The new year often provides a chance to start making some healthy changes in your life — trying a new diet, perhaps, or an innovative exercise routine. This year, though, there’s a name change taking place that could also help you enjoy positive changes to your health. Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, the organization formerly known as Southeastern Regional Medical Center will become Southeastern Health.
Superficially, that means new signs, new stationery and new logos. But the shorter name really signifies something much larger. It’s a way to get across a message to the region: Southeastern means health.
Of course, Southeastern will always offer state-of-the-art medical services to people when they get sick. But Southeastern will also work just as hard to help people stay well.
“We take great care of people when they get sick,” said Joann Anderson, president and CEO. “But we’re also focused on promoting healthy lifestyles. The name change helps us communicate the responsibility we have to the overall health of our community.”
In many ways, the broader focus on health has long been part of the Southeastern mission. For instance, Southeastern has expanded physician services around the region by opening family practice and specialty clinics throughout the four-county service area.
“Over the past three to five years, we’ve gone into rural communities and opened up primary care clinics so people there have easier access to health care,” Anderson said. “The theory is that if they have access, they will be able to get immunizations, screening exams and an annual physical without having to travel so far.” It means they can take care of routine medical matters that give them a better chance to stay healthy..
A focus on fitness is another way Southeastern promotes healthy living, according to Anderson. Along with Southeastern Lifestyle Fitness Center and Spa, the organization’s main fitness outlet, Southeastern also offers a wide range of programs to patients across the service area.
Beyond pointing out the Southeastern focus on health, the name change has at least one other goal. It helps differentiate the services provided by the hospital on the main medical campus from all the other services Southeastern provides.
“That was really one of the reasons to change the name,” Anderson said. “When you said ‘Southeastern Regional Medical Center,’ everybody thought ‘the hospital.’ It didn’t really convey to the employees or to the public the broad scope of services that are provided by our organization.”
While the overall organization is now known as Southeastern Health, the name Southeastern Regional Medical Center will refer only to the hospital.
Going from the old name to the new has been a long process.
“Over the last two years, as we’ve grown significantly, it’s become more and more apparent that we needed a paradigm shift, if you will, to really convey to everybody the scope of services that are being provided,” Anderson said.
The process of change started with the administrative team. It eventually included marketing experts and was ultimately presented to the board of trustees.
The board approved the change in June, and the new name was announced in August. After routine legal issues are resolved, vendors are formally notified and many other details are worked out, the new name will go into effect Jan. 1.
Of course, that won’t be the end of the story. Southeastern Health has a number of projects in the works that will continue to raise the level of service and emphasize the focus on health.
“Southeastern Health is really positioning itself to be a catalyst for improving the health of our community,” Anderson said.
n Amanda Crabtree is the public relations coordinator for Southeastern Regional Medical Center. She can be reached at email@example.com.