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WV University Healthcare New Health System Name Berkeley Medical Center, Jefferson Medical Center

5/13/2013

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. – Officials at West Virginia University Hospitals-East announced today that a new name has been selected for the Eastern Panhandle based health system and its two local hospitals.

Robert F. Baronner, Jr, chairman of the WVUH-East Board of Directors, revealed the new system name, University Healthcare, at an invitation only press event in the auditorium of the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center.

The launch of the system’s new brand also included the announcement of the new hospital names, Jefferson Medical Center and Berkeley Medical Center, by Christina DeRosa and Anthony P. Zelenka, chief administrative officers at the hospitals.

Hospital management, physician leadership, board directors and community leaders gathered
as Bruce McClymonds, president and CEO of WVU Hospitals in Morgantown, reflected on the journey that began in the 1990s with the establishment of the WVU School of Medicine in the Eastern Panhandle.

“The next big step in this journey was accomplished in 2005 when a new regional health system, WVUH-East, was created to bring City Hospital and Jefferson Memorial Hospital under one management and become a part of WVU Hospitals in Morgantown,” McClymonds said.

According to McClymonds, there was nearly unanimous agreement at that time to keep the names City Hospital and Jefferson Memorial Hospital. The name WVUH-East was added to recognize the partnership with the University connection.

Nearly two years ago, the name question was revisited and this time the answer was different. “We reached the conclusion that it was time to rebrand, so this became the next step in our journey which led us to today’s announcement. All agreed that it was essential to include the university connection in the name and that our hospitals have evolved into full-service medical centers, which needed to be clear in the names,” McClymonds said.

“Eight years have passed since the merger in 2005, and this partnership has been a success. We at WVU Hospitals are proud to be associated with the health professionals, administrators, and community leaders who made that success possible,” McClymonds added.

For the past eight years, the leadership of WVUH-East has worked to redefine quality health and wellness services in the Eastern Panhandle. With $100 million invested in improvements, strong physician recruitment efforts, and the addition and expansion of services, significant improvements have been made to the quality of care offered and the patient experience.

“Research identified that the public perception of City Hospital and Jefferson Memorial Hospital did not align with the multitude of improvements that we have made over the past eight years. Additionally, it was determined that WVUH-East was both confusing and awkward to consumers,” Baronner explained.

“The new name, University Healthcare, continues to reflect our strong bond with the University and WVU Healthcare, the state’s leading teaching medical center. It also more accurately represents us as the premier health system in our region,” he added.

In their remarks, Chief Administrative Officers DeRosa and Zelenka focused on improvements that have been made at both of their hospitals over the past several years, and the need to rebrand the system and hospitals to reflect these changes.

“Our strategy has paid off in better technology, more physician specialists, improved facilities and a strong affiliation with a leading teaching medical institution,” stated DeRosa. “We have successfully elevated the care and experience that our patients receive. As medical centers, our names now reflect our commitment to improving access to needed health services.”

According to Zelenka, rebranding is often unfortunately reduced to little more than the creation of a new name, website or logo. “Rebranding should capture the essence of all that an organization is and aims to be. It should represent what the institution means to its leaders, employees and customers, while capturing both the organization’s history and the excitement of new possibilities,” Zelenka said.

“Careful deliberation went into our rebrand strategy and evaluation, including significant research and branding expertise,” Zelenka stated. “ We feel confident that the names University Healthcare, Berkeley Medical Center and Jefferson Medical Center, align with the monumental improvements that have taken place within our health system over the past eight years.”

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