Population Health Prevention Public Health Public Health 3.0 Social Determinants of Health

When Will Healthcare Marketers Become Health Marketers?

My friend and colleague, Brian Castrucci, president and CEO of the de Beaumont Foundation, just published a post about his organization’s move to clearly articulate its vision: a belief that every person in every community should have the opportunity to obtain their best possible health. “While the majority of funding, media coverage, and the public’s attention have been almost solely focused on healthcare, we have chosen to stand for something different — health.” For de Beaumont, the central theme is health, not healthcare. That’s because the team at de Beaumont recognizes that factors beyond healthcare are essential in developing healthy communities – those factors include housing, economic development, transportation, and education policy.  As Brain stated in his post, “Healthcare will always be necessary, and we support increasing access, but we also need to understand that conversations about healthcare and insurance are not enough to improve health.” (http://www.debeaumont.org/news/2019/we-stand-for-health/)

When I read Brian’s post yesterday, it made me reflect upon the state of healthcare marketing. I’m probably focused on this because I had a marketing director of a hospital tell me last week that her hospital is not in the business of health and wellness. Yet, from my perspective, the best thing the hospital could do for the communities it serves is to focus on health and wellness. Thankfully, we are not a homogeneous group; there’s a great deal of variety in the degree to which hospitals and marketing teams are moving down the population health continuum. Each organization’s journey is unique. But it is stunning to me that there are some of us out there who still think health and wellness are not central to the mission of our organizations.

I have been fortunate to have my perspective on health shaped by a number of my clients and peers who are leaders in the transformation of our healthcare system. I’ve always believed that it is important and essential to learn from those around me. As a marketer, if you stop learning, you might as well find a new profession. Dr. Tony Slonim, CEO of Renown Health, is an example of someone who is both a mentor and a client for me. Kim Hollon, CEO of Signature Healthcare, is another example. And, of course, Brian Castrucci of the de Beaumont Foundation also comes to mind. When I sit in meetings with these leaders, I listen and learn. These are CEOs we will all be hearing from in the future. They are all willing to put themselves out there to address the issues that are central to healthcare transformation – and to move us from a focus on healthcare to a focus on health.

1 comment on “When Will Healthcare Marketers Become Health Marketers?

  1. Vanessa Stafford

    This is such a great post Dan, relevant and a necessity – organizations who are integrating this concept of focusing on health rather than healthcare are advancing the way they deliver care to their communities and leading the way for others, thanks for sharing!

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