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New Studio Enhances Media Outreach

Medical News NetworkIn October 2014, more than 23 million viewers around the globe watched The University of Kansas Hospital's Chief Medical Officer Lee Norman, MD, lead news conferences concerning a patient being tested for Ebola – broadcast live from the hospital's new Dolph C. Simons Jr. Family Broadcast Studio.

The media relations team used the studio's state-of-the-art broadcast equipment and cutting-edge "smart cloud" technology to develop and launch Medical News Network (MNN). The news feed service is thought to be among the first of its kind in a U.S. hospital.

The broadcast studio, combined with MNN, is a game-changer for hospital media relations, said Public and Government Relations Director Dennis McCulloch.

"As a leading academic medical center, it's our responsibility to inform and educate the public on medical issues," he said. "These new tools help us communicate  accurate information more clearly and quickly than ever before, spreading the word about our world-class patient care and medical innovations to a far greater audience."

A major gift from longtime hospital advocate and Lawrence Journal-World publisher Dolph C. Simons Jr., his wife Pam, and their family funded construction and equipment for the studio on the hospital's ground floor.

MNN provides news media key resources for reporting emerging medical news, medical breakthroughs and research, health and wellness information and compelling patient stories – all backed by a leading academic medical center.

News outlets, including print media, can also develop their own stories on tight deadlines through around-the-clock access to MNN's virtual medical library of pre-taped interviews with physicians, other medical experts and patients, background video, audio files and an image gallery.

"We hadn't expected to be on the world stage quite so soon, but we were ready," said Jill Chadwick, MNN news director and hospital spokesperson.

In recent months, the hospital's media relations team has fielded media requests from as far away as Japan and Russia. Physicians and hospital leaders have interviewed live with MSNBC, Fox News, the Weather Channel, BBC and Al Jazeera America, as well as with local media.