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This Retreat Is Moving Forward: The Brattleboro Retreat

On December 28, 2011, HealthLeaders Media published a story written by Marianne Aiello about The Brattleboro Retreat and the resurgence of its brand after a failed attempt at re-branding via a name change. The Retreat, a mental health and addiction treatment center in Brattleboro, Vermont (a town I once called home!), has a history that dates back to 1834. That is ancient! In the late ’90s, a decision was made to change the name of this venerable old institution and it was to be called Retreat Healthcare. Jumping quickly to the end of the story, the name change failed, and people continued to call it The Brattleboro Retreat or The Retreat. If anything, the name change created confusion in the marketplace.

In 2008, the organization reverted back to calling itself The Retreat, and, with the help of some terrific marketing, business is booming. My friend Julia Sorensen is the organization’s director of marketing and communication, and she is interviewed in Marianne’s story. Julia has done a remarkable job marketing The Retreat and is always a big winner at the New England Society for Healthcare Communication’s annual Lamplighter Award event. I first met Julia at one of NESHCo’s conferences. I am delighted to see The Retreat and Julia’s work receive this recognition within the healthcare industry. It is well deserved.

To read more about this amazing success story, go to The title of the article is: “What’s in a Name? Your Organization’s Identity.”

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