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How a 110-Year-Old Hospital Rebranded Itself

Jacqueline Fellows, for HealthLeaders Media, April 9, 2013

This article appears in the May 2013 issue of Healthcare Marketing Advisor.

The details of rebranding Children's Hospital Los Angeles back in 2011 starts with the tale of a missing apostrophe. According to original documents dating back to 1901, when the Southern California pediatric hospital opened, a defective typewriter left off the important punctuation mark on the incorporation papers.

Despite the obvious grammatical error, the hospital name remained Childrens Hospital Los Angeles until just two years ago when the hospital decided to correct the mistake and kick off a rebranding campaign to coincide with its 110th year anniversary as well as the opening of a new $636 million hospital.

DeAnn Marshall, chief marketing and development office for Children's says building a new hospital and rebranding its presence in L.A. was long overdue.

"The hospital had not invested in building the brand externally or internally in large part because it was a hospital that was at capacity," says Marshall. "Our beds were full, almost all of the time, and there wasn't really an opportunity to really market the hospital externally because we could not accept new demand."

Not anymore. The hospital's new Marion and John E. Anderson Pavilion has 317 beds, 85% of which are private rooms. The old hospital had 286 beds, but Marshall says the figure is misleading.

"We had to cohort and aggregate based on age, sex, and so there were times when yes, we had 286 beds, but [some] children, who, based on their illness, needed a private room… there were two beds in one room; that took a bed out of service. So, that was a key change we made in planning for the new hospital," says Marshall.

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