Southeast Missouri Hospital made a major announcement Wednesday, unveiling a new brand to unite its healthcare services and facilities: SoutheastHEALTH. The main hospital is changing its name by dropping the word Missouri, to become simply: Southeast Hospital. Below are responses from Southeast's CEO Debbie Linnes about the thinking behind this new brand. Click here for the full story on the new brand unveiling.
Q: What kind of research went into developing this new brand and how long have hospital executives been considering this?
A: Consumer research shows that the Southeast brand and icon enjoy over 90 percent consumer awareness, so we did not want a dramatic departure from that. We conducted many separate internal discussions at Southeast to evaluate the new brand identity plan with presentations, comments and question and answer sessions over a period of four months. These internal groups included the executive boards of our Board of Trustees, Foundation and College of Nursing and Health Sciences as well as the senior administrative team. Additionally, we did external research to examine considerations such as how other healthcare systems successfully managed their brand change. We also unveiled our new brand and the process that led to the SoutheastHEALTH branding to all of our boards and employees prior to the public announcement this week.
Q: In what ways will this new brand name help the public and potential patients understand what you are all about?
A: When Southeast Hospital opened in 1928, we operated as a community hospital. Over the years, we have consistently grown. The face of our main hospital campus has changed remarkably over just the past 20 years. We began moving beyond our main campus as far back as 1986, when Southeast opened an outpatient laboratory at Doctors' Park. Over the past decade new facilities and services have been added throughout the region -- for example, HealthPoint Fitness in Cape and Jackson, satellite cardiac rehab services in Sikeston and Dexter and specialty physician practices at Doctors' Park. We also partner with Southeast Missouri State University's College of Health and Human Services to bring primary care to residents in Oran, Charleston and Bertrand and we partner with other regional healthcare providers to expand and enhance healthcare services across our region. So you can see that we actually have been operating as a healthcare system for a number of years. SoutheastHEALTH simply connects all of our services and facilities under one healthcare system and positions us for future expansion.
Q: Where will be some of the first places this new brand name appears?
A: We have completed an inventory of current signage at all SoutheastHEALTH facilities, both interior and exterior. In the name of good financial stewardship, signage will be replaced in a prioritized manner as our budget allows. The first new SoutheastHEALTH brand signage will be on our West Campus, where Southeast Medical Plaza and our new Southeast Cancer Center are located. The SoutheastHEALTH brand will be integrated into other current supplies as they are exhausted. All hospital publications and other external communications will soon carry our SoutheastHEALTH brand.