Media Inquiries

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital welcomes media to share our inspirational stories and we’re happy to connect reporters with our health care experts.

• All media interviews, photography and video with patients, administrators, physicians and employees MUST be cleared through External Relations.
• To ensure patient privacy and adherence to HIPAA guidelines, media will be accompanied on campus by an External Relations team member or authorized representative.
• Media without clearance will be stopped by security and asked to wait in the lobby until an External Relations team member is available.
• Media access may be limited or denied to any area of Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital at the discretion of patients’ health care teams.

Members of the media seeking a story idea or who wish to connect with a health care expert may contact:

Jane Brierley, vice president of External Relations
616.840.8203
jane.brierley@maryfreebed.com

Chris Mills, Media and External Relations specialist
616.840.9872
chris.mills@maryfreebed.com

HIPPA Regulations + Release of Patient Information

Any patient medical information released to the news media will be done in strict accordance with HIPAA, which requires healthcare institutions to protect the privacy and integrity of patients and their personal health information. Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital works with the media to provide accurate and timely information, while respecting the confidentiality of our patients’ medical information and complying with HIPAA’s privacy regulations. However, Mary Free Bed may refrain from releasing information about patients involving cases of a sensitive nature or to ensure their safety. All media inquiries for information about patients must be coordinated through external relations/marketing. The following standards were established for news media inquiries about the status of patients:

• All media inquiries must include the specific patient’s name and exact spelling.
• Release of any medical information beyond the patient’s condition requires written authorization by the patient or patient’s legal representative. Note: Public agencies (law enforcement, fire/rescue, etc.) are not bound by the same standards.
• Videotaped or tape-recorded interviews, photographs or any other interaction with a patient requires written patient authorization.
• The patient has the option to expressly state that he or she does not want information released, including confirmation of his or her presence in the facility.
• Public Record Cases: Patients involved in matters of public record have the same privacy rights as all other patients. For instance, the fact that a patient has been transported to the hospital from an accident, crime scene or fire has no bearing on the patient’s privacy — the name verification still applies. In such cases, media inquiries will be referred to the appropriate public agency, including the medical examiner, law enforcement agency, fire/rescue transport agency or health department that receives such reports.

We’re always happy to discuss and explain the HIPAA provisions in more detail or respond to other questions about patient inquiries.