgery
Heart Transplant
Vascular Surgery
General Medicine
Imaging Sciences
Rebecca Youmell
(585) 276-4298


Arranging interviews

We are happy to connect you with the sources you need for your stories.  Advanced notice is appreciated, and often leads to more access for you.  We urge you to first call or E-mail us about your story, even if you have direct contact information for your source.  Often, we can supply you with background information, or additional sources if your first choice does not work out.

Without exception, TV crews and photographers must receive permission from our office before taping or broadcasting on Medical Center grounds. We can help scout out locations for your shoots and alert security to ensure your filming goes smoothly. 

Patient conditions

On April 14, 2003, a new federal law (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) went into effect that greatly limits the information that can be given on hospital patients. Among HIPAA’s provisions are standards for releasing medical information about patients to the media. Hospitals now maintain a directory that includes only a patient's name, location in the hospital, general condition and religious affiliation. Patients have the choice to be included in the directory or to opt out. If a patient chooses to be listed in the directory, limited information on the patient may be released as long as a reporter has a patient’s correct first and last name. In addition, HIPAA does not allow the release of any information on a minor (under age 18), regardless if a name is supplied, without specific prior consent by the parent.

Patient conditions can be accessed by calling (585) 275-2181. If a reporter has the correct first and last name of a patient, and that patient has not opted out of the system, Strong Memorial Hospital can supply a reporter only with one of the following general conditions:

  • Under Evaluation
  • Treated and Released
  • Satisfactory
  • Guarded
  • Deceased

Conditions of patients in the emergency department generally will be available only when they have the opportunity to opt-in or out of the directory. Again, without a name, we are unable to release any information, and will tell you “we have no information on a patient by that name.”

If a reporter does not ask for the patient by the correct full name, information cannot be released. Nor can we confirm if a patient is at our hospital if he/she has opted out of the directory, even if the police confirm that a crime victim has been sent to Strong Memorial.

If you have questions about HIPAA, please contact the Public Relations office at (585) 275-3676 or view HIPAA information on the American Hospital Association website.

URMC Public Relations Video Services

We offer professional broadcast-quality audio and video resources for news media.

We routinely offer content based on current events.

We also produce custom, exclusive interviews and B Roll for news media for immediate upload.

Available News Elements

  • Interviews
  • B-roll
  • Packages

Media Content

  • Professional broadcast quality
  • Available in SD and HD
  • Audio files for radio and web

Would you like to be added to the URMC story distribution and pitch list?

Would you like us to shoot video on behalf of your media outlet?


URMC Public Relations and Communications

Media parking information

Media outlets are welcome to broadcast live from the University of Rochester Medical Center campus. Due to busy traffic patterns and changes in parking availability, we ask that live trucks be directed to Lot 5 on East Drive, which runs between Elmwood Avenue and Crittenden Boulevard. Please see map. All other media vehicles may park in the garage on Elmwood Avenue.

Advance notice is appreciated whenever possible. Please contact the Public Relations Office at (585) 275-3676 during business hours, or page the PR person on call at (585) 275-2222 after hours or on weekends and holidays.

University of Rochester Broadcast Studio

The University of Rochester has partnered with VideoLink and WXXI Public Broadcasting to create an on-campus broadcast studio to provide reliable, responsive, and live broadcast-quality television shots from the Rochester campus. 

The studio uses VideoLink’s ReadyCam system.  The Rochester studio is remotely controlled by technicians in VideoLink’s offices in Boston who coordinate with network broadcast engineers.  The University’s ReadyCam feed is made available through a satellite uplink service provided by WXXI. Technical coordinates for downlinking live shots are provided by VideoLink at the time of booking.

The studio is available 24/7 and equipped with an electronic backdrop (examples of backdrop images are below).


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URMC repeating background

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To book a guest from the University of Rochester Medical Center, contact the Office of Public Relations and Communications at 585 275-3676. Once the guest is confirmed, book the studio and uplink by calling VideoLink at 617-340-4300.