A circle can symbolize many things, such as a complete or recurring series or a group of people with common interests. In healthcare, the unbroken line can also represent the full continuum of care surrounding the patient.
St. Vincent's Health Services, based in Bridgeport, Conn., is using the circle as the foundation of its new marketing campaign to reposition itself as a system rather than just a hospital.
St. Vincent's recently launched the campaign through television, radio, magazine, newspaper and outdoor billboard ads. The care continuum is reflected in such circular images as a clock, an orange, a flower and part of a stethoscope.
"Think of St. Vincent's Health Services as a circle, an unbroken lifeline of services and programs that surrounds and supports you through every stage of your life," the ads state. The campaign's main slogan is, "A world of healthcare that revolves around you."
As part of its branding campaign, the system changed its name from St. Vincent's Medical Center to St. Vincent's Health Services. St. Vincent's also changed its logo to a cross within a circle.
Previously, St. Vincent's had been well known for its teaching hospital, St. Vincent's Medical Center. However, the system's expansion of services beyond the medical center sparked the need for a new identity, says Jane Ellis, corporate vice president of marketing and communications.
"We had a good image as a medical center, but we're so much more than that," Ellis says. "We're a fully integrated delivery network composed of various subsidiaries of the medical center, and as a result of that we knew we needed to change our image in the community."
In addition to inpatient care, St. Vincent's offers various components of healthcare delivery such as senior services, home health programs, same-day surgery and corporate wellness initiatives.
Increased competition from other systems also necessitated St. Vincent's new branding strategy, Ellis says.
"The playing fields changed," she says. "We used to compete medical center to medical center with Yale-New Haven. Then they became known as a system, so we needed to compete as a system as well."
St. Vincent's also lent its circular imagery to New York Presbyterian Healthcare's logo. New York Presbyterian Healthcare is a network of four hospital systems that St. Vincent's became affiliated with this summer.