5 healthcare marketing execs share the message they'd like patients to hear as 2020 concludes

The pandemic brought healthcare marketers a host of new responsibilities in 2020, among them communicating reliable information on the novel coronavirus, encouraging COVID-19 safety protocols and assuring patients it's safe to return to routine care.

Here, five healthcare marketing executives share the one message they would like to give their patients as 2020 comes to a close.

Editor's note: Responses have been edited lightly for clarity and style.

Laurie Ellison, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Children’s Mercy Kansas City (Mo.): All parents have been through the wringer this year. Parents of ill or injured children have been especially challenged. We want to assure the parents of our pediatric patients that we are here for them, and that we have taken every imaginable step to keep them safe in order to continue to provide their child with the exceptional care they've come to expect from Children's Mercy Kansas City. And, importantly, we want to encourage parents to maintain their child's immunizations, well checks and other medical care even through these most challenging times.

Sandra Mackey, chief marketing officer, Bon Secours Mercy Health (Cincinnati): Thank you! This year has been a year like no other as the world has battled the global COVID-19 pandemic. Through it all, scores of healthcare providers have been on the front line compassionately caring for our communities. Thank you for the kind words of support and appreciation you've sent to our Bon Secours Mercy Health care teams for their tireless efforts.

Suzanne Hendery, chief marketing and customer officer, Renown Health (Reno, Nevada): To every single Renown patient, thank you for trusting us to provide you safe and exceptional care through the COVID-19 pandemic. Your loyalty and support has made all the difference. Thank you for keeping yourself safe, keeping your scheduled appointments, trusting us with your procedures and surgeries and for the many cards, letters and donations of support for our frontline health care heroes. You have been amazing!

Catherine S. Harrell, chief marketing officer, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System (Baton Rouge, La.): We’ll always bring you the best of what we have to give. Caring for you and about you is deep in our bones. This year has been like no other, requiring unprecedented innovation, patience, grit, determination and, yes, kindness. This year has also brought a common purpose at the biggest scale. In our organization we see each person, never simply the patient. And everyone has a story — every one of our patients and also every one of our team members. We’ve come together to conquer this pandemic and we’ll use what we've learned to continue making healthcare better so lives and communities can be better.

Ken Chaplin, chief marketing officer, Cancer Treatment Centers of America (Boca Raton, Fla.): Delays in cancer screenings and diagnostic tests have experts fearing a surge of new cancer cases in the coming years. We urge patients to talk to their doctor sooner rather than later about scheduled screening procedures and to address symptoms they may be having. We have learned how to take care of patients in the era of COVID in a way that reduces the risk to the point where we can continue to deliver cancer care.

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