KALAMAZOO — The rebranding of Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo follows a move by parent company Ascension Health to create a single brand identity for all of its hospitals and care centers.
Behind the move for the St. Louis, Mo.-based Ascension Health is a push to better connect and clinically integrate its 141 hospitals in 24 states. Ascension has 15 hospitals in Michigan, including Borgess — which takes on the name Ascension Borgess Hospital — and sister hospitals in Dowagiac and Plainwell.
Ascension Health, the largest Catholic health system in the U.S., wants to ensure that as customers move from one care provider and setting to another, they are well aware that their hospital and doctor are part of a much larger health system that provides care locally.
“They’ll know that all of the Ascension facilities are all Ascension. They know what they stand for. They know what an Ascension doctor is and they know what Ascension health care is,” said Gwen MacKenzie, the group’s senior vice president and Michigan market executive.
“We think it will be simpler and of more value to patients and consumers,” said MacKenzie, noting that all operations connected to the hospitals will take on the Ascension name as well. “We are more than hospitals. We’re doctors, we’re home care, we’re hospice, we’re durable medical equipment and all of those things, and we want to be sure our patients and consumers can connect that and know what it stands for and know what they can expect.”
Ascension Borgess Hospital was one of the first in the Ascension system to alter its name. Fourteen other hospitals, medical groups and other operations in Michigan under the Ascension banner also are rebranding, although final naming decisions are still to come for Borgess Pipp Hospital in Plainwell and Borgess Lee Hospital in Dowagiac.
Ascension is well aware of the need to retain iconic names for its hospitals that in some cases were founded more than a century ago and named after their founders, often by a major benefactor and family with a deep history in the community.
“You don’t want to diminish or eliminate that kind of rich legacy,” MacKenzie said.
Borgess has been part of Ascension Health since 1999. Ascension launched the rebranding push in Michigan and Wisconsin and will roll it out in other states in the months ahead.
“As we unite under one name, we will continue to draw from the strong service heritage we’ve built over the years in our community,” said Borgess Medical Center President Kathy Young. “At the same time, we’re signaling our strong connection with the best physicians and caregivers from across the entire Ascension system in 24 states and Washington, D.C., which enables us to provide high quality, affordable care with an enhanced experience for our patients, our providers and our community.”
Ascension Health is also a partner in Together Health, a collaboration with Livonia-based Trinity Health whose hospitals include Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids and Mercy Health Muskegon. Both of those hospitals took on a common brand in a rebranding effort a few years ago.