August 22nd, 2014

Name change highlights linked network

Fletcher Allen Partners will soon be named The University of Vermont Health Network and the four hospitals in Vermont and northern New York that are part of that network will soon look more like they belong together.

The hospitals – two in Vermont and two in New York – currently have different names and logos although they are all part of Fletcher Allen Partners, which is in alliance with the University of Vermont forming Vermont’s academic medical center.

Hospital names, logos and signage will start changing this fall as part of planned branding strategy approved in June by the boards of Fletcher Allen Partners and the University of Vermont, according to a news release.

The change is expected to happen in phases beginning in mid-November, says Michael Noble, spokesman for Fletcher Allen Health Care, in an email. “Major signage will be first, along with name badges. Over time, work uniform labels will change along with letterhead, vehicle identification, etc.”

Under the change: Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Vt., will become The University of Vermont Medical Center; CVPH Medical Center in Plattsburgh, N.Y., will become Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital and will use that name along with “The University of Vermont Health Network;” Central Vermont Medical Center in Barre, Vt., will add “The University of Vermont Health Network” to its name; Elizabethtown Community Hospital in Elizabethtown, N.Y., will add “The University of Vermont Health Network” to its name.

The name change will “clearly signal to people in the region that they are part of an academic health network, aligned with one of the top 10 academic medical centers in the country,” according to the release.

“Identifying ourselves as The University of Vermont Health Network emphasizes our academic core and signals that we are working together to provide seamless, high-quality care to the people of our communities, no matter where patients go for services within our network,” says John Brumsted, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Fletcher Allen Partners, Fletcher Allen Health Care.

Noble says the one-time capital budget for the branding change is $2.8 million. Costs will be incurred over two years and cover items like new signage. Hospitals’ operating budgets will cover the estimated additional $2.9 million cost of items like new ID badges, uniforms, Web site and other communications updates. “This is an important investment we needed to make,” he says.

Recent research showed that people in the area did not know the four hospitals were part of the same network, Noble says. “By making people aware of the nationally recognized health care available right here in their back yard, we’ll keep more health care dollars local and many people will avoid the financial burden associated with traveling hundreds or thousands of miles for comparable care at potentially higher costs.”

Fletcher Allen Partners was created between Fletcher Allen Health Care and Central Vermont Medical Center in October 2011. Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh and Elizabethtown Community Hospital in Elizabethtown, N.Y. joined the affiliation in January 2013.

By Rivkela Brodsky

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