Posts Tagged ‘Healthcare’

Want to Get a Take on Branding from a Visionary PR Pro?

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Public Relations Society of America has chosen Allspire Chair and Evergreen Partners Co-Founder Karen Kessler to speak at the 2014 PRSA International Conference in Washington, D.C. As a leading figure in the public relations world, she has amassed an extensive background in a variety of subjects ranging from reputation management to branding. Kessler has been at the helm of numerous high-profile campaigns involving popular sports teams and a multitude of politicians. In addition to being profiled in The Wall Street Journal, she has been sought as a source of insight on crisis management news by The Star- Ledger and The TODAY Show.

The session focuses heavily on Kessler’s successful plan to brand Allspire Health Partners, a conglomerate compriseBrand Checklist Identity Quality Loyalty on Clipboardd of seven different companies. The union attracted media attention from several outlets, including Fox Business and Thomson Reuters. The task of creating a brand for this new brand fell onto the shoulders of Kessler, who managed to tackle the issue with ease and apply her immeasurable skills to an impressive branding campaign.

Kessler’s vast experience, coupled with her fascinating approach to PR, makes for a captivating presentation that’s a must-see for anyone with an interest in the field. Come to Kessler’s presentation Monday, Oct. 13, at 10 a.m. and learn a thing or two about branding from an expert!


Karen Kessler to discuss the branding of healthcare group at PRSA conference

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

karenkesslerheadshot (1)Karen Kessler

President of Evergreen Partners Inc. and Chairman of AllSpire Health Partners

PRSA International Conference 2014 Session Name: “Communicating in a world of mergers, takeovers, partnerships and alliances”

Twenty-five years ago, I was approached to join the Board of Directors of my local community hospital. The board was seeking to diversify and they thought having one female board member might do the trick.

Two decades later, I have now served for six years as Chair of the Board of a two billion dollar healthcare system. Along the way, the community has diversified, the hospital has merged, the Board has changed and the industry transformed. It has been quite a journey and the future looks no less exciting.

When I was a young practitioner of public relations and investor relations, my skill set was not often sought out in healthcare. The industry was so heavily regulated that aside from the infrequent but alarming medical missteps, the role of the communications department was to promote the golf outings and coordinate the service line brochures.

I want to emphasize how vital a strong and innovative communications effort is to the healthcare system of today and tomorrow. In 2013 alone, 98 hospital and health system combinations were announced and during the first quarter of 2014, healthcare M&A total deal value amounts to $12.3 billion dollars.

The success of these megadeals is crucially dependent on a thorough and strategic communication plan. In my session, I will take you through the process of how I branded AllSpire, the largest health care consortium in the country, as well as the hurdles and insights along the way.

A Healthy Debate?

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

nurse makes the shot in the armAfter being denied unemployment benefits, a nurse recently fired for refusing a flu vaccine filed a lawsuit against her former employer, Hackettstown Regional Medical Center. The court ruled that the hospital did in fact violate this woman’s First Amendment right to freedom of expression. While other employees at her place of work were allowed to skip the shot for religious reasons, this nurse’s more secular motivations for refusing the vaccination led to her dismissal. Although there may be some basis to this woman’s claims of discriminatory practices, isn’t it mainly to the detriment of hospital patients that she won this case? In our politically correct world, when do the rights of the ill and infirmed trump the rights of a healthcare worker to skip a basic healthcare precaution? We count on our healthcare professionals through blind faith alone that they are carrying out their tasks in the safest manner. Our well-being depends on their fastidious attention to detail and commitment to both health and hygiene.

Imagine you were a patient in the hospital and your nurse entered the room wearing a pin that read, “I refuse to be inoculated.” Could you run out of there fast enough? When we keep our closest friends and loved ones away with a ten foot pole when they’ve been infected, would any sane person allow an unvaccinated hospital employee anywhere near them when these employees spend countless hours in close quarters with other sick patients? Not a chance. It is essential that those working in these kinds of environments are doing everything that they can to keep patients safe from harmful germs. That most certainly includes ensuring the health of those caring for these patients. This is especially important when so many hospital patients have conditions that can already cause weakened immune systems, making these people even more susceptible to illness.

Do we want to live in a world where our healthcare professionals are not held to the highest standard?  Perhaps the laws for healthcare professionals should be even more restrictive, when it is our very lives with which we are entrusting them.

Now that this nurse has won her case, where will hospitals draw the line? Any employee of the hospital could refuse a vaccination on any grounds. Of course, the hospital would have to be transparent about the inoculation practices of its employees. When choosing between one hospital or another, patients would flock to the other for fear of picking up a virus. After all, how could the sanitation of the hospital be trusted if it could not even maintain control over the health practices of its employees? This would seriously bring the reputation of the facility into question.

To make matters worse, this case could cause a domino effect and allow many other environments where healthy employees are vital to operations to similarly disregard basic healthcare precautions. Patrons of food service providers and daycares, for example, would steer clear of these businesses during flu season, and these businesses would suffer as a result. Turning this into a debate about freedom of expression ignores the heart of the issue. We need to be able to trust our healthcare providers. Otherwise, our whole system will topple.

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