Log in


  • 05/10/2019 1:10 PM | Emily Lowther (Administrator)

    The MHSCN Awards of Excellence program is returning refreshed for 2019! The awards honor exceptional efforts in health care strategic planning, marketing, public relations and communications from the past year.

    For this awards cycle, we have simplified the award categories and added some new honors recognizing health care communicators, marketers and public relations professionals.

    Award submissions will be accepted in three categories:

    • Best in Public Relations, Marketing and Communications: This category honors any marketing, public relations or communications project or effort substantially conducted in 2018. Examples include marketing campaigns; media efforts; video series; print or digital publications; and other communications, marketing or public relations work products. MHSCN members and nonmembers are eligible to submit entries in this category.
    • MHSCN Professional of the Year: This new category honors a health care communicator, marketer or public relations professional who has demonstrated exceptional skills and leadership in health care communications, marketing or public relations. To be considered for the award, the nominee must be a MHSCN member.
    • MHSCN Rising Star: This new category honors a health care communicator, marketer or public relations professional in the first five years of their career in health care communications, marketing or public relations who demonstrates strong abilities and growing expertise in health care communications. To be considered for the award, the nominee must be a MHSCN member.

    The awards submission period opens May 20 and closes June 28. Submissions will be collected online.

    The entry fee is $50 for the first submission and $25 for each additional submission from the same individual.

    Awards will be presented at the MHSCN Fall Conference.

    Orientation webinar on May 22

    MHSCN is offering an orientation webinar for members interested in learning more about the awards, categories and entry process. The webinar will be held Wednesday, May 22, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.

    To sign up for the webinar, RSVP to Emily Lowther, MHSCN board member. Access information will be distributed to attendees in advance of the webinar.

  • 05/08/2019 1:15 PM | Anonymous

    Cassi wears a tuxedo t-shirt as she interacts with two MHSCN members who are showing off some prizes.I left our Spring Conference, which we coined Deep Dive Into Digital, feeling inspired and excited. We had a room chock-full of like-minded professionals, sharing with and learning from each other. I thank all of you who were able to be there with us!

    A wise man, also known as your current MHSCN President, Paul Fiore, once told me (and the room of Spring Conference attendees) that you should not share all you learned from a conference right away. Instead, slowly leak your knowledge, so as to seem very intelligent in the eyes of your boss and/or leadership team.

    In the spirit of slowly leaking the nuggets I picked up, here are some standout moments for me from our Spring Conference:

    There is No Such Thing as Hospital Marketing

    We're no longer "hospital marketers," we're just marketers. According to Chris Bevolo, and echoed by those who have been in the health care marketing biz for a long time, hospital marketers have come a long way, from merely promoting providers and services to truly driving business and owning the customer experience.

    More and more, we're using data to drive our decisions and really getting to know our customers. We're relevant and important to have at the table, not only within our organizations but within our communities.

    Media Landscape is Changing, Quickly!

    The media landscape is changing and we better make sure we're ready for it. Whether we like it or not, traditional media is on its way out and we're living in a digital age. With new data platforms and tools, we're able to customize communications and be relevant to each individual.

    According to Michelle Fitzgerald of Brew, our patients will come to expect that we know them and will expect us to deliver the right information at the right time and right place. This is an opportunity to start treating our customers not as transactions but as people, by putting them at the center of their health care experience.

    Retargeting is All Fine and Dandy, but Watch Your Back

    Retargeting, or remarketing, means getting back in front of users that you've already reached. The challenge with using retargeting in health care is this little law known as HIPAA and these bits of personal data know as PHI, or personal health information.

    Being mindful of the laws and required disclosures is critical when executing a retargeting strategy. You should always engage your legal team prior to launching a retargeting campaign.

    SHSMD Resources Abound

    With our recent affiliation with Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development (SHSMD), we've unlocked some pretty cool resources for our members, including a wealth of SHSMD U webcasts, group rates for SHSMD U Online Course and discounts on national conferences and networking events.

    Penguins are Pretty Cool

    The Como Zoo venue allowed conference attendees a meet and greet with Cupid the African Penguin as part of the post-conference social hour, on none other than National Penguin Day. (Look it up; it's a real thing.)

    Cupid charmed us with his waddle and donkey-like braying sound. The MHSCN board even dressed for the occasion with our tuxedo t-shirts.

    Board members dressed in tuxedos pose next to Cupid the penguin at Como Zoo.

    We look forward to creating more memorable moments at future MHSCN events, including a networking event we're planning for July. Watch your emails for details soon!

    In the spirit of knowing your customers and using data to drive decision-making, I ask that you participate in this VERY brief survey, asking your opinion about the potential for a 'destination' conference for this fall.

    In closing, I want to thank my fellow board members for all they did for the spring conference and do for the organization each and every day. As I looked around the room at the spring conference, I felt proud to be part of MHSCN. 

    Seeing all the pieces and parts of the Spring Conference in motion made me very proud to be a MHSCN board member. If you have any speck of interest in joining this great group of folks, please reach out.

    A professional headshot of Cassi

    Cassi Chrzanowski
    MHSCN President-Elect

  • 04/03/2019 6:48 AM | Deleted user

    For movie buffs, this was the famous line from the 1996 film Jerry Maguire, delivered by the title character, played by Tom Cruise, to Dorothy, played by Renee Zellweger. It’s the line that melted the heart of every woman in the audience.

    At the same time, it had them secretly asking, why can’t my significant other be more like Tom Cruise? Sorry, honey, that’s Mission Impossible.

    For those of us on the client side of healthcare, you complete me also relates to how we think of agency relationships that bring specialized expertise, capabilities and resources to some of our most critical projects.

    Building Effective Agency / Client Relationships

    It seems so simple. Select an agency that has the expertise you’re looking for and a good track record and set them loose on your project. If it were only that easy.

    Like any relationship, it’s complicated. Stuff happens, and a variety of dynamics get in the way of establishing the partnership you had hoped for.

    I’ve personally had great agency partners that have knocked projects out of the park, and others I wish I could forget – and never will.

    So, what makes one engagement with an agency work so well and others fail miserably?

    Well, we’re going to dive into this topic with an expert panel discussion at our spring conference, A Deep Dive into Digital on April 25th at Como Zoo.

    We’re assembling a panel of both agency and client representatives to talk about their experiences and uncover the keys to establishing and maintaining successful engagements. They’ll also discuss how to get a relationship and project back on track after a setback.

    Our panel will be moderated by Angela Churchill, former MHSCN president and principal at Red Sea Glass Consulting.

    Panel members include:

    • Carrie Young, Padilla
    • Katie Johnson, Lake Region Healthcare
    • Dan Altenbernd, H2M
    • Ryan Davenport, Daven PR

    This group will have you at hello, and definitely show you the money in establishing and maintaining a great agency/client relationship.

    As always, thanks for your interest and support of MHSCN, and I hope to see you at the conference.

    Paul Fiore

    2019 MHSCN Board President

  • 03/27/2019 4:47 PM | Anonymous

    New benefit only for MHSCN members!

    Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development of the America Hospital Association

    The Minnesota Health Strategy and Communications Network (MHSCN) is now an affiliate of the Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development (SHSMD), a national voice and resource for our profession.

    MHSCN members benefit from this affiliation in many ways.

    Learn more about SHSMD!

    Join MHSCN now!

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

    Margo O'Hara

    Photo of Megan O'Hara

    Senior Director


    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 | Anonymous
    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 | Deleted user

    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

    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 | Deleted user

    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

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software