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A closing rural hospital with strategic communications

Updated: Mar 22, 2021

The Challenge: A major healthcare system was about to purchase a rural hospital that had served its community for decades. With the sale would come the closure of the hospital as services were transferred to the healthcare system’s nearby hospital. Not only was the community going to lose its hospital, hundreds of employees would lose their jobs.

CMC was hired by the hospital’s legal team to help communicate to employees, coordinate communications with the purchasing hospital’s leadership, and manage the inevitable hometown and regional media coverage the situation would draw.

The Strategy: CMC was involved from the first employee meeting until the day the hospital closed four months later. Key to the success of the project was preparation and coordination between multiple teams and interests. Working with hospital leadership and the legal team, we anticipated questions employees would ask and searched out the answers. We coordinated with leadership from all parties on messaging, timelines and public statements. We managed media requests and responses, and helped with the numerous tasks associated with a hospital closure ranging from shutting down websites and social media to storing hospital records.

The Outcome: The team at the rural hospital was prepared for multiple scenarios, armed with talking points, press releases and media statements as needed. Through careful planning before the announcement and nimble adjustments during the community’s reaction, the hospital’s leadership had the expert help it needed, when it needed it.

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