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March 30, 2005


Contact: Jim Sellers (503) 945-5738


Media advisory: For best results, call to schedule hospital visits

Oregon State Hospital in Salem has experienced increasing numbers of reporters showing up unannounced and expecting to obtain interviews and to be able to shoot photos, says Superintendent Marvin Fickle, M.D.


"Although we spend hours every week working with reporters -- doing interviews, leading tours, answering questions -- we need the courtesy of advance notice so we can meet journalists' needs," he says. "We also are charged with protecting patient privacy."


The State Hospital is a secure facility where photographs are prohibited unless hospital security has been notified. For reporters to interview patients, the hospital must first obtain their signed permission.


Patient privacy is protected by federal law.


Fickle says he encourages reporters wishing to set up interviews or photos to call the DHS' public affairs office (503 945-5738) or his assistant Pam Dickinson (503 945-2852).