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VA San Diego Healthcare System

 

News, Events & Media Home

The VA San Diego Healthcare Systems' Public Affairs Office provides support and assistance to members of the News Media and community organizations with the following:

  • Responding to Media Queries
  • Providing Subject Matter Experts
  • Scheduling and coordinating interviews
  • Fact sheets and statistical information
  • Images of our facilities and official Logos
  • Information about VA-related outreach and events

Note: Communicating with the Public and other stakeholders about how we provide exceptional healthcare to Veterans is vital to the work we do. Towards that end, we make every attempt to assist News Media in their newsgathering, to provide access to our facilities, and to make expert resources available. Our top priority, however, is protecting the privacy and security of the patients we serve.

Setting Up Media Interviews

Please contact our Public Affairs Director if you are interested in locating a VA official or subject matter expert for a story. Patients, in particular, must agree to be interviewed and photographed and must sign a consent form.

Visiting Our Facilities

We strictly adhere to federal guidelines regarding patient privacy as outlined by the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). To protect our patients' privacy, we require all reporters and photographers visiting our facilities to be escorted by a Public Affairs staff member. Media access may be limited or denied to any area of a facility at the discretion of the medical center director, the patients' healthcare team or individual physicians. All photography taken at the medical center and clinics must be approved in advance by Public Affairs.

Patient Condition Reports

We are responsible for protecting the privacy and confidentiality of our patients and patient information. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) governs privacy standards for healthcare information. If a patient has agreed to be listed in our hospital directory, we can provide a one-word condition after the patient's correct first and last name, including exact spelling, are provided. If a patient has opted out of our directory or chooses not to have a condition released, staff will not be able to provide a condition update or even acknowledge the individual is a patient. Our response will be "I have no information available for a person by that name."

Information that can be released in the event of a natural disaster or major accident

We can confirm if we are or are not receiving victims of a particular incident or accident. In the case of disasters, we will provide the number of patients, the nature of injuries as we know them at the time, gender and range of ages. Once the patients have arrived and are being treated in the emergency department, we will not have additional information to provide until they have been admitted and have agreed to the previously described disclosures.

Videos:

Contact

Cindy Butler
Public Affairs Director
858-552-4373

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