Our Approach to Media
Alameda Health System welcomes members of the media covering health, medicine and community issues. We are home to a brain trust of knowledge spanning nearly all aspects of health and medicine, as well as social issues that affect human health.
We’re all about access to care for Alameda County residents, so giving journalists access to our experts is in keeping with our culture and values. We have a strong commitment to supporting media representatives who seek to bring important insight and information to the community about health, and we understand what media requires in order to keep pace in a competitive news environment. Our in-house Communications team, with support from our agency of record, is knowledgeable and ready to be your bridge to expert sources – whether from our executives, physicians or other medical specialists throughout our system.
That being said, there are ground rules to be followed. Patient privacy is critical and we adhere strictly to HIPPA laws and standards around access to our patients and facilities. That means that if you would like to interview or photograph patients for a story, we must obtain written consent from the patient and verbal consent from their physician(s). It also means that having some lead time to make sure we secure patient consent is something that you should build into the process.
Many AHS experts are media trained. They are responsive and will honor your deadlines except on occasions when their professional duty is being exercised. AHS is dedicated to working closely with print, television, radio, blog and web reporters to help you get the background, information and analysis you need to maintain momentum on breaking news or to support the heavy lifting of lengthier features, such as think pieces and television or radio segments.
Here are some of the specific media services that AHS Communications offers:
Newsroom background sessions
Our executives or medical experts will come to your newsroom to conduct on-the-record background sessions with reporters on a variety of topics. Whether a brownbag lunch in your newsroom conference space or a Skype or telephone conference with your reporting team, we can – with reasonable notice – assemble teams of experts to give more comprehensive perspectives on issues affecting your health or community beats.
Editorial board meetings
If your editorial board is interested in a new health finding, a policy issue affecting health care, the impact of a new law or other issues that have implications for the greater good or the health of your readers, our executives and senior physicians are able to weigh in at a meeting with your editorial board. From time to time, we might like to initiate a visit with your editorial team to make a case for an issue we feel strongly about too.
Our expert sources are available on deadline to deliver expert on-the-record comment on the air or by telephone to TV, radio and print reporters as they go about their daily reporting activity. AHS offers many care options and services that benefit the general population of Alameda County. We’re always eager to make these services visible. For instance, we have new or growing initiatives in pediatric obesity and nutrition, orthopedics, dentistry, palliative consult care, geriatrics and much more.
We are well-connected in the medical community in the Bay Area, as well as regionally and nationally. We can supply referrals to many expert and community contacts to help reporters expand their perspective on stories.
AHS has numerous subject matter experts who can provide on-air and live commentary on a wide array of health care and medical topics for television and radio.
Opinion or contributed articles
Our executives and key physicians are always interested in delivering their opinions. We can provide written contributed pieces for your publication or opinion geared to the needs of television, bloggers, radio and other non-traditional outlets.
We are happy to support practical “how to” articles or pieces that deliver important practical information to the community around health and health care, access to health care services, and inside knowledge of how to get the care and service your readers, viewers or listeners need from their providers.
Register with AHS
If you are a reporter covering health or community and are interested in getting upcoming news and story ideas fed to you via email before the general media population, feel free to contact us to receive a periodic tip sheet of potential news and feature ideas from AHS.