EMHS to Become Northern Light Health

In October of this year, Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, EMHS, will become Northern Light Health. 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 healthcare system for every person in Maine.

“Our new name signals two things: 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,” said M. Michelle Hood, FACHE, president and CEO, who is leading the brand transformation. Hood added that being highly visible and understood throughout Maine and beyond requires strong brand recognition, “and 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. Northern Light Health will take us into the future.”
The system conducted comprehensive consumer research, and considered more than 100 different names, before deciding on Northern Light Health, Hood said.
Reinventing a brand to this magnitude is a once in a lifetime opportunity, commented Hood. “We deliberately took our time, thoughtfully considered the changing healthcare environment, the uniqueness of the state of Maine, and we involved expertise from throughout the system in building this new framework.”
EMHS worked closely with Monigle, a highly regarded brand experience agency, 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, 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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