Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks
News, Events & Media Home
The Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks is your source for news, publications, social media and more.
What we can do:
The Office of Public Affairs provides support and assistance to members of the news media and community organizations:
- Responses to media queries
- Providing subject matter experts for interviews and speaking engagements
- Scheduling and coordinating interviews
- Fact sheets and statistical information
- Images of our facilities and official logos
- Information about VA related outreach and events
Communicating with the public and other stakeholders about how we provide exceptional healthcare to Veterans is vital to the work we do. Towards that end, we make every attempt to assist News Media in their newsgathering, to provide access to our facilities, and to make expert resources available. Our top priority, however, is protecting the privacy and security of the patients we serve. Therefore it is requested that all contact from news media is first directed to the Public Affairs Office, and not directly to staff members.
Setting Up Media Interviews
Please contact the Public Affairs Officer if you are interested in locating a VA official or subject matter expert for a story. Patients, in particular, must agree to be interviewed and photographed and must sign a consent form.
Members of the media who require assistance after hours, on weekends or on holidays should contact Public Affairs through the health care system operator at 479-444-5014 and ask for the administrator on duty.
The Office of Public Affairs is only able to provide assistance for qualified members of the news media. Visit our Contact Us page for other areas of support.
Visiting Our Facilities
We strictly adhere to federal guidelines regarding patient privacy as outlined by the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). To protect our patients' privacy, we require all reporters and photographers visiting our facilities to be escorted by a Public Affairs staff member. Media access may be limited or denied to any area of a facility at the discretion of the healthcare system director, the patients' healthcare team or individual physicians. Please check in at the Public Affairs Office immediately upon arrival to the facility, which is located in Building 4.
Media Relations Policy
To effectively welcome the media to VHSO, the Office of Public Affairs has established the following guidelines for arranging interviews, videotape sessions or photo opportunities.
- Please call Public Affairs to arrange all interviews with any staff member.
- Reporters must identify staff by their official titles in stories related to their work roles at VHSO.
- Reporters are asked to use our complete name — Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks — when referring to the health care system in a print or broadcast story.
- Advance notice of on-site interviews is preferred so Public Affairs staff can make arrangements.
- To protect the privacy of VHSO patients and families, Public Affairs must accompany all reporters, film crews and photographers visiting any VHSO site.
- Please notify the Public Affairs Officer of your arrival, by phone, e-mail, or checking in at the Building 4.
Information that can be released in the event of a natural disaster or major accident
We can confirm if we are or are not receiving victims of a particular incident or accident. In the case of disasters, we will provide the number of patients, the nature of injuries as we know them at the time, gender and range of ages. Once the patients have arrived and are being treated in the emergency department, we will not have additional information to provide until they have been admitted and have agreed to the previously described disclosures.