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Hospital team garners statewide healthcare PR honors
Adventist Midwest Health’s public relations team won three Pinnacle Awards from the Illinois Society for Healthcare Marketing and Public Relations (ISHMPR) at the organization’s 2009 annual fall conference Nov. 13. These awards are the highest honors bestowed by ISHMPR, an affiliate of the Illinois Hospital Association and the state’s largest and most prestigious organization dedicated to the advancement of healthcare marketing and communications professionals.

The team, consisting of Regional Manager Julie Busch and Senior Public Relations Specialist Lisa Parro, was recognized with the following awards:

•    Award of Excellence, Writing, “The Gift of Sound,” a three-part front-page weekly series published in Suburban Life newspaper Jan. 10, 17 and 24, 2009. The series follows a toddler from the operating room of Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, where Dr. Robert Battista performed simultaneous bilateral cochlear implant surgery, to follow-up medical visits and subsequent steps of the recovery and rehabilitation process. The PR team accommodated the journalists in the operating room during the three-hour procedure and during follow-up visits to hospital-affiliated sites. In addition to the three main stories, the package also included several sidebars on related topics. Each installment of “The Gift of Sound” included an online photo gallery and video; the final installment featured two videos. The series was carried via Gatehouse News Service for nationwide publication and the patient’s experience became the basis of a radio commercial for Adventist Hinsdale Hospital.

•    Award of Merit, Writing, “Midnight Calm,” a Sunday front-page centerpiece of the April 26 Chicago Tribune, the state’s largest newspaper. The story follows Adventist Midwest Health night chaplain Dan Ocampo during a shift at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital as he prayed with and cared for nurses, care technicians, environmental services staff and other employees throughout the hospital. It ran above the fold with a color photo of the chaplain praying with a nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit. In addition, a two-minute video and nine-image photo gallery was published online. “Midnight Calm” was among the top 25 most-read stories on the Chicago Tribune’s Web site that day. The story also went out on the Tribune’s news service and was published in newspapers across the country; it also was distributed electronically by the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council and the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development.

•    Award of Merit, Intranet design, “AMHemployee.com,” Adventist Midwest Health’s employee Web site. Sharing in the award was John Ruhl, associate vice president of marketing. Launched in fall 2008, AMHemployee.com communicates information about the organization’s strategic plan, Transforming Care ~ Transforming Lives. This site exists in addition to the company Intranet site and is available 24/7 to employees at work, home or anywhere with Internet access. It is SSL-encrypted for security. A new video is uploaded to the homepage every month. Starring AMH employees, these videos convey the latest news about they organization’s journey to become the regional healthcare employer of choice and have proven to be an effective way to cascade information from leaders to staff. A new feature allows employees to engage in discussions on interactive forums and develop personal profiles, where they can post photos. Random profiles also are featured on the home page on a rotating basis.

“These awards are a testament to Julie and Lisa’s dedication to telling meaningful stories about how we are transforming the lives of our patients and their families every day,” said David L. Crane, president and chief executive officer, Adventist Midwest Health. “Communicating these stories of hope to our communities furthers our mission of extending the healing ministry of Christ.”

Nearly 40 hospitals and healthcare systems from across the state submitted 125 entries in 25 project categories. Entries are judged on their own merit in accordance with established criteria for project planning, implementation and overall results. The conference and awards presentation took place at the offices of the Illinois Hospital Association in Naperville and Springfield, connected via videoconferencing. A complete list of award winners will be posted at www.ishmpr.org.

Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. The public relations team is based in Bolingbrook.