Is there anyone in Greater Charlotte who doesnt know that we have two nonprofit health care systems that each operate multiple hospitals across the region?
You watch their TV commercials. You see their billboards.
But in case you missed that message, both systems last month unveiled new campaigns to drive home the point.
These initiatives probably cost a bundle, but well never know how much because neither Novant Health nor Carolinas HealthCare System will say how much they paid for consultants, ads, etc.
As we previously reported, Novant Health is changing the names of its hospitals so that every name will start with Novant Health. For example, Presbyterian Hospital will become Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center.
Every name will have at least five words instead of two or three. But officials say uniformity is important. They want to make clear that all 13 hospitals and many doctors offices and outpatient centers across four states are part of one system Novant Health based in Winston-Salem.
New signs go up soon in colors described as aubergine and charcoal gray, meant to convey warmth.
Signs will feature a large N on the left, next to two purple squares, stacked like a colon, that separate the N from the words Novant Health.
I learned belatedly there is also a large H for Health beside the N. But you have to search to find it.
The H fills the negative space around the colon. Once you see it, you will never look at it again without seeing it, a spokeswoman said. I see it now, but wonder how many others will without being told.
The name Novant (say No-VAWNT) still causes confusion, more than 15 years after the merger of Presbyterian with Carolina Medcorp. in Winston-Salem.
Readers have asked, What is a Novant? It was created by combining nova, meaning bright star, and avante, the Spanish word meaning forward.
Its a metaphor
This high-concept messaging seems to be a trend.
On Interstate 85 I recently noticed a new billboard for Carolinas HealthCare System.
The word ONE is printed in huge letters across the left side, with the hospital systems turquoise tree of life filling the inside of the O.
The right side pictures a dandelion gone to seed, its feathery white puffs blowing in the wind.
Carolinas HealthCare often uses billboards to advertise its many fine programs heart, cancer, maternity. But this one baffled me. Did it mean Number One? Only one?
When I asked for an explanation, a spokeswoman said: Its about who we are.... One integrated system.
There are 22 such billboards in the Carolinas, and commercials on TV. The website, www.carolinashealthcare.org/one, gives details.
We believe in the power of one, it says, which is why we work together as one. In one system where patients are partners, where sharing best practices is common practice and where thousands of minds serve millions of people.
Its a metaphor, I was told. Many seeds, from one bloom.