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April 2, 2018

EMHS to rebrand as 'Northern Light Health'

Courtesy / Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems
Courtesy / Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems
EMHS President and CEO M. Michelle Hood has announced that the Brewer-based health care system is rebranding itself as 'Northern Light Health' in October.

About Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems

Local EMHS facilities include: Eastern Maine Medical Center, Acadia Hospital, Rosscare, and EMHS Foundation in Bangor; EMHS Home Office and Beacon Health in Brewer; The Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle; CA Dean Memorial Hospital in Greenville; Sebasticook Valley Health in Pittsfield; Inland Hospital in Waterville; Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth; Blue Hill Memorial Hospital in Blue Hill; Mercy Hospital in Portland; and VNA Home Health Hospice with sites located in Portland, Ellsworth, Waterville, Bangor, and Houlton. LifeFlight of Maine is also a joint venture with Central Maine Healthcare. For more information on EMHS as conveyed by its annual report go here.

Brewer-based Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, commonly referred to as EMHS, will become Northern Light Health in October.

The name change reflects a key step in the system's evolution from individual locations with a regional focus to an integrated health delivery organization with coordinated statewide offerings. This shift is one of the changes that the organization is making in order to build a better health care system for every person in Maine.

"Our new name signals two things," said EMHS President and CEO M. Michelle Hood, who is leading the brand transformation. "First, the name celebrates the remarkable work done within EMHS, particularly over the last five years, to build a system of care and services dedicated to optimizing the collective resources of our member organizations. Second, the brand behind the name establishes aspirational goals to guide us on our continued journey to making healthcare work for every Mainer."

Hood said that being highly visible and understood throughout Maine and beyond requires strong brand recognition.

"While EMHS as a system name brought us to where we are today, we've known for a long time that the name lacks the uniqueness and clarity of who we are," she said in a news release. "Northern Light Health will take us into the future."

Reinventing a brand

The system conducted comprehensive consumer research and considered more than 100 different names before deciding on Northern Light Health, Hood said.

"We deliberately took our time, thoughtfully considered the changing health care environment, the uniqueness of the state of Maine, and we involved expertise from throughout the system in building this new framework," she said, adding that reinventing a brand to this magnitude is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

EMHS worked closely with Denver-based Monigle, the country's largest independent brand consultancy, to develop the new name, brand platform and the strategy to convey a consistent patient experience no matter at which location a person seeks care.

In order to tell its new story, the system will launch a broad brand and marketing campaign in the fall, according to Matthew Weed, EMHS's senior vice president and chief strategy officer.

"Before we do that, however, we will spend the spring and summer months introducing the new brand to our 13,000 employees and other internal audiences and close stakeholders," he said.

Full implementation of the new name and brand will begin in the fall and roll out for several months. Updated signage at hospitals and other locations will be phased in during the coming years.

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