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If there were ever a perfect phrase to capture the spirit of Baxter Regional Medical Center’s rebranding to Baxter Health, it would be “Magnet recognized, Mee Maw approved.”
The popular Baxter County hospital network officially announced the kick-off of its three to five-year rebranding campaign on Wednesday morning, celebrating the continued growth the hospital network has seen through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Doctors, nurses, local officials, and community members joined several of Baxter Health’s top executives to celebrate the rebranding in the Lagerborg Dining Room of the Baxter Health cafeteria.
“Over the past several months, alongside our branding partner Magnetic, we have conducted thousands of hours of research, interviews, surveys, workshops, focus groups, and studies,” said Tobias Pugsley, Director of Marketing for Baxter Health. “The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, but the consistent theme was that this organization is now much bigger than just a regional medical center. The major insight we received was that our brand needed to be positioned for future success in order to draw in the next generation of doctors, nurses, and staff, but should not lose sight of the Baxter legacy and heritage that has made it great. Baxter Health represents the next generation of healthcare in North Central Arkansas.”
Originally founded as Baxter General Hospital in 1963, the small 35-bed facility continued to grow over the years, adopting new names along the way, including Baxter County Regional Hospital in the 1980s, before settling on Baxter Regional Medical Center in the late 1990s.
Today, the hospital network covers 11 counties and boasts 39 separate clinics and locations alongside the main hospital in Mountain Home.
The transition to the new branding of Baxter Health came from discussions surrounding the future growth of the hospital network following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We felt that we were coming out of COVID, and COVID was over,” said Ron Peterson, CEO of Baxter Health. “We thought, how do we make sure that we rebound from this? And how do we make sure that we continue to progress that we had pre-COVID and continue to grow and continue to provide services to individuals in this area?”
To start, Baxter Health began taking input from over 1,000 employees and patients last year on what attracted them to the hospital and its clinics.
During their research, Baxter Health found that its reputation and genuine concern for its patients were far and away the biggest attractors for employees and patients to join its hospital network and surrounding clinics. They also found that the hospital’s history of consistency played an important role in defining how patients and the community viewed the hospital.
“We’re very blessed to have such good employees,” Peterson said. “We do have a reputation for providing compassionate care, and we also found out that most people would prefer to get their health care in a place where somebody cares not only for them but about them. And so we took that information and kind of folded it together.”
With their information in hand, Baxter Health began to develop its new name and logo, which captures the hospital’s history in Baxter County and the compassionate care its employees have provided for over 60 years.
They also developed a new mission and purpose statement, as well as a new set of values called “Baxter Pulse,” which are meant to capture the soul of Baxter Health as a brand.
For the mission statement, Baxter Health went with “Compassionate care beyond measure” to show that compassion for its patients is the place from which all of its operations begin.
That mission statement is driven further by its newly defined purpose to “champion access to compassionate, high-quality care by remaining independent, strategically comprehensive, and community-focused.”
“That’s what we want to be known for. It’s why we’re here,” said Peterson. “I believe, personally, that’s why everybody who works in healthcare gets into healthcare. They want to help people, and it’s always so amazing.”
With its new mission and purpose in mind, Baxter Health further defined its values under “Baxter Pulse.”
These values include:
Make Every Interaction Meaningful
“Act with a servant’s heart. Our culture is something that we grow through action, not words. Let’s be intentional in our actions to serve those around us. We make it a point to say hello, know patients and colleagues by name, and ask how they’re doing. This is the Baxter Difference.“
Be Extraordinary Everyday
“We’re always on the lookout for opportunities to be exceptionally unique, authentic, and uncommon with our actions. When we engage, we engage fully. When we act, we act with intention. Everything we do, we do wholeheartedly. Our extraordinary efforts leave patients and families with memories they’ll cherish forever.“
Provide Service Beyond Measure
“We use every moment as an opportunity to leave an indelible mark on our patients and each other. It’s our promise to one another to faithfully seek out new knowledge and perspectives that challenge our embedded views on health and wellness. Only by embracing these experiences (and sometimes setbacks) can we arrive at a deeper level of understanding and more informed relationships with our patients.“
Comprehensive Care By Design
“We aren’t just one hospital but a family of interconnected healthcare facilities and providers that offers head-to-toe compassionate care. For every patient who walks through our doors, we have a doctor or specialist who’s prepared to win trust, treat illness, and deliver them back to ordinary life. Treatment could start here and now – or a few counties over. At Baxter, where there’s a diagnosis, there’s direction.“
Treat Everyone Like Family
“We are a huge part of the communities we serve, and likewise, they are a huge part of us. Therefore, it’s critical that we remain community-minded in all that we do. Whoever needs our care, be they a neighbor, old friend, or someone just passing through town, let’s treat them like family. Providing compassionate care that feels like home.“
Always Take Ownership
“While compassion and excellence are the heart and soul of our organization, pride is the backbone. Every day, we live up to our Magnet status and stellar reputation by putting the Baxter Difference into action. We lend a hand when help is needed. We show leadership in times of uncertainty. We make patients, colleagues, and communities better – simply by being Baxter.“
Independent With A Purpose
“Because we’re independently operated, we are able to act quickly, decisively, and in the best interest of our staff, patients, and surrounding community. Less red tape. More open doors. No unnecessary corporate mandates. Only compassionate care. Trust and transparency is simply how we operate. In good faith, and for the greater good of our Baxter family.“
Think As Many, Act As One
“We share a common purpose: to significantly affect every life we touch in a meaningful and positive way. Our ability to sustain this impact is derived from our commitment to working in the same direction as one. Though we’re each accountable for our own responsibilities, each of us must recognize our role and reliance on each other in achieving operational excellence. Through this interdependence, we’ll not only work harder, but also work smarter.“
While the hospital and its employees are celebrating their rebranding, some community members have been concerned with the hospital’s financial health following Peterson’s admittance that the hospital had been facing a financial downturn over the past few months during an interview on KTLO.
That admittance led to rumors that the hospital was on the market for sale. The Observer can report that those rumors are false, with Peterson affirming that the hospital will continue to maintain its independence by being fiscally responsible with its money.
In the spirit of fiscal responsibility, Peterson said the new branding rollout, which are historically expensive events for major corporations and businesses, will be done over a multi-year period. This will allow Baxter Health to save money and deplete its supply of Baxter Regional Medical Center branded office supplies before replacing the used products with the new branding.
That money-saving philosophy will also roll over to the hospital’s signage, which will not be replaced until it falls within the hospital’s regular replacement schedule. The only exception will be at the joint cancer research facility between Baxter Health and Highlands Oncology Group. That building, once completed, will boast Baxter Health’s new branding.
The total cost of rebranding is expected to be less than $1 million.
“We want the communities we serve to understand we have not sold. This change is to simplify things for patients and to migrate towards a more inclusive health system for the 11 counties that we serve. The new mission, purpose, values, and branding will begin rolling out immediately; however, the entire transition is expected to take three to five years in order to be financially responsible,” said Barney Larry, VP/Business Development and Executive Director, Baxter Regional Hospital Foundation.