Skip to main content

University debuts new identity for health care enterprise 2011-12-14

Category: News

hospital brand
Media contact Email
Christy Levy

The university’s health care enterprise officially rolled out its new identity, the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, and announced plans Monday for a marketing campaign to raise the institution's profile in the Chicago area.

“This is an opportunity for us to create some excitement and be clear about what we’re about,” said Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, university vice president for health affairs.

In September, university trustees approved the new name for the university’s health care enterprise, which includes the hospital and community-based clinical sites such as the Mile Square Health Center.  

The university debuted the brand identity at a meeting Monday in the College of Medicine Research Building’s Moss Auditorium.

The hospital has had a few different names, Garcia said, most recently the University of Illinois Medical Center.

National surveys and university-led focus groups have shown that people have a clearer idea of a “hospital” compared with a “medical center,” Garcia said.

“‘Hospital’ is where people think they get care,” he said. “‘Medical center?’ Not so sure.”

The rebranding aims to reinforce the university’s statewide health care mission: to bring high quality, cost-effective health care to the state, especially to medically underserved Latinos and African Americans, Garcia said.

Of the 2 million people who live in the hospital’s primary service area, about 35 percent are Hispanic and another 35 percent are African American, he said.

The new name also highlights the university’s research mission, Garcia said.

“This is an opportunity to connect with the people we take care of and leverage this enormous research prowess and the intellectual firepower that we have,” he said.

The launch marked an internal marketing campaign but the brand will be introduced to the community through radio and newspaper ads in January and February, said Camille Baxter, director of health enterprise marketing.

“This is our brand — it’s a work in progress but we’re all going to build it together by pulling in the same direction,” she said.

The marketing campaign highlights some of the university’s areas of health care expertise, including corneal and retinal diseases, liver and kidney transplantation, mental illness and sickle cell anemia, among others.

“At the end of the day, what we all share is that we’re here because we want to make a difference,” Garcia said.

“I think we can actually make a difference.”