Now it has become Mercy Health—not to be confused with Mercy Health in Chesterfield, Mo., or Mercy Health System in Janesville, Wis. Officials said the rebranding was strategic. Five of its markets already operate under the Mercy name.
“It simplifies our organization and makes it easier for our patients and communities to understand our mission and stories,” CEO Michael Connelly wrote on the system’s new corporate website. The change is also “part of our transformation to value-based health,” he stated. Mercy Health will still follow the ethical and religious directives of the Roman Catholic Church, he said.
Name changes in healthcare have abounded lately. Two weeks ago, Stanford Hospital & Clinics in Stanford, Calif., unveiled its new name, Stanford Health Care, to better reflect the broad range of services it provides. In April 2013, Des Moines-based Iowa Health System ditched its geographical moniker for UnityPoint Health.
Dignity Health sprouted from Catholic Healthcare West, when the San Francisco-based system ended its tenure as a ministry of the Roman Catholic Church in January 2012. Omaha, Neb.-based Alegent Health became Alegent Creighton Health after it merged with Creighton University Medical Center, also in 2012.
Rebranding has even hit the association world: The National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems dropped its clunky name in June 2013 in favor of America’s Essential Hospitals.
A name change is more than just an art project however, according to Andrea Simon, president of Simon Associates Management Consultants. It should be seen as one tactic in a broader marketing campaign, a strategic approach healthcare systems aren’t always thinking about, unfortunately, she writes.
“No doubt, countless healthcare systems will change their names this year, but it will be more interesting to see how many of those follow up with major branding and marketing efforts,” she wrote in an April blog post.
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