Media Guidelines while on Campus



The guidelines outlined below are designed to ensure and protect the rights and privacy of the patients, families and staff at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Guidelines also apply to the St. Jude campuses of Target House, Ronald McDonald House and Memphis Grizzlies House. For these guidelines, St. Jude Communications and ALSAC Communications are referred to as “representative.”


Prior to Arrival on Campus

  1. Anyone exposed to contagious diseases (chicken pox, shingles, hepatitis, measles, mumps, pink eye, cold sores, etc.) four weeks prior to your visit or anyone who has had flu-like symptoms (vomiting, rash, fever, diarrhea, etc.) two weeks prior to your visit, or fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit on the day of your visit is asked not to visit. For children with weak immune systems, even a mild cold can be life-threatening.
  2. Don't bring toys, favors or food into the hospital for the children.
  3. If your organization requires you to obtain appearance, materials or location release(s), submit a copy to your representative for review prior to your visit.


Arriving at St. Jude

  1. All media must enter through a security gate, be admitted by security and check in with a representative. You will be directed to the appropriate parking place by security.
  2. A representative will check you in and provide you with a MEDIA badge, which should be worn above your waist at all times. All badges need to be returned to the representative.
  3. A representative will escort you at all times while at St. Jude to assist you with your shoot and interview needs.
  4. Wagons should be used only by patients and families to keep them free from infection risk. If you need a way to carry your equipment throughout the hospital, ask your representative for help finding an appropriate cart instead.


Communication with Patients and Staff

  1. Personal photos and videos are not allowed to be taken of the patients. This includes cell phones and other smart phone-type devices.
  2. Footage of patients and families must be pre-approved and an official form signed through a representative. If your organization requires you to bring more than one camera, it must be approved by a representative prior to your visit.
  3. Don't ask patients, families or staff for their personal information (including personal/hospital phone number, address, email address, website or medical identification number). A patient’s medical identification number should never be filmed, photographed or published.
  4. If you would like to follow-up or send copies of your story, contact a representative. Don't promise copies to the patient, family or staff member.
  5. In order to protect the patient’s and family’s right of privacy, hospital staff cannot disclose information regarding any patient’s illness, treatment or prognosis without prior permission from the patient’s family--through a representative--and an official consent form signed.
  6. If your organization requires its own form signed for patients, staff or the location, it must be coordinated by a representative. It should not have the patient’s personal information, address, phone number or email on the form.
  7. All interviews must be held and footage gathered in the common areas of the patient housing facilities. Media are not allowed in a patient’s room in Target House, Ronald McDonald House or Memphis Grizzlies House at any time. There is a furnished room in each house that can be used for interviews. Access to these rooms must be cleared by a representative and from Patient Housing.
  8. If further footage or interviews are needed, approval and scheduling must first be approved by a representative.
  9. If at any time you see someone or something that upsets you or makes you feel faint, step aside to speak with your representative as unobtrusively as possible.


Locations and Taping/Photographing

General footage of a group of patients in a waiting area or the Medicine Room may be taken--with prior permission--through a representative and the hospital staff member in charge of that area. Also, St. Jude patient consent forms must be signed by every patient in that location prior to filming. Suggested stand-up locations include:

  1. in front of main St. Jude Thaddeus or Danny Thomas statues (no patients)
  2. waiting areas of Patient Care Center or Chili’s Care Center (no patients)
  3. hallways of Patient Care Center first floor (no patients)
  4. St. Jude Pioneers Wall
  5. Danny Thomas Memorial Garden
  6. Danny Thomas/ALSAC Pavilion (including chapel)


In the Hospital: Patients

  1. Stay with your group at all times. Don't go to a patient’s room without prior approval and a representative present.
  2. Introduce yourself and explain the purpose of your visit. When you interact with patients, bend down to their level. Some children may vary in the ways they interact with visitors. Please don't touch a child unless he or she initiates the gesture.
  3. Don't pick up a child because he or she may have hidden incisions or tubes.
  4. Some children may have IV poles or tubing; however, you should interact with hospitalized children as you would with other children.
  5. Outside of approved interviews, please respect the patient’s privacy and avoid questions relating to age, diagnosis, prognosis or time away from home. Avoid saying “get well soon” because treatment can take several years and some children never get well because they have a chronic illness. Instead you can say, “I hope you feel better soon.”
  6. Don't make promises (gifts, food, interview copies) to the patients. If a patient or family makes any requests to you, refer them back to the representative who may be able to assist them.
  7. If you interact with a patient in an inpatient area or the Medicine Room, wash your hands for a minimum of one minute using soap and water (or 10 seconds with hand sanitizer) before and after your visit. This is to protect the patient you are going to see and other patients who may be in contact with you.


In the Hospital: General Guidelines

  1. Remember you are in a working, busy children’s hospital. Be sensitive to the noise level out of consideration for the medical staff and patients who are in their rooms and waiting for appointments. In areas where there is limited space, remember to be mindful of hospital traffic.
  2. Be aware that there are general hospital noises—intercom messages; staff with carts; patients, families and staff in the hallways; patient activities; jukebox music; researchers and lab equipment in laboratories; construction outside—that may not always be able to be quieted for interviews. There is likely to be extraneous sound on your audio track.


In the Research Facilities (For Your Safety)

  1. Remember you are in a research facility and, for your safety, must follow the strict guidelines posted in each laboratory.
  2. Remember you are in a laboratory where researchers are working on experiments. All efforts should be made not to disrupt the experiments, researchers, materials or the areas in which they work.
  3. There may be hazardous materials in use. For your safety, don't touch or unplug any equipment in the labs, including the main and secondary lights, without prior approval and a representative present.
  4. There is no eating, drinking, applying cosmetics, applying lip balm or fixing contact lenses in any laboratory.
  5. All researchers in a laboratory setting must wear the appropriate lab coat and gloves at all times when on camera.