HealthLeaders Media Council members discuss how their organizations engage the patient/consumer.
This article first appeared in the July/August 2016 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.
On the link between outreach and consumerism: When we started to focus on outreach, we realized that despite Benson Hospital having been around for 50 years, there were people in our community who didn't even know we existed.
To raise awareness of the hospital, we've tried to pursue various wellness initiatives that aren't necessarily paid practices that generate revenue, but that get our name out and make consumers and community members aware of our organization. We have support programs for patients with diabetes and respiratory problems, and we invite guest speakers for them to learn about how to manage their conditions. Our nutritionist visits senior living complexes and offers nutrition counseling. Recently, we did some outreach with fifth graders about what it means to eat healthfully.
We have an annual health fair. Last year, we had about 55 vendors offering educational material and information on anything from simple things like diet and exercise to buying special insurance for helicopter transportation in a medical emergency.
We have become very much involved in our community. At every parade, at every event in the community, we maintain an educational booth. We get involved with schools, make an effort to donate school supplies, and organize toy drives around the holidays for local kids.
The goal, I believe, is to be viewed as a value-added business leader in the community, and to make life better for everyone who lives in the region.
Lena J. Weiner is an associate editor at HealthLeaders Media.