As part of the HCA Virginia Health System, Pulaski Community Hospital already offers a wide array of health services to its patients.
Wednesday, HCA unveiled a new branding strategy designed to emphasize the extent of the system’s services by unveiling its new identity, LewisGale Regional Health System. The change also brings Pulaski Community a new name: LewisGale Hospital – Pulaski. Likewise, New River Valley Cancer Care Center, one of Commonwealth’s busiest cancer centers will become LewisGale Regional Cancer Center – Pulaski.
The new brand also will represent HCA’s three other hospitals, one other regional cancer center, six outpatient centers and 26 site locations in Southwest Virginia.
Local physician practices under the employment of LewisGale Regional Health System will receive name changes too. Pulaski Physicians will become LewisGale Physicians – 2400 Lee Highway, Pulaski Urology and Surgical Associates of Southwest Virginia will become LewisGale Physicians – 2460 Lee Highway, and Radford Family Medicine will become LewisGale Physicians – 600 East Main St.
According to Victor Giovanetti, president of LewisGale Regional Health System, consumer research determined the need for a new branding strategy to adequately represent the size and scope of the healthcare network.
“In the past three years, we’ve experienced significant growth which parallels with our decision to create an integrated healthcare delivery system. However, with this growth we realized that the public, in general, was not aware of the size, scope, and expertise that our health system offers, ” Giovanetti said.
Mark Nichols, chief executive officer at LewisGale Hospital – Pulaski, said he thinks the new brand will help “the people of Pulaski County realize the scope and depth of the services available at Pulaski and also through the LewisGale Regional Health network. We’re a strong facility on our own, but much stronger through our affiliation with LewisGale.”
Although the Pulaski hospital has been part of the HCA network for a while, Nichols said this change is “just a part of the next step in evolution” that will help “make sure we have a viable community facility in Pulaski for years to come.
“If you look at independent community hospitals, it’s going to become increasingly difficult for them to make a go of it under current conditions – especially with the changes coming toward us with healthcare reform,” Nichols added. “This has definitely brought us access to capital and a lot of resources we wouldn’t have at our disposal if we were a stand-alone facility.”
Giovanetti said, “We believe the new brand … will clearly and strongly link our facilities and more effectively symbolize the depth and breadth of our health system.”
He attributed the health system’s growth to several factors, including the close alignment of all of its patient care facilities and physicians to ensure “patients have access to the right physician and the right facility, at the right time.”
He said “excellence” of service and the health system’s belief that physicians are indispensable partners are other growth factors.
“We’re reaching new heights in clinical excellence and consistently ranking among the top in the nation for patient care. As a result, our volumes have grown significantly. Simply put, patients want to go where they’ll receive the best healthcare; physicians want to practice at hospitals where they can provide the best care,” said Giovanetti.
But LewisGale Regional Health System officials recognize that patient care sometimes needs to extend outside the boundaries of the system’s 135 employed physicians. That’s why it partners with more than 550 affiliated independent physicians to serve Southwest Virginia.
“I want to take a minute to emphasize our commitment to the independent practice of medicine and how these independent physicians fit into and are a part of our system,” said Giovanetti. “Even though they have their own independent practices and unique practice names, we consider both independent and employed physicians as indispensable partners and place a high value on the rich diversity that the combination of employed and independent affiliations offers our system and, more importantly, our patients.
“We support and believe in a structure that allows independent physicians to be part of our health system,” he continued. “We are proving this model can accomplish all the critical milestones any organization in the business of healthcare … must achieve to be a viable healthcare provider in the future.”
Those milestones include providing: quality, cost-effective healthcare; proven treatments that provide the best outcomes for patients; and embracing the relationship between the patient and the primary-care physician.
“Our new LewisGale Regional Health System branding strategy will go a long way in increasing the awareness of our health system among the communities we serve,” Giovanetti said. He noted there are currently 38 facilities “branded with this name and certainly many more to come in the future.”
He said LewisGale “is a very trusted name” in the region, with a heritage dating back more than 100 years to when founding Drs. Lewis and Gale “began caring for their neighbors and started the original Lewis-Gale Hospital.”
Lewis-Gale Medical Center in Salem will retain its name, with the exception of the hyphen being removed and combining the two names into one word: LewisGale.
“We’ve chosen to combine Lewis and Gale into one word as another symbolic representation of our multiple facilities and hundreds of physicians joining together into one health system with a single priority: putting our patients, and their families, first,” said Giovanetti.
LewisGale Regional Health System has 3,300 employees, with an annual payroll of $219.5 million. It provides $73.5 million in uncompensated care, pays $28.4 million in annual taxes and had $70.5 million in capital spending from 2006 to present.
The Pulaski hospital off Lee Highway started operation in 1973. It has 147 licensed beds and admitted 2,497 patients in 2009.