All media inquiries and requests for media interviews, patient information or hospital information are coordinated through the SickKids Communications & Public Affairs team.
Media relations policies
As a publicly funded health-care institution, SickKids is committed to keeping the public informed about the organization’s activities, while also upholding our responsibility to protect the privacy and confidentiality of our patients, families and staff.
All SickKids-related inquiries from news media and external organizations must go through Communications & Public Affairs. These may include requests for information, photos or videos, podcasts, as well as interviews with staff, volunteers, patients and families (onsite or virtual).
Members of the media who wish to come to the SickKids campus must submit requests to the Communications & Public Affairs team in advance. Consideration will be given to the scope of the requested visit (including photo/video shoots), potential disruption to clinical or research activities, and any other relevant factors that may impact SickKids operations at the time of the request.
A representative from Communications & Public Affairs must accompany all members of the media and photography/film crews while at SickKids.
Release of patient information
SickKids is committed to the privacy of our patients, families and staff. All media inquiries pertaining to patients at SickKids – including patient information, condition reports, interviews with patients, families and/or the patient’s clinical team – must be directed to Communications & Public Affairs. Information will not be released without express consent from the patient and/or the patient’s parent or legal guardian.
If consent has been given, a one-word condition report may be released to media. All North American hospitals use the same one-word condition reports:
- Good: Vital signs such as pulse, temperature and blood pressure are stable and within normal limits. Patient is conscious and comfortable. The outlook for recovery is good to excellent and the patient may soon be discharged.
- Fair: Vital signs give no cause for concern, but the patient may be uncomfortable or have minor complications. The patient is conscious, and has a favourable outlook.
- Serious: Acutely ill, but improvement is possible. Vital signs may be unstable or not within normal limits (if appropriate, patient may be described as “serious, but stable”).
- Critical: Questionable outlook. Vital signs are unstable or not within normal limits. There are major complications; death may be imminent.
During regular business hours (Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.):
Media inquiries should be directed to:
Senior Communications Advisor
Senior Communications Advisor
Manager, External Communications
Outside of regular business hours or on weekends/holidays:
Phone SickKids Locating at 416-813-7500 to have a member of Communications & Public Affairs paged.
Communications & Public Affairs contact
General inquiries should be directed to:
Communications & Public Affairs Department
Nelson Paiva, Program Coordinator
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SickKids is one of five institutions pioneering Strengths-based Nursing and Health Care — a new standard of care that recognizes the strengths of every member of a child’s care team.
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