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Media Access Guidelines

DeKalb Public Health’s Office of Communications and Media Relations (CMR) is your first point of contact for interviews and stories on public health issues in DeKalb County, Ga. While we strive to be as transparent as possible, there may be occasions where we are unable to provide comment for a story until the Georgia Department of Public Health issues a new policy, process, or procedure. This may also be the case for certain health topics.

 

During breaking news or crisis events

We will work to provide information and access to photos/videos in a timely manner. However, protecting patient privacy, ensuring safe operations, and showing sensitivity to our patients, are our first priorities.

We will use dekalbpublichealth.com and our social media properties (Facebook, Instagram, X, and YouTube) to provide updates.

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Our First Duty is to Patient Care, Safety and Privacy

We are bound by federal HIPAA laws that limit the amount of protected health information we can release without specific authorization.

DeKalb Public Health’s centers, Tucker WIC, and parking lots are public property, but are subject to our rules of access (see below).

 

Contacting Us

For all media inquiries to DeKalb Public Health, call (404) 294-3700. Identify yourself as a media representative and ask to be transferred to the Office of Communications and Media Relations (CMR). Our business hours are 8:15 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for holidays recognized by the State of Georgia.

Upon reaching a CMR team member, identify yourself and your media outlet. If you reach voicemail, the person is on another call or away from their desk, so in addition to your name and media outlet, please provide the nature of your inquiry, contact information, and deadline.

Once we are engaged with you, we’ll keep in touch via email, text or phone call.

 

Rules of Access

Media Coverage at DeKalb Public Health Facilities

Please contact CMR, even if you’re just going live from one of our facility parking lots or obtaining B-roll that doesn’t require sound from a subject matter expert. We will inform security and the regional health center nursing coordinator. This is to avoid any unexpected encounters with a security officer. If you plan to go to a facility parking lot before or after business hours, please notify CMR in advance.

Under Georgia law, recording patients through audio or visual means in county board of health facilities without their consent is prohibited.

 
This includes:

“Any person, through the use of any device, without the consent of all patients observed, to knowingly photograph, or record the activities of patients which occur in a facility that is operated by a county board of health created pursuant to Code Section 31-3-1.” O.C.G.A. §16-11-62

 

This is a felony offense under O.C.G.A. §16-11-69.

  • Recording is allowed in public spaces of health departments, if patients are not present.
  • If patients are present and provide express consent, they may be recorded in these public spaces. Otherwise, we ask that you position crop all shots to avoid other patients and visitors not involved in your story.
  • Recording staff in public spaces is allowed.
  • Public spaces include, but are not limited to lobbies, waiting rooms, and hallways that do not require staff escort to access (e.g., to a public restroom or drinking fountain).

 

Escorts are required inside all of our facilities. Please contact CMR to arrange for an escort and please allow us time to work out logistics.

Patient consent forms are required. We must obtain a signed patient consent form prior to media interviews.

 

Patient care and safety come first.

  • Access to patients may be denied for clinical and/or safety reasons.
  • Interviews, photography, and videotaping will cease upon request of the patient, a family member, a nurse, a physician, or an authorized DeKalb Public Health representative.

 

Our clinical personnel may be called away before or during an interview.

For all media inquiries, call

(404) 294-3700

SERVICE ALERT 

Due to today’s worldwide cybersecurity outage, some services have been impacted.

  • You may experience delays reaching our Call Center, which handles health center appointments.
  • WIC benefit issuance is unavailable at this time. However, eWIC cards can still be used at authorized WIC vendors.


This outage has not only affected DeKalb Public Health, but other government and business services, in Georgia, throughout the nation and internationally.

We apologize for the inconvenience and greatly appreciate your patience, as we work with our partners to fully restore systems.

SERVICE ALERT: Our health centers will be closed on Wednesday, December 25th, in observance of the holiday. Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

SERVICE ALERT: Our health centers will be closed on November 28-29th, in observance of the State holiday.

SERVICE ALERT: Our health centers will be closed on Monday, November 11th, in observance of the Veterans Day holiday.

SERVICE ALERT: Our health centers will be closed on Monday, October 14th, in observance of the State holiday.

SERVICE ALERT: Our health centers will be closed on Monday, September 2, in observance of the holiday. Have a safe and healthy Labor Day! 

SERVICE ALERT

In observance of Juneteenth, all DeKalb Public Health centers will be closed on Wednesday, June 19th. #happyjuneteenth

SERVICE ALERT: Our health centers will be closed on Thursday, July 4th, in observance of the Federal Holiday. Have a safe and healthy Fourth of July!