By Brian Newsome
Interim Director of Communications & Marketing
You know things are bad when your competitor calls you up to offer condolences.
That was the case for me about a year ago when a colleague of mine in public relations at another health care organization called to offer genuine sympathy. He noted that, as he was spending his time sharing successes and accomplishments at his organization, he couldn’t help but notice as I fielded countless media inquiries for negative stories about Memorial. Political controversies, pension issues, and other struggles that seldom mentioned the word “patient.”
Indeed, it was a tough time for Memorial. As a city-owned health system facing an uncertain future, we struggled to move forward strategically, and we suffered financially in the process.
Then our city leaders decided on a plan to lease Memorial to University of Colorado Health. Voters overwhelmingly approved in what the mayor called a “mandate.”
Now, just two months after our transition to this Colorado-based, all-star system, we are delivering on that mandate. Our comeback has begun.
1. Memorial has recently become certified in stroke care, an important quality distinction when it comes to treating stroke patients.
2. We have acquired southern Colorado’s first O-arm, an imaging device that helps surgeons more precisely place screws in sensitive areas such as the spine. We are also installing an electronic medical records system, and in the last year acquired the latest-generation da Vinci Si surgical system.
3. Perhaps most importantly, we are earning confidence among physicians, bringing on 17 of them in the last few weeks along with dozens of supporting staff members.
Across the organization and in the community, there is a buzz about what’s taking place here. Conversations are positive, forward thinking, and most importantly, focused once again on patient care.
And as for those media calls, well, those are changing, too. Check out the following stories:
Colorado Springs Business Journal: Under New Management, Memorial Hires 90
KOAA Channel 5 (download): KOAA Story on Memorial