RANSON – Healthcare leaders gathered Monday to announce a new name for the Eastern Panhandle’s growing health system and its hospitals here and in Martinsburg.
[cleeng_content id="869415959" description="Read it now!" price="0.15" t="article"]In Ranson, new, temporary signage already is in place christening Jefferson Memorial Hospital as Jefferson Medical Center. City Hospital’s new name is Berkeley Medical Center.
At the news conference at Martinsburg’s Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center, Robert F. Baronner Jr. – the Bank of Charles Town president who leads the WVUH-East board of directors – also revealed University Healthcare as the new name for West Virginia University Hospitals-East.
The change, according to Baronner, hospital leaders and others involved, is needed to reflect the progress that’s taken place since the 1990s when the WVU School of Medicine first established a presence in the Panhandle.
“The next big step in this journey was accomplished in 2005 when a new regional health system, WVUH-East, was created to bring City Hospital and Jefferson Memorial Hospital under one management,” explained Bruce McClymonds, president and CEO of WVU Hospitals in Morgantown.
At the time, McClymonds said it made sense to keep the long-established names and simply to tack on “WVUH-East” to each to highlight the partnership with the university.
But in recent months as hospital leaders and others reflected on how much has changed at both hospitals – some $100 million put into improvements, beefed-up physician recruitment, new services and more – McClymonds said a new consensus emerged. “We reached the conclusion that it was time to rebrand,” he said at the news conference.
According to Baronner, research showed many in the Panhandle didn’t fully recognize the changes made at City and Jefferson Memorial and that they also found the “WVUH-East” moniker “both confusing and awkward.”
Said Baronner: “The new name continues to reflect our strong bond with the university and WVU Healthcare, the state’s leading teaching medical center. It also more accurately represents us as the premier health system in our region.”
Christina DeRosa, the chief administrative officer at the Ranson hospital, told those in attendance at the news conference about how much has happened at the facility since the merger.
“Our strategy has paid off in better technology, more physician specialists, improved facilities and a strong affiliation with a leading teaching medical institution,” she said. “We have successfully elevated the care and experience that our patients receive. As medical centers, our names now reflect our commitment to improving access to needed health services.”
Anthony Zelenka, DeRosa’s counterpart in Martinsburg, hailed the rebranding as much more than just the creation of a new name, website or logo.
“Rebranding should capture the essence of all that an organization is and aims to be,” he said. “It should represent what the institution means to its leaders, employees and customers, while capturing both the organization’s history and the excitement of new possibilities.
“Careful deliberation went into our rebrand strategy and evaluation, including significant research and branding expertise. We feel confident that the (new) names align with the monumental improvements that have taken place within our health system over the past eight years.”[/cleeng_content]