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  • 03/02/2019 8:09 PM | Rebecca Kindall Nelson (Administrator)

    Margo O'Hara

    Photo of Megan O'Hara

    Senior Director

    Padilla

    Email Margo

    Margo O'Hara is the newest member of the MHSCN Board of Directors. She joins Ryan Davenport and Brenda Jaye on the Member Engagement and Professional Development Committee.

    Margo has more than 10 years experience in healthcare communication, representing clients that range from large scale public health systems to local community based hospitals, medical device companies, payors and specialty services. Her work in those areas has spanned brand awareness, crisis and critical issues, public and media relations, certificate of need reviews and product launches.

  • 03/01/2019 9:57 AM | Cassi Chrzanowski (Administrator)
    Cassi Chrzanoski

    I'm excited to announce that MHSCN has been formally named an affiliate of the Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development, or as we like to call them SHSMD (pronounced "shish-med"). There are so many benefits to being affiliated with this national association, and we will be highlighting them in the coming months.

    MHSCN will still operate and be organized as it always has been, but our affiliation with SHSMD will offer additional benefits and resources to our members.

    As an affiliate of SHSMD, MHSCN members are entitled to:

    SHSMD member rate ($200 discount) for 2019 SHSMD Connections

    This annual conference is being held in Nashville in September. Many of the details are still TBD, but this is one to keep on your radar and put in your education budget.

    Free registration to all SHSMD U Webcasts
    The member survey we conducted last year revealed that you were seeking more educational programming. Access to this resource provides a wealth of programming, including webinars, webcasts, online courses and more.

    If you’re not a current member of MHSCN, you may want to become one now. Many of the affiliation's benefits will be for members only. Members benefit from a more robust local professional association with access to valuable national resources -- and no increase in membership fees or event costs.

    Penguin looks at taking a Deep Dive into DigitalTo hear more about our affiliation, be sure to attend our spring conference, Deep Dive Into Digital: A MHSCN Conference at Como Zoo on April 25th. The conference opens with an overview of SHSMD, and includes an exciting line-up of speakers. Our keynote speaker, Chris Bevolo, will sharing findings from his new book, Joe Public III: The End of Hospital Marketing, outlining new imperatives for hospital and health system marketers.

    You won't want to miss this conference. I hope to see you there!

    Cassi Chrzanowski

    MHSCN President-Elect

  • 02/12/2019 8:01 PM | Paul Fiore (Administrator)

    As the MHSCN Board of Directors sets off on our 2019 activities, our sole purpose is to serve you – our members.

    The board spent significant time in the later part of 2018 finalizing a 3-year Strategic Plan, with the goals of expanding the offerings in education, networking, professional development and access to relevant resources to help you succeed in your career.

    These efforts were led by our 2018 board president, Katie Johnson. Katie deserves a tremendous amount of credit and our thanks. She’s a great leader, and her efforts as MHSCN president will benefit all of us in the health care marketing and communications field for years to come.

    As we put the strategic plan into action, we have exciting news to share about new resources and upcoming activities.

    Society for Health Strategy and Market Development (SHSMD) Affiliation

    Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development

    After a tremendous amount of work last year (led by Katie Johnson and Christy Valiant), we’re pleased to formally announce we have now been named an Affiliate Chapter by SHSMD. This will provide additional resources for our MHSCN members, including access to enhanced industry content, educational resources and discounts for online courses and their annual conference – SHSMD Connections.

    The SHSMD content and discounts will only be available to MHSCN members, so if you haven’t joined yet, now’s the time.

    SHSMD is compiling a full list of 2019 benefits to Affiliate Members, and we soon will communicate those benefits to you.

    MHSCN Spring Conference - April 25

    You asked for more digital marketing content and we’re happy to accommodate.

    Registration is now open for our April 25th conference, Deep Dive Into Digital - A MHSCN Conference at Como Zoo is almost entirely dedicated to digital.

    We’re please to announce that our keynote speaker is Chris Bevolo, who will present key insights from his book, Joe Public III: The End of Hospital Marketing. All conference attendees will receive a copy of his book!

    After 25+ years in this field, I’m convinced there is no more rewarding industry to build a marketing career. There is an abundance of talented, caring and FUN people in our business.

    It’s all about you, so make this the year you engage with MHSCN, access great education and resources, and add some new people to your network. We’ll offer plenty of activities and opportunities to have fun along the way!

    Paul Fiore

    2019 MHSCN Board President

  • 01/29/2019 8:17 PM | Rebecca Kindall Nelson (Administrator)

    The Minnesota Health Strategy and Communications Network thanks these members for adding their expertise and energy to the MHSCN Board of Directors:

    Interested in joining our great group of volunteer board members? Email Katie Johnson

    Cory Docken

    photo of Cory Docken

    Director of Client Service

    Bluespire Marketing

    Email Cory

    Cory studied communications and graphic design at Minnesota State University. He worked for agencies such as Carmichael Lynch, Fallon and BI Worldwide creating brand identity systems and marketing communications for companies such as Boston Scientific, Medtronic and Cargill, earning numerous awards in the process from Print Magazine and GDUSA.

    At Bluespire, Cory is responsible for guiding clients to modern marketing solutions, leveraging his 20 years of experience in digital strategy development, custom software development and marketing communications, he is passionate about driving digital transformation in healthcare and a true client advocate. 

    Stephanie Holden

    photo of Stphanie Holden

    Chief Marketing and Development Officer

    River's Edge Hospital

    Email Stephanie

    Stephanie holds a Masters of Arts Degree in Health and Human Services Administration from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and Bachelor of Science Degrees in English and Mass Communications from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

    Prior to working at River’s Edge Hospital, Stephanie worked for more than 15 years at the editor and publisher of three community newspapers. Since joining River’s Edge, Stephanie has taken special interest in Strategic Planning and Patient Experience.

    Stephanie is a member of the St. Peter Lions Club, the St. Peter Chamber Diplomats and Chamber Board of Directors. She will be serving as the Chair of the St. Peter Chamber of Commerce board in 2019.

    Emily Lowther

    Communications Director

    Minnesota Hospital Association

    Email Emily

    Emily Lowther is a strategic communications and public relations professional with expertise in leadership counsel, writing and editing, media relations, marketing, internal communications and social media.

    As communications director for the Minnesota Hospital Association, she partners with MHA’s senior leadership team and staff to serve the association’s members, which include 142 nonprofit hospitals and health systems, and position MHA as a leader in health care policy and advocacy. Emily has spent her professional career in the public service sector.

    Prior to entering the health care arena at MHA, she served on the communications team at Minneapolis Public Schools for nearly eight years, where she led internal, external and crisis communications efforts.

  • 12/29/2018 4:25 PM | Katie Johnson (Administrator)

    Photo of Katie JohnsonLooking back on 2018, I can’t help but choose gratitude as the theme for this month’s column, which is also my last as your chapter president.

    The health benefits of practicing gratitude are evidenced in study after study. Increased sense of well-being, reduced depression & anxiety, lowering risk of disease, and a brain flooded with feel-good chemicals like serotonin are just a few of the pay-offs of a grateful mindset.

    As I reflect on this year at MHSCN, a few things rise to the top of my gratitude list this year:

    • A remarkable team of board members: I am grateful for the time and talent these people share to make the wheels of MHSCN spin. They are talented, they are committed, and they are fun! Special thanks to Susan Haberle, Kristi Hamilton, Allison Bendickson and Valerie Anderson who are leaving after this year’s term expires. Thanks also to Mary Beth Schwarz and Erika Peterson who left the board earlier this year due to career changes. I’m a better person and a smarter professional thanks to knowing & working with you all.
    • Substantial content for our members: MSHCN delivered on its value promise in 2018 with “Engage! Influence! Inspire!” spring conference & awards; Networking events including a Job Transition Panel, Walk & Talk at Lake Nokomis and the Network & Nosh Breakfast at Bluespire; and the “Adventures in Healthcare Marketing & PR” fall joint conference held in the Wisconsin Dells with WHPRMS and ISHMPR.
    • Strong direction for MHSCN’s future. We worked hard to complete a new strategic plan this year and I’m grateful we can put a check in the “completed” box next to that task. It’s a solid plan built on the feedback you provided us in last year’s member survey. I’m excited to work together to put it into action in 2019.

    I know without a doubt that incoming president, Paul Fiore, will continue to advance the MHSCN mission to advance the success, professional development, effectiveness, and visibility of Minnesota’s healthcare marketing, communications, public relations and strategy professionals.

    In closing, I know that the difficulties of life are easy to list, especially in healthcare these days. They come to mind one after the other without much effort. My hope is that our gifts of good fortune, both personally and professionally, would be just as easy to tally and my parting challenge is to build a daily gratitude practice into your life in 2019.

    Thank you for the opportunity to serve you this year, and my heartfelt wishes for an abundance of health and gratefulness in 2019.   

    Katie Johnson
    MHSCN president, 2018

  • 12/10/2018 7:15 AM | Paul Fiore (Administrator)

    As savvy communicators and marketers, we’re always looking for new tools and tactics to refine our plans and enhance our impact. Our Network and Nosh Breakfast event on November 13th at Bluespire Marketing provided several new planning and delivery tactics to add to our toolkit.

    Our presenters for this event were: Virginia Kafer, Healthcare Strategy Director from Bluespire Marketing; and Missy Voronyak, Director of Social Media and Influencer Engagement at W2O Group.

    The Patient Journey

    Virginia Kafer is the healthcare strategy director for Bluespire MarketingVirginia offered a great presentation titled, The Patient Journey, which included the formal sequence of events a healthcare consumer takes from diagnosis to treatment.

    She also covered the strategic framework to deliver more personalized messages and effectively manage delivery channels to impact your audience at various points along their decision-making process.

    Key take-aways from Virginia's presentation were:

    • Understand generational traits consumers possess in accessing and consuming information
    • Develop a thorough persona for your target audience
    • Overlay an empathy map to understand the emotional highs and lows over the course of the decision process
    • Develop a robust tactical plan to deliver targeted messages to your targets
    • Utilize marketing automation and drip campaigns to deliver messages and influence decisions

    Influencer Identification and Activation

    Missy Voronyak is director of social media and influencer engagement for W20 GroupMissy’s presentation, Influencer Identification and Activation provided a great overview of the benefits and process to initiate an influencer campaign.

    Judging by the audience response, not many of our attendees have utilized this strategy in healthcare, but many are giving it strong consideration.

    Missy Voronyak begins her presentation by introducing herself as marketing mama blogger, health care marketing professional with 15 years experience and food allergy advocate.

    Key take-aways from Missy's presentation were:

    • Identify the right influencers for your initiative
    • Determine the topics that resonate with influencers
    • Initiate and build relationships
    • Create opportunities for influencers to interact with your brand, product or idea
    • Develop campaigns to amplify influencers messages and content

    Excellent resources

    Virginia and Missy are clearly experts in these areas and would be excellent resources if these strategies fit your 2019 campaign plans.

    Look for more Network and Nosh networking events from MHSCN in early 2019.

    Paul Fiore
    MHSCN president-elect, 2018

  • 11/08/2018 12:29 PM | Katie Johnson (Administrator)
    Wrigley's DoubleMint gum wrapper

    Remember the Doublemint gum jingle?

    Double your pleasure. Double your fun. Double your delightment with Doublemint gum…

    MHSCN, WHPRMS and ISHMPR – the Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois chapters of marketing, communications and strategy professionals in healthcare – had an even better jingle for the 2018 Tri-State Conference:

    Triple your learning. Triple your fun. Triple your networking with Adventures in Healthcare…

    OK, maybe it's not quite as catchy, but rang true. By joining forces, we tripled the opportunities for communications, PR, marketing and strategy professionals to network, learn, and have fun. The affordable event packed the punch of a national conference without the travel time and expense.

    What did such triple value look like? Play the video below for a few snapshots of what I mean.

    Katie Johnson speaks from podium during conference.As I look back, I’m checking off my list of things I hoped to - and did - take home.

    • New connections to add to my “have you ever had to write/market/manage THIS situation?” list. 
    • Relationships with more local and regional vendors I can leverage to make my team more efficient and expand my resources for everything from creative design to strategic thinking and from CRM to data collection. 
    • Time to clear and quiet my brain. The noise in my head as I juggle priorities in this job can be deafening some days. Taking some time to spend a few days in a different setting was a welcome change. 
    • Laughter. It never fails. When I’m with colleagues like you, the similarities are greater than the differences. The shared experiences we uniquely understand evoked at least one good old belly laugh. 
    • Ideas to make me look smart. I found credence to my 2019 marketing plan with real data from relatable and credible sources. This was probably the highest value take-away. 

    Katie Johnson
    MHSCN president, 2018

  • 10/26/2018 8:55 AM | Katie Johnson (Administrator)

    stra·te·ger·y  /strəˈtējərē/

    1. strategy (chiefly used ironically or derisively).

    Many of us are thinking year-end thoughts of budgets and strategery. I’ve had an affinity for this word ever since it was unintentionally created. 

    After having attended MHSCN’s Adventures in Healthcare Tri-State Conference with WHPMRS and ISMPR in the Wisconsin Dells (well part of it anyway – thanks to United Airlines), and the SHSMD 2018 Connections Conference in Seattle last week, I have all kinds of new strategery swirling through my mind. 

    Here are a few takeaways from the conferences that stand out to me as I think about upcoming plans for MHSCN, my organization, and my role as a healthcare marketer. 

    1. Digital dominates.

    In his on-point closing keynote at the Tri-State Conference, Chris Bevelo outlined the “new imperatives” for healthcare marketers. #1 on the list – Digital Dominates. In his book, the chapter for the first imperative is actually titled “Digital Dominates (Duh).”

    While the importance of digital isn’t surprising, what was interesting to me is the 75/25 digital-to-traditional ratio he suggested as a benchmark for your marketing channels and assets. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got some work to do here.

    2.  Creativity is crucial.

    Not only in our marketing, communication & strategy work, but in our systems as a whole. The opening keynote at SHSMD18 was by Johnny Cupcake, entrepreneur and founder of the world’s first t-shirt bakery. You read that right; He doesn’t sell cupcakes, he sells t-shirts. While his presentation wasn’t health care focused, his insights are universal when it comes to creative thinking, brand loyalty, customer engagement and consumer experience.

    When you buy a t-shirt in his bakery, it won’t come in a bag, but in a donut box. It’s a walking billboard and an experience. It got me thinking about the things we package in healthcare and how we could wrap them up differently – bill statements or knee braces and arm slings, perhaps?

    3. Forget B2B and B2C, it’s all H2H.  

    Human to Human (H2H) experiences and connections are at the heart of healthcare. If we get too caught up in the day to day grind, we risk losing our connections with people as people. This was a recurring theme throughout both conferences. 

    Even as much as technology and data was emphasized, the underlying human element of our work must not be underestimated, and not just with our patients. Stop and look your colleagues in the eye. Pick up the phone or walk to office instead of sending that email or text. Human to human experiences like this have actually been linked to living longer

    4. We’re all in this together.

    I’m so grateful for the opportunity to attend conferences like these and network with people who share the same challenges and passions. If you weren’t able to attend either conference, I encourage you to dive into some online resources to challenge your thinking and inspire your planning. 

    SHSMD’s latest edition of Bridging Worlds is a great place to start. Or check out the Strategic Planning in Healthcare online course being offered through My SHSMD, the online member community for SHSMD members.

    If you’re not a SHSMD member yet, good news – part of MHSCN’s strategery for 2019 is SHSMD Chapter Affiliation, which will tie together more of our combined resources for marketing, communications, public relations and strategy professionals to help you shine.

    MHSCN strategery

    Speaking of your brilliant shine, if you’d like to share some of that light with MHSCN, we’re recruiting for a couple of open board seats starting in January 2019. We’ll have plenty of shorter commitment volunteer opportunities, too. 

    Watch for the full MHSCN Strategic Plan complete with new board structure, SHSMD affiliation, upcoming conference dates and more as year-end approaches. 

    In the mean time, shoot us an email if you want to join the fun and strategery going on at MHSCN.

  • 10/17/2018 3:58 PM | Paul Fiore (Administrator)

    Paul Fiore gains insight during the 2018 Tri-State Conference.Our industry is changing rapidly, with system consolidation, competition, price transparency, changing payment models, and data-driven decision making as some of the key driving forces.

    For healthcare marketing, communications, PR and strategy professionals, this means the roles we play are more important to our organization’s success than ever before, and the skill sets required to advance ourselves and our organizations are changing at hyper speed.

    Historically, our roles have included developing marketing plans, advertising executions, collateral material and internal communications, to name a few.

    But the evolving skill set of today’s (and tomorrow’s) marketing and communications professionals — driven by the needs of our organizations — involves a whole new set of skills.

    Seeking new expertise

    We must acquire expertise in a variety of areas, including (but certainly not limited to):

    • digital marketing tactics and how to effectively target our audiences;
    • customer relationship management (CRM) systems and marketing automation;
    • Google analytics and other analysis platforms;
    • embracing and understanding data sources and how to analyze data to our advantage;
    • website design, content creation, architecture and SEO;
    • customer experience analytics and management; and
    • demonstrating, in a meaningful way, return-on-investment (ROI). 

    After attending the Tri-State Conference: Adventures in Healthcare Marketing and PR, I drove home convinced that if we are to accept and embrace a new and vital role in our organizations, we must commit ourselves to change and continued advancement of our professional skills.

    Events, like this conference, help us share knowledge and ideas as a community and build our collective ability to respond to the challenges we face.

    We have other partners in this journey. The exhibitors and corporate sponsors of the conference, as well as our MHSCN sponsors, have deep expertise and insight into the challenges we face.  They can offer elegant solutions to help us achieve our objectives.

    Evolving our to-do list for professional development

    Book cover of The End of Hospital Marketing by Joe BeveloThe conference closed with a keynote presentation from Joe Public III: The End of Hospital Marketing. (A copy is on the way to my door from Amazon.)

    Chris presented key insights from the book, based on interviews with 12 of the top marketing innovators in our field. He explores the premise that hospital and healthcare marketing has finally arrived, and the best practices in our field have advanced to a level equal to other industries. In essence, great hospital marketing should simply be considered great marketing.

    Chris offered six new imperatives for marketing success:

    • digital dominates
    • marketing as a business driver
    • data-driven marketing
    • owning the patient experience
    • building “health” brands
    • low-threshold leadership and the willingness to adapt and change

    I came away from the conference with a long to-do list for professional development. And, fortunately, MHSCN is directing significant attention to helping our members acquire knowledge and master new skill.

    Wanted: Spring conference input

    In fact, we’re already talking about our Spring 2019 MHSCN conference. So, as we think about topic areas and speakers, I’m asking for your input. 

    If you have a content area that’s on your professional development to-do list, or a speaker you’d love to hear, send me an e-mail.

    Paul Fiore
    MHSCN president-elect, 2018

  • 06/22/2018 5:54 PM | Katie Johnson (Administrator)
    Katie's son and daughter jump off a dock and into a lake

    I realize summer has just begun, but given how short Minnesota summers are, this fall's Tri-State Conference will be here before you can say, “Go jump in the lake.”

    Registration is now open for the September 17-19 conference, and there’s no better time than right now to register. 

    Here are 10 solid reasons (in no particular order) you should block this time on your calendar before summer flies by:

    1. The Wilderness Resort. Our conference hotel is top notch and even has a destination spa. Need I say more?
    2. 12 breakout sessions + 2 keynotes = A lot of engaging content. We’ve hand-selected these high-caliber speakers and topics to help keep you current on the latest in healthcare marketing, PR, communications and strategy.
    3. An escape room. What better way to kick off a conference and get to know your peers than by attempting to solve an escape together? There will be bowling & pizza too, if that’s more your style.
    4. Me time. Taking time away from the office is about more than making you a better professional. It’s also crucial for maintaining a healthy YOU. Go ahead, book some me-time during the conference too. (See “destination spa” above!)
    5. Learn new stuff. Not just healthcare stuff either. As the linked article notes, learning trivia is good for your mental health. Did you know the Dells of the Wisconsin River, also called the Wisconsin Dells (from French dalles, or narrows), is a five-mile gorge noted for its scenic beauty, in particular for its unique Cambrian sandstone rock formations and tributary canyons?
    6. Waterparks. Duh. In case you hadn’t heard, Wisconsin Dells has the largest concentration of water parks in the world. Not the U.S. or North America – but the WORLD. P.S. The Wilderness Resort has eight waterparks.
    7. Goody Goody Gumdrops. With 1,000 different kinds of candy, it is the largest candy store in Wisconsin. The main store is in downtown Dells, but it also has a location in the Wilderness Resort.
    8. Build your network. Networking is a constant task and one that takes time and dedicated effort. With attendees from Minn., Ill. and Wis., this is a triple opportunity to establish and nurture long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with the people you meet.
    9. Free stuff from sponsors and exhibitors. Admit it, you can always use one more pen, can koozie or stress ball!
    10. Interactive, relevant and fun from start to finish. We are sure these three days will fly by and you’ll leave full of new energy and ideas to fuel you through the last quarter of 2018 and into the new year.

    So what are you waiting for? Registration is open online now. A full conference brochure is heading to mailboxes soon, so keep your eyes open for it, or print/view it here.

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