Conference Presentations

Pre-Conference Workshop

Bridging the Connection Between Head and Heart

Kirsten Lecky, WriterGirl & Associates, Inc.

Individuals are consuming more than 15 hours of content each day, and their attention span is shrinking to that of a gold fish! How do we break through the clutter and not only influence their selection of a healthcare provider, but inspire healthy behaviors as well? During this session, we’ll learn how to bridge the connection between facts that engage the mind to stories that engage the heart.



Winter is Here: Clarifying the Strategic Marketing Landscape When Your Priorities Seem Like a “Game of Thrones”

Dan Miers, SPM Marketing & Communications

Risk and population health. Consumerism. Flat/declining inpatient utilization. Market consolidation and expansion. Disruptive/emerging technology. New competitors (or partners?). Like the powerful characters competing to shape the fictional Westeros’ future, the forces driving change in healthcare challenge marketing professionals to develop the strategic perspective to confidently address the issues before them. The key to charting a winning path is understanding the impact of these interrelated forces and where to anchor your strategy.


General Session

Democratizing Big Data: Advanced CRM on Any Budget

Eric Silberman, True North Custom & Theresa Komitas, KishHealth System

As healthcare budgets get tighter, marketers are experiencing an increased pressure to communicate the return on their investments to the organization’s decision-makers. Customer relationship management (CRM) applications provide the tools needed to quantify marketing efforts and demonstrate the extent of which a given campaign is fueling the success of overall marketing strategy. In this presentation, marketing strategists from Inspira Health Network and True North Custom will illustrate ways to optimize a CRM strategy to become a truly data-driven organization that most efficiently allocates its marketing budget.


Planning + Executing for Service Line Marketing Growth

Paul Griffiths, MedTouch & Robert Wasserman, Hallmark Health

How do you drive patient acquisition and build brand distinction in the increasingly competitive space of healthcare? In this session, you will learn how to leverage integrated digital strategy, effectively repurpose content across multiple digital channels, and build winning campaigns to connect with patients. Hear innovative strategies and results from Hallmark Health and start building your action plan for long-term digital success.


The Journey to Perfecting the Art of Superior Care

William Jones, Deborah Richardson & Sandra Bellantonio, MD, Berkshire Healthcare Systems

Berkshire Healthcare is working to change everything we think we know about long-term care. The results are measurable and concrete. By focusing on customer experience and employee engagement, Berkshire has experienced extraordinary success in raising the bar for quality of care. Customer and employee satisfaction rates routinely rank among the highest in the nation. Learn how Berkshire instituted change across 18 affiliates in Massachusetts, bringing unprecedented recognition.


The Content Clinic is Open: Walk In for a Check-Up. Walk Out with Healthier Content and Stronger Results. 

Shannon Cummins & Paula Rosenberg Frey, GLC 

Strong, actionable, engaging content is every marketer’s goal. But if content isn’t nourished over time, it becomes weak, lackluster and ineffective. Welcome to The Content Clinic where we’ll teach you how to assess your content and strengthen it to achieve healthy results. We’ll share tips on how to analyze and audit your content, craft new strategies and, ultimately, drive readership and engagement. During this session, we will also share “before and after” case studies from healthcare and non-healthcare organizations that have taken strategic content principles and put them into practice.


Solving Bladder Issues with Social Media

Megan Reiter, Penn Medicine & Alexandria Placido, Penn Medicine

How do you reach and educate patients around a topic that is still considered taboo? Find out how the Penn Medicine team made a sensitive subject relatable through social media, allowing the health system to educate and engage patients about their urogynecology program.


Using Online Word of Mouth to Validate Personas and Benchmark

Jeff Thompson, Feedback

Healthcare marketers have struggled with the categorizations of their audiences. Creating personas can be an exercise rife with bias and skewed perspective – one moment defined by patient data, the next accumulating traits by committee until they become unrecognizable. This session explores how social media behavior can validate and deepen personas while later help with benchmark engagement. Healthcare examples from Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Norton Healthcare will join best practices from outside the industry such as Micron and CamelBak.


From Patients to Consumers: How Emerson Hospital is Reshaping Digital Interaction

Jeff McPherson, SilverTech & Christine Gallery, Emerson Hospital

Hear how Emerson Hospital adopted a patient-focused initiative that strives to create a personalized, one-to-one experience by identifying the needs of a patient through the lens of a retail consumer. Jeff McPherson and Christine Gallery will discuss the leading-edge partnership that resulted in an integrated digital strategy and stunning visual execution to guide patients from initial engagements (such as wellness classes) to services lines, generating revenue for the hospital.


Housing is Healthcare

Aaron Johnson, Michael Carrese, Jason Williams & Maria McClellan, University of Vermont Medical Center

In 2016, the University of Vermont Medical Center, along with key community partners in the Burlington, Vermont area, garnered regional and national attention for an innovative collaboration to provide supportive housing opportunities to homeless individuals and patients discharged from the hospital in need of medical respite. A communications and community outreach campaign – anchored by a video titled “Housing is Health Care” – told the story of how getting people housed is both good for the individual and an effective strategy in cutting healthcare costs.


The PR Revolution

Rebecca Stewart & Tina Varona, Hartford HealthCare

The media landscape is changing rapidly and PR experts need to change their strategies to stay ahead of the curve. How can you ensure news coverage even as newsrooms continue to shrink? We found our answer: We wouldn’t wait for news coverage. We could create it. Reporters will always need medical experts. But with the right strategy, planning, preparation and organization, there was so much more we could do to partner with news organizations. This changing media landscape became the perfect opportunity to showcase ourselves in a new and different way. We decided to go beyond brand journalism and launch a health news service that produced quality, relevant and compelling content, ready for distribution. Since our initial launch, we have been seen on every local network, generated hundreds of patient leads, and created new processes to standardize content distribution. We have only just begun.


Consumer Journey Mapping: Creating the Ideal Customer Activation, Engagement and Acquisition Experience

Carla Bryant, Corrigan Partners

Explosive growth in web, social, search and mobile technologies are changing consumer expectations and behaviors in both the digital realm and in person. Consumer journey mapping can help you identify and understand the “moments of truth” that most influence consumers to successful marketing, content and experience strategies. Learn how to use journey mapping to identify opportunities to influence behaviors and outcomes, and to gain consensus among key stakeholders.


Closing Session

Building a Culture of Safety within Your Organization

Dan Dunlop, Jennings Health, Kim Hollon & Lorraine McGrath, Signature Healthcare

As part of a safety assessment, employees of Signature Healthcare were asked about the priorities of the hospital’s leadership. Surprisingly, patient safety was not in the list of their responses. This was a jolting revelation. In response, Signature Healthcare’s CEO Kim Hollon announced his own version of the Moon Shot. In 2015, he was going to launch an initiative making patient safety the number one priority of his organization and creating a culture of safety among his employees.

Why patient safety? “Patient harm” is an enemy we face every day in the hospital. The enemy is found in defects, deaths, infections, falls and errors. When an employee is rushed or has a choice to make in their subconscious mind between safety and finance, or safety and speed, or safety and decorum, or safety and overtime, we want them to know that safety is always the right answer. Safety comes first every time. This focus on safety will save lives and save the organization funds.

We needed to create this mindset at Signature Healthcare and have it imbued within our culture. Often, change processes need well-developed support systems (including communication systems) to shepherd employees through successful change. Changing culture is hard and takes time. In this case, we were fighting years of no messaging or messaging that contradicted the current priority. Along with all the patient safety training that would take place as part of this initiative, we recognized the need for a full-blown internal marketing program that would promote this new culture of safety and keep it in the foreground. This presentation will provide the details of this successful patient safety initiative and the communication strategies that supported the effort. The marketing team developed a multifaceted internal communications program to effectively communicate the individual accountability that is essential for the development of a culture where patient safety is the top priority. Employees had to be keenly aware that patient and employee safety had to come first at every decision point. Nothing could ever win out over safety.