Engaging Community Stakeholders to Build Advocates


As a critical access hospital, residents of South Central New Mexico depend on Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center for their health care needs. Because many of the hospital’s clinics and specialty practices operate under different names, however, patients were often unaware these services were associated with their local community hospital and supported by its resources. Many patients opted to travel to larger cities for certain treatments instead of seeking specialized care closer to home.

Strategy and Tactics

To help build awareness of the hospital’s full scope of services and generate support for local health care, Gerald Champion’s leadership turned to Lovell Communications to develop a campaign to enhance the hospital’s brand and position it as the community’s provider of choice.

Working directly with the hospital’s executive leaders and marketing team, Lovell helped Gerald Champion deploy Elevations, a proprietary program developed by our firm to help hospitals share their story—during both good times and challenges—with their local community. The program is designed to engage local business and civic leaders to become advocates for the hospital and drive community preference and support for local health care.

Lovell developed a detailed week-by-week plan to help Gerald Champion identify key attendees, coordinate event logistics, create materials and engage in ongoing communication efforts with participants.

Execution and Results

Gerald Champion originally planned to host six community outreach events at the hospital. But, as community leaders began sharing their experience with their peers, several local organizations invited the hospital to present to their groups. By the end of the 12-week campaign, Gerald Champion had presented to nearly 200 individuals representing 15 community organizations.

  • 93% of attendees “completely agreed” the event provided a greater understanding of the hospital’s services and commitment to quality
  • 96% “agreed” or “completely agreed” they would choose Gerald Champion for their health care needs and/or recommend it to others
  • 186 new individuals subscribed to the hospital’s monthly email newsletter

As an additional bonus, the community’s increased awareness and support helped the hospital’s auxiliary raise $100,000 to support facility renovations.

“Lovell provided us with everything we needed to plan and execute these events to engage with members of our community. They developed the messaging, the presentation materials and even designed the invitations,” said Lillie Lewis, director of marketing for Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center. “Because of this program, local support for our hospital is stronger than ever. Our volumes are increasing, our staff is growing and we are opening new clinics to support the community’s needs.”

Ultimately, our efforts with Karmanos brought their brand to an audience of more than 112 million in our first year.