Community bemoans rebranding, says Atrium Health 'renamed to a buzzword'

Charlotte, N.C.-based Carolinas HealthCare System announced the organization's rebranding to Atrium Health last week. However, many community members have since voiced their opposition to the name, stating the change erases the health system's cultural ties to the area, among other issues, according to The Charlotte Observer.

Atrium Health's former brand, Carolinas HealthCare, was introduced in 1996. Executives at the time said the Carolinas HealthCare brand reflected the 40-hospital system's regional scope, the report states. Its previous brand name dated back to the 1940s.

While some community members have accepted the rebrand as just another symptom of the sweeping changes taking place across the region, others criticize the Atrium Health brand as too corporate-sounding, arguing the new brand is "as appealing as a fake Ficus" and elicits a "sad loss of a sense of place[,] renamed to a buzzword," according to The Charlotte Observer.

Atrium Health officials have contended the rebrand constituted an effort to convey the health system's strength and warmth, as well as being instantly recognizable. Officials noted they decided to keep the system's "Tree of Life" icon, though slightly updated, the report states.

However, some residents question the timing of the decision, as Atrium Health is in the midst of negotiating its proposed merger with Chapel Hill, N.C.-based UNC Health Care, which the organizations announced last year.

"Shame on Carolinas HealthCare System, now Atrium Health, for needlessly spending what will easily be millions of dollars changing signs, stationery, pens, and white coats — for a name change amidst negotiations that may very well create another name change," a resident wrote in a letter to the editor to The Charlotte Observer.

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