If your commute to work takes you past University Medical Center you might have noticed something different about the signs outside the building this week. That's because as of Monday the hospital has officially started going by a new name: The University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus.The new name is part of a rebranding strategy for UMC and University Physicians Healthcare. The former University Physicians Hospital also has a new name: The University of Arizona Medical Center – South Campus. Both hospitals are part of The University of Arizona Health Network, the first academic health network in the state of Arizona.
Employees and friends of The University of Arizona Health Network gathered for a brand launch event at McKale Memorial Center on Friday to celebrate the new name and preview new TV and radio ads, which began airing this week.
"This is an exciting moment for all of us at The University of Arizona Health Network," Karen Mlawsky, CEO of the network's Hospital Division, said during the event.
She said the new advertising campaign will reintroduce the organization's two hospitals and its other components to the community and help eliminate public confusion.
"This is our way of telling them exactly who we are and how we work together – how we are, in fact, stronger together," she said.
A 2010 integration between University Medical Center Corp. and University Physicians Healthcare resulted in the creation of The University of Arizona Health Network, which until now had gone by the temporary name "UA Healthcare." The University of Arizona Health Network includes the two hospitals, as well as their affiliated clinics, a health plan division that administers four health plans in the community and the medical practice for physicians from the UA College of Medicine – Tucson. The organization, led by interim President and CEO Jodi Mansfield, was created to support the clinical care goals of the UA College of Medicine. Its new red-and-blue logo reflects that relationship, said Michele Barnard, vice president for marketing and communications for The University of Arizona Health Network.
UA President Eugene Sander said at Friday's brand launch – which included appearances by UA cheerleaders, the pep band and Wilbur and Wilma Wildcat – the UA's partnership with The University of Arizona Health Network presents "an opportunity for all of us to work together on the main mission of the Health Network as well as the University of Arizona."
Steve Goldshmid, MD, dean of the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, said The University of Arizona Health Network will help support interprofessional education for doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals.
"Our medical students will continue to benefit from the essential training they receive at both The University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus and its South Campus. And now with all of us sharing the University of Arizona name, we can begin to communicate how we are unique as the state's first and only academic health network," he said.
"In addition to improved quality, patient satisfaction and efficiencies, we believe the new network will greatly benefit health research and education efforts of the University of Arizona," he said.
The new advertising campaign includes television, radio, print and billboard ads. Many of them feature actor Tony Plana, who played the dad in the ABC series "Ugly Betty," as a celebrity spokesman.
Six TV and radio ads played at Friday's event highlighted the organization's new name, its uniqueness as an academic medical center and its strengths in pediatrics and surgery, using the tagline "Academic medicine is smart medicine."
A new website for The University of Arizona Health Network also went live this week; uahealth.com is the new landing page with links to all of the organization's components.