Rowan Regional Medical Center gets new name

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 27, 2013

SALISBURY — Rowan Regional Medical Center has a new name.
As part of a plan to unify all of its health care facilities under one umbrella name, parent company Novant Health announced Tuesday that Rowan Regional will become Novant Health Rowan Medical Center.
All 13 Novant hospitals will adopt the brand name “Novant Health,” along with a facility locator. The brand roll-out begins April 17.
Names of Novant facilities like physician practices also will change to align to the brand strategy.
Along with the brand launch, the system will adopt a new logo.
“Our community will first notice a new visual look,” Dari Caldwell, president of Rowan Regional, said in a statement. “But it is important to note that this is more than a logo change. This is the next step in our promise to make health care remarkable for our community.”
Novant Health has facilities in four states. The strategic branding plan will tie together multiple locations across the region, the company said.
“It’s good that they left ‘Rowan’ in the name,” said James Freeman, former chief executive officer of the hospital and executive director of its previous parent company, Rowan Health Services. “That identifies the hospital as belonging to the people in this community, as opposed to someplace else.”
In 1995, Rowan Memorial Hospital became Rowan Regional Medical Center. When Rowan Regional merged with Novant in 2008, the hospital was not required to change its name.
But in 2010, Bruce Jones, chairman of the hospital board, pushed to include “Presbyterian” in the moniker. At the time, the hospital board said surveys indicated patients perceived Presbyterian Health Care, also a Novant hospital, to be of greater quality.
Rowan Regional decided to keep its name after surveying residents, employees and patients. Although many consumers indicated that incorporating “Presbyterian” would improve their perception of Rowan, the results were not strong enough to prompt the board to change the name.
Tuesday’s name change was handed down from Novant’s corporate board. Local trustees had no say, but Jones, who’s still a board member, said trustees agreed with the change.
“I think it’s extremely positive,” he said.
Board members were pleased with the decision to keep “Rowan” in the name, Jones said, while incorporating the strong Novant brand.
“Novant has such a tremendous reputation,” he said.
Jones said the name change accomplishes what he set out to do in 2010.
Formed in 1997, Novant Health has grown from four to 13 acute care facilities and more than 100 outpatient facilities and 350 physician practices.
Since the merger with Rowan Regional, Novant Health has committed more than $250 million to improving the hospital, the company said.
Rowan Regional and other Novant hospitals rank among the best in the state in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s value-based purchasing program, which scores hospitals on quality measures and patient satisfaction data.
“In the past five years, we have become a better health partner for you and your family through our merger with Novant Health,” Caldwell said.
Rowan Regional has elevated quality and safety for patients and stabilized its financial status while growing services, expanding access to care and recruiting physicians, Caldwell said.
During the past several years, Novant has initiated a series of strategic steps to improve care.
The health care system launched an award-winning handwashing campaign in 2005. Within three years, MRSA infections fell by 63 percent.
Since September 2010, Novant facilities have screened all admitted patients for type 2 diabetes. This “search and rescue” program has diagnosed nearly 5,000 people with previously undiagnosed diabetes.
Novant has started offering real-time online appointment scheduling, electronic visits and collaborative patient-clinician care.
“We have made significant progress to transform health care, but the next, logical step in our journey is to tie our system together,” said Carl Armato, president and CEO. “By unifying under the Novant Health brand, we are signaling to our patients and our communities that whether you seek care at a Novant Health facility in North or South Carolina — or Northern Virginia or Georgia — you should expect an unmatched experience including access when and where our patients want it at an affordable price.”
In a first ever system-wide employee leader meeting in February, nearly 1,000 Novant leaders met in Charlotte to be trained on the strategic plan.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.