Blue Hill Memorial Hospital became Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital as part of the change, for example, and the system’s flagship hospital in Bangor became Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.
The hospital system shed its old name, Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, in part to send the message that an organization that started more than 25 years ago in Bangor had grown beyond eastern Maine.
A year later, the Northern Light Health name is becoming more recognizable across the state, according to surveys done by the system. But the widely noticed marketing initiative created tension in its first year, as doctors questioned how it would help them better serve patients and a credit rating agency singled out the rebrand as a “significant” cost to the 12,000-employee system as it looks to repay outstanding debts and borrow more money.
More than appearances
Northern Light is in the midst of a three-year rollout of its new brand, which has involved launching marketing campaigns with the new name and changing hospital and medical practice signs to include new names and the system’s new logo, which is meant to represent Maine’s 16 counties. Over the next year, hospital system leaders plan to focus on getting more staff on board with the new identity, they said.