Healthcare Business News
Dr. Bruce Siegel, president and CEO

NAPH changes name to America's Essential Hospitals

By Jessica Zigmond
Posted: June 20, 2013 - 4:00 pm ET

After an 18-month brand evaluation, the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems has changed its name to America's Essential Hospitals (PDF).

That branding assessment convinced the organization that it needed to identify awareness of the essential services—including trauma and burn care, disaster response and emergency psychiatric services and research—that its member hospitals provide in their communities. The group also renamed the National Public Health and Hospital Institute, its research arm since 1988, to the Essential Hospitals Institute.

“NAPH has had a great name for 30 years, but the world has changed,” Dr. Bruce Siegel, president and CEO, said in a phone interview from Hollywood, Fla., where his organization is hosting its annual meeting. “We're now living in the era of the Affordable Care Act, and we think it's very important to have a clear name and brand that drives home how essential our members are to patients and communities.”

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Siegel said the new name emphasizes the common thread that connects its member hospitals, rather than a governance structure, which the public hospital moniker represented. It's also better suited because not all of the group's members are public hospitals. Today, more than one-third of its members are private, not-for-profit hospitals, such as Boston Medical Center and Tampa Bay General, according to Siegel.

America's Essential Hospitals was established as the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems in 1981 and now has more than 200 member hospitals. The organization's rebranding effort—which Siegel said cost somewhere in “the low six figures”—included interviews with Washington lawmakers, member leaders and think tanks to learn how the group could better define itself and the hospitals it represents. Members voted for the change last month and more than 90% supported the change, Siegel said.

Follow Jessica Zigmond on Twitter: @MHjzigmond

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