by DEBRA VAUGHN, Whidbey News-Times Staff Reporter
With a few pulls from some strings, a purple sign with the new name of the hospital was revealed Monday morning in Coupeville: WhidbeyHealth Medical Center.
WhidbeyHealth is now officially the umbrella name for the hospital and its services and clinics.
“Health care is changing and so must we,” Chief Executive Officer Geri Forbes told a small crowd gathered for the unveiling.
Officials invited 98-year-old Jean Sherman to help with the unveiling. She and her husband were some of the local community members who helped start the hospital. Also present were a 7-day-old baby boy born at the hospital and Kristine Young, a physician’s assistant, also born at the hospital formerly known as Whidbey General.
Hospital officials hope the change will make it easier for the public to identify and use the multiple services and clinics operated by the Whidbey Island Public Hospital District.
The idea went over like a lead balloon with the public when it was introduced last winter. Officials have since worked to explain to the public why they think the cost of coming up with a new name and logo and implementing the change is money well spent.
The hospital conducted market research that indicated “uneven awareness” that services are connected or coordinated, according to a document from a consultant. Many of the clinics operated with different names and signs, making it harder for the public to “connect the dots” between them and Whidbey General. The eight clinics operate under six different names.
The research also indicated more people would access health care services if they knew about them and that people value providers working as a team to care for them.
Click here to watch the short video of the unveiling of the new WhidbeyHealth Medical Center sign that took place on Monday June 13th. It includes brief comments by Anne Tarrant and Geri Forbes. The unveiling team was multigenerational to say the very least. The youngest participant was 7 days old, our most senior attendee was 98 years young. Every child who participated was born here; one “child,” Kristine Young, PA-C, was born here in 1972 and is today one of our awesome primary care providers.