Disaster/Crisis Communications

If a disaster occurs, Cape Fear Valley's first priority is patient care. However, we will try to address media inquiries as soon as possible. Media should check this area of the website at regular intervals for news or condition updates if a disaster or crisis occurs.

In the event of a disaster, Cape Fear Valley implements its Emergency Preparedness Plan. Media inquiries should be directed to Vincent Benbenek, Director of Marketing and Outreach, at (910) 615-6098.

As part of our plan, media are usually permitted outside Cape Fear Valley Medical Center’s Emergency Department. Media are allowed to interview patients and family members as they leave the department after the patient has received treatment – with prior verbal consent of the patient and/or family member. Media are also allowed to interview patients and family members as they arrive at the Emergency Department, provided that such filming does not interfere with prompt and proper patient treatment.

Representatives from Cape Fear Valley’s Marketing & Outreach Department should be present whenever media wish to interview patients or their families. To receive clearance for your visit, please call the department in advance at (910) 615-6098 or (910) 615-4929. At its discretion, Cape Fear Valley may ask media not to attempt to interview patients and families if it is determined to interfere with the patient’s best interests.

Vince Benbenek, Director of Marketing & Outreach, or Janet Conway, Marketing Manager, or their designee will handle media interviews on site at Cape Fear Valley.

HIPAA Guidelines

No information will be given to the media on specific patients unless the reporter asks about the patient by name, consistent with federal patient privacy laws. In such cases, only the patient’s condition will be released. Conditions include: undetermined, good, fair, serious, critical, deceased, treated and released, or treated and transferred. Under federal privacy laws, we cannot disclose the facility to which the patient has been transferred.

The hospital can release general information about a disaster on a collective basis. For example, we might release that 10 people are being treated for a variety of minor injuries.

News releases may be prepared and distributed to media at the hospital, as well as posted to this website. Updates may also be provided to the public through our 24-hour call center, CareLink, at (910) 615-HELP.

In the event of a large-scale disaster, a Media Information Center may be established on the hospital campus. Media access to the Emergency Department and/or other facilities may be restricted. In such an event, the media center will be established at the Cape Fear Valley Education Center, located behind the hospital at 3418 Village Drive, or at an alternative off-campus location if the entire hospital campus is closed. The phone number for the media center will be published on this section of our website.


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