Project Description

Background

Mid-Columbia Medical Center is a nationally recognized hospital offering a wide array of healthcare services that blend state-of-the-art technologies with compassionate and customized care to residents in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge. As the first Planetree hospital in the nation, MCMC provides patients with personalized treatment plans uniquely crafted to each person’s intellectual, environmental and emotional concerns in addition to their physical needs. MCMC onboarded Kevin/Ross in fall of 2019 as its full-service public relations agency to support a wide variety of areas including public relations strategy, service line marketing, social media, advertising and community outreach. As the outbreak of the coronavirus began to shift the hospital’s usual course, it was “all hands on deck” at Kevin/Ross to coordinate MCMC’s COVID-19 communications needs.

Action

  • Established overall strategies that guided how the hospital communicated with its various internal and external constituents during the course of the pandemic.
  • Promptly developed a COVID-19 FAQ page and wrote other critical messaging on the MCMC website to inform the community as to how the hospital was responding to the virus, including communication on:
    • Clinic closures
    • Changes in visitor policy
    • Postponement of non-urgent elective surgeries and wellness visits
    • COVID-19 drive-thru testing
    • Introduction of telemedicine
    • Masking policy
    • Patient rights
    • Patient reassurance messages
    • Safety precautions
  • Routinely updated the COVID-19 page and various copy on the website over the course of the pandemic to reflect its ongoing and dynamic nature, as well as the hospital’s evolving response.
  • Rewrote and redesigned website navigation to include the launch of the hospital’s first Telemedicine services and developed copy to educate patients on Telemedicine and smoothly transition them into virtual doctor’s visits.
  • Conceived and wrote ongoing social media posts regarding which services remained operating, were temporarily closed and/or underwent changes through the course of the pandemic.
  • Prepared all responses to various news media inquiries about MCMC’s emergency response strategy, patients who test positive for COVID-19 and employee job reassignments.
  • Heavily promoted MCMC’s Universal Masking Policy and coordinated MCMC’s “Wear a Mask” messaging in concert with three other local hospitals. Tactics included joint press release, Facebook posts and print advertisement.

As the evolving pandemic continues to create new communication challenges, Kevin/Ross continues to support MCMC in this effort, as well as helping to bring back patients with reassuring messages that reiterate patient safety as a top priority.

In addition, during this time MCMC completed construction on its immediate care center bringing a much-needed service to the local community. MCMC Immediate Care is the region’s first and only center of its kind serving patients with medical needs that are not life-threatening but cannot wait for a doctor’s visit. Kevin/Ross supported the launch of the center with communication tactics designed to reach patients, staff, physicians, board members, local media and the broader community.

MCMC Mask