The URMC Communications office is staffed 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Due to COVID-19, many of our staff members are working remotely. For all media inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the main communications office at (585) 275-3676.
An on-call staff member is available for after-hours inquiries or emergencies. To reach the on-call staff member, call (585) 275-2222 and ask to have the on-call communications/public relations staff person paged. You should expect a phone call within one half-hour of your initial page.
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.
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 (view map), which runs between Elmwood Avenue and Crittenden Boulevard. All other media vehicles may park in the garage on Elmwood Avenue.
Advance notice is appreciated whenever possible. Please contact the URMC Communications office at (585) 275-3676 during business hours, or page the Communications person on call at (585) 275-2222 after hours or on weekends and holidays.
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
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.