Story ideas, interview requests and inquiries
Please begin all story ideas, interview requests and inquiries with Lutheran Health Network Public Relations Supervisor Geoff Thomas. He may be contacted at (260) 435-7122 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lizette Downey, public relations coordinator, handles proactive media and may be contacted at (260) 435-7107 or via e-mail at email@example.com. The community relations department serves LHN facilities in Fort Wayne including St. Joseph Hospital, Dupont Hospital, Rehabilitation Hospital of Fort Wayne, The Orthopedic Hospital of Lutheran Health Network, RediMed urgent care clinics and Lutheran Hospital.
Community relations has a rotating on-call schedule for after-hours issues requiring an immediate response. The individual who is on call may be contacted through the switchboard operators via any of the numbers listed below.
|Lutheran Hospital||435-7001||(ask for nursing supervisor for after-hours patient condition updates)|
|St. Joseph Hospital||425-3000||(ask for house manager for after-hours patient condition updates)|
|Dupont Hospital||416-3000||(ask for house coordinator for after-hours patient condition updates)|
Media Access Policy
POLICY SUMMARY: It is the policy of the Lutheran Health Network that all arrangements for interviews and photographs/video with patients, family members and associates must be made in advance through the community relations department. Community relations will contact the individual(s) the media is interested in interviewing and make arrangements according to their wishes. If an interview is granted, a community relations team member will accompany the media representative while at any Lutheran Health Network facility to ensure proper consent forms are signed and patient confidentiality is maintained.
PURPOSE: The Lutheran Health Network has designed a policy to help our hospitals protect patient confidentiality while at the same time facilitate requests from the media in a prompt and consistent manner. These policies are also designed to help us comply with regulations for the release of patient information.
This policy has as much to do with the patients and associates who are not involved with the request as those who are. Ultimately, working through community relations makes the process much more efficient for anyone facing a deadline.
The department is also made up of team members with more than 80 combined years of service in the fields of journalism and corporate communications. Tapping into this expertise is almost always going to help you develop a stronger story in the long run.
Patient Condition Updates
For patient condition updates during the day, members of the media may call the Lutheran Health Network community relations department at (260) 435-7119. Community relations is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Generally, your request will be forwarded to Geoff Thomas.
If the patient is listed in the hospital directory, the one-word condition critical, serious, fair, good or released, and his or her general location, may be provided as long as the caller asks for the patient by name and has the correct spelling. Without written authorization, that is the extent of the information hospitals are allowed to release. "Stable" is not a condition by itself.
- After normal office hours, the media is instructed to get condition reports from the nursing department at the specific facility where the patient has been taken. That process involves calling the switchboard and asking for the nursing representative responsible for fielding these inquiries. Those team members are listed above.
All other after-hours requests that require an immediate response may be shared with the community relations team member who is on call. Ask for them by calling any of the switchboard numbers. Issues not requiring an immediate response should be directed to the community relations department at (260) 435-7119. Messages may be left, and calls will be returned at our earliest convenience during normal office hours.
Traveling to a Lutheran Health Network campus for non LHN stories
With so many independent offices and businesses situated on the campuses of the Lutheran Health Network, it will not be necessary for community relations to facilitate when you are visiting locations such as Fort Wayne Neurological Center, ENT Associates and Women's Health Advantage, to name a few. However, to give us an opportunity to let our security personnel know why you are on campus, or to inform you of any special parking considerations, please give us a call to let us know why you're visiting. That is very much appreciated!