#ThrowbackThursday: A Look Back at 25 Years in Healthcare Marketing & Branding

Dobies Healthcare Group 25 Year Anniversary logoIf you know me personally, then my enthusiasm for a ubiquitous trend like #ThrowbackThursday may seem out of character – but, then again, this is no ordinary Thursday. Later today, my team and I will graciously welcome many guests to our 25th anniversary celebration here at Dobies Healthcare Group.

As a company, we have been creating healthier brands for 25 years and counting. It has been an amazing journey so far, one we are very eager to continue because we know the best is yet to come. Right now, healthcare is filled with extraordinary potential. An industry long known for slow change is now on the cusp of rapid reinvention. As the centuries-old paradigm of sick care transforms into lifecare, industry leaders everywhere are taking action to create healthier populations – making it their mission to keep people healthy rather than just being there to treat them when they’re sick.

So, as I reflect on 25 years of doing what I love – what WE ALL love – today marks the ultimate Throwback Thursday. I’ve learned a lot over the years, and it’s striking to me how many lessons from a quarter-century ago are still relevant today, and how many are not.

For example, 25 years ago, the notion of publishing quality ratings was just getting started. Marketing was still viewed as a department like any other, and social media, of course, did not exist. Company culture was rarely discussed in the same sentence as brand and, perhaps most notably, it was unheard of to create a healthcare business model with consumers at the center of all strategic decisions and planning. Today, this approach, while fledgling, is taking hold across the industry – from rural critical access hospitals and local community health plans to large academic medical centers and national carriers. Even B2B companies and non-provider healthcare entities place a greater focus now on keeping people healthy, as they look to acquire new companies and partnerships that extend their brand promises in ways that make the most meaningful impact on the greatest number of lives.

Today, we work with clients all across the healthcare spectrum on these and many other strategies to help them revitalize their brands, amplify their share of voice and become market leaders. We have a formalized corporate social engagement strategy and encourage our clients to adopt a social purpose of their own. And through it all, we have championed our unique “strategy-first” approach to healthcare marketing and branding because that’s our superpower. We come to work every day to make a difference in how people think about health – that’s been our top driver every single day…for 25 years and counting.

On a personal note, I’d like to express my deepfelt thanks to all the clients, vendors, partners, employees, associates, freelancers and others I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years. I hope to see all of you at the celebration later today.

About the Author

Carol Dobies, CEO and Founder of Dobies Healthcare GroupCarol Dobies is the CEO and Founder of Dobies Healthcare Group, where she has been bringing healthcare brands to life for 25 years. Share your thoughts with her by tweeting @DobiesGroup or commenting on our Facebook page.

Dobies Healthcare Group Welcomes New Specialist in Content & Social Media

Photo of Lottie Staggs at Dobies Healthcare Group

Lottie Staggs, Healthcare Copywriter & Social Media Specialist

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Dobies Healthcare Group, a healthcare-specialized marketing, branding and advertising firm, continues to grow as the company celebrates its 25th year. Lottie Staggs joined the firm’s creative team this week as Copywriter and Social Media Specialist. In this role, Lottie will develop and manage on-strategy content across multimedia platforms, including print, web, social media, video and others.

Professionally trained in strategic communications, web and social media content development, Lottie has worked in multimedia content creation for the healthcare industry since 2013. Her knowledge of marketing and passion for healthcare come together to help clients build and promote their brands across a variety of channels, including print, web, social media and video. In addition to her writing skills, she is currently in the process of becoming UX Certified in Interaction Design by NN/g.

”Lottie brings the right mix of knowledge, talent and enthusiasm, and we are very happy to have her on our healthcare marketing team,” said Diane Morgan, Director of Content Development. “It’s clear she is passionate about connecting people to companies and providers that share a commitment to health, and I know she will do great things for our clients as well as our company.”

In her previous full-time position at Children’s Hospital Association (CHA), Lottie co-produced promotional videos and managed web content for Pediatric Learning Solutions, a division of CHA. She also assisted in communications planning and implementation for the division, ensuring each piece of marketing collateral met brand standards, goals and user needs.

Originally from Iowa, Lottie graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a bachelor of arts degree in communications and a minor in journalism. She has lived in Kansas City since 2013.

“I am so excited and pleased to be part of the team at Dobies Healthcare Group, a company that values hard work, strategy, and integrity and social purpose,” said Lottie. “The teamwide commitment to our mission is inspiring, and I’m eager to contribute to the high standards of excellence that Dobies Healthcare Group is known for.”

About Dobies Healthcare Group

Since 1992, Dobies Healthcare Group has offered highly specialized expertise in healthcare marketing strategy, branding and creative communications. Our Kansas City-based company serves the marketing and branding needs of the entire healthcare industry, from hospitals, health systems and payers to medical device manufacturers, associations and certifying boards. Together, we combine strategic marketing with creative communications to create healthier brands.

The Rise of Consumerism in Healthcare Calls for a New Strategic Platform

New Executive Briefing Explores the “Lifecare Model” for Health Systems and Health Plans

Kansas City, Mo. – June 20, 2017 – In a merging of the minds between strategy experts for health systems and health plans, Dobies Healthcare Group and HealthScape Advisors have co-authored a white paper called, “The Emerging Lifecare Model: How Consumerism is Driving Industry Collaboration Toward Health and Lifecare as a New Strategic Platform.”

The paper, which was released today, outlines four broad shifts in the rapidly evolving U.S. healthcare industry and discusses how these changes will lead to demand for a new model of care, which the authors call “lifecare.” In this innovative model, consumers and suppliers of comprehensive health services form collaborative partnerships – with each other and with other community-based organizations – to meet the continuum of consumer needs related to staying healthy over time, thereby creating healthier populations.

It is a platform strategy for healthcare – a seamless, single domain for consumers to access services across an intricately connected ecosystem of organizations that play a role in promoting physical, emotional/behavioral and even spiritual health. The paper’s authors suggest the collaborative lifecare platform strategy not only represents an opportunity to make a meaningful impact on individual and population health, it also paves the way for future success in today’s increasingly consumer-driven healthcare industry.

“Engaging people in their desire to remain healthy – beyond just treating them when they are not – is the newest requirement for sustainability,” said Julie Amor, Chief Strategy Officer at Dobies Healthcare Group. “Lifecare is about inspiring and supporting decisions that encourage healthy lives, which means the focus on health must put the consumer at the center, and extend far beyond traditional healthcare delivery and financing systems.”

From a consumer perspective, lifecare engages those with chronic and acute needs, as well as those who are healthy yet desire engagement to maintain a healthy lifestyle. From a supplier perspective, it engages traditional providers that represent services typically included in employer medical benefits, as well as those that provide services outside of typical medical benefits but cater to the growing demand of consumerism.

Going forward, leaders at Dobies Healthcare Group and HealthScape Advisors say companies must overcome the mindset that views organizations with similar missions as competitors to instead become collaborators, joining together on behalf of the consumer to provide community-based health and life services.

“Embracing a lifecare-centric model provides the opportunity for organizations to redefine their engagement model with consumers to create long-term sustainability,” said Arjun Aggarwal, Managing Partner at HealthScape Advisors.

The paper is available to download at dobies.com/lifecare.

About Dobies Healthcare Group

Since 1992, Dobies Healthcare Group has offered highly specialized expertise in healthcare marketing strategy, branding and creative communications. The Kansas City-based company combines strategic marketing with creative communications to build healthier brands across the entire healthcare industry, from hospitals, health systems and payers to medical device manufacturers, associations and certifying boards.

About HealthScape Advisors

HealthScape Advisors is a nationally recognized healthcare consulting enterprise specializing in bringing strategic actions and sustainable value to customers throughout the planning processes. The consulting firm utilizes an award-winning data analytics platform to support its network of industry relationships, enabling the company to provide superior market driven strategies and innovative problem-solving to all engagements.

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Media Contact:
Sam Carlson
Dobies Healthcare Group
scarlson@dobies.com
816.595.6731

Kansas Hospital Association Earns Gold Award for 2016 We CARE We VOTE Campaign

Healthcare Marketing Report Recognizes KHA with Healthcare Advertising Award

We CARE We VOTEAt Dobies Healthcare Group, we are proud to work with organizations all across the healthcare industry that share our passion for inspiring better, more informed decisions about health and contributing to improved quality of life for patients. One such client is Kansas Hospital Association.

Last week, Healthcare Marketing Report announced the winners of its 34th Annual Healthcare Advertising Awards, and Kansas Hospital Association received a gold award for its We CARE We VOTE Campaign in the Public Relations Program category. Of the nearly 4,000 entries received, only 367 entrants earned gold awards. As KHA’s strategic partner, Dobies Healthcare Group led the development of strategy and creative communication assets for the award-winning campaign.

The We CARE We VOTE campaign was a statewide initiative to empower and educate Kansas hospital and healthcare workers about legislative challenges facing Kansas hospitals in the 2016 election year. Designed to inform and inspire, We CARE We VOTE provided a comprehensive suite of materials for hospitals to use in rallying their physicians and employees – who represent 84,000 Kansans with professional interests in protecting patient access to healthcare – to understand the issues and cast their votes in the state primary and general elections.

The integrated campaign included more than a dozen materials ranging from an activation/communication plan to video and social posts, legislative outreach collateral, and more – all in full compliance with legal guidelines for hospital involvement in election-related activities. To engage Kansas healthcare workers, KHA distributed more than 200 campaign toolkits by mail to hospitals throughout the state and published a downloadable toolkit for members on its website. The online toolkit also linked to a list of candidates supported by KHA’s political action. The KHA-PAC’s candidate selections were based on local hospital input and candidate support for hospital-related issues.

KHA reports that three-quarters of its hospital members were actively engaged in getting out the vote. Candidates supported by the KHA-PAC won 70 out of 84 races, 26 of 34 Senate seats, and 44 of 50 House seats. By motivating thousands of Kansas hospital employees to make their voices heard at the polls, We CARE We VOTE contributed to the election of more moderate Kansas state officials, adding new strength to KHA’s broader legislative advocacy efforts for Kansas hospitals.

“We commend KHA for its substantial investment in the effort to improve access to healthcare for all Kansans by inspiring Kansas hospital employees to vote,” said Carol Dobies, CEO and Founder of Dobies Healthcare Group. “It was an honor to support KHA, as well as all Kansas hospitals and hardworking Kansas residents, by assisting with this campaign.”

This year’s Healthcare Advertising Awards will be distributed in June. View the full list of winners.

About Dobies Healthcare Group

Since 1992, Dobies Healthcare Group has offered highly specialized expertise in healthcare marketing strategy, branding and creative communications. The Kansas City-based company serves the marketing and branding needs of the entire healthcare industry, from hospitals, health systems and payers to medical device manufacturers, associations and certifying boards. Together, the experts of Dobies Healthcare Group combine strategic marketing with creative communications to create healthier brands.

About Kansas Hospital Association

The Kansas Hospital Association is a voluntary, non-profit organization existing to be the leading advocate and resource for members. KHA membership includes 212 member facilities, of which 126 are full-service, community hospitals. Founded in 1910, KHA’s vision is: “Optimal Health for Kansas.”

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Media Contact:
Sam Carlson
Dobies Healthcare Group
scarlson@dobies.com
816.595.6731

Dobies Healthcare Group Welcomes New Content Development Manager

Photo of Sam Carlson, Content Development Manager at Dobies Healthcare Group

Sam Carlson, Content Development Manager at Dobies Healthcare Group

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Dobies Healthcare Group, a healthcare-specialized marketing, branding and advertising firm, is enjoying continued growth in its 25th year, both inside and out. This week, Sam Carlson joined the creative team as the firm’s new Content Development Manager. Sam will help create and manage content for multimedia communications for the firm and its many healthcare clients.

“In our search to grow our content team, Sam rose to the top of several great candidates,” said Diane Morgan, Director of Content Development. “He understands the nuances of effective marketing communications and knows what it takes to engage people where they live, work and play.”

Sam brings more than eight years of experience in copywriting, editing and marketing communications, and he has specialized in healthcare content development since 2011. In his most recent role as Student Interest Communications Project Specialist for the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), he excelled at engaging consumers in all stages of the primary care workforce, from medical students to practicing physicians. He also helped elevate the organization’s online presence through strategic search engine optimization, social media and video content.

Prior to his work at AAFP, Sam served as a Copy Editor for Vance Publishing Corporation (now Farm Journal Media, Bobit Business Media and CCI Media). In 2007, after completing his bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in news and information from the University of Kansas, Sam returned to his hometown of St. Louis, Mo. to assist with the rollout of then-new EHR software at Mercy Hospital St. Louis. He has proudly called Kansas City home since 2008.

“It’s a privilege to join the healthcare marketing experts at Dobies Healthcare Group,” said Sam. “Working alongside our clients, I believe we can deliver content that will change the way people think about health, leading to improved care, better health outcomes and healthier lives.”

About Dobies Healthcare Group

Since 1992, Dobies Healthcare Group has offered highly specialized expertise in healthcare marketing strategy, branding and creative communications. Our Kansas City-based company serves the marketing and branding needs of the entire healthcare industry, from hospitals, health systems and payers to medical device manufacturers, associations and certifying boards. Together, we combine strategic marketing with creative communications to create healthier brands.

Dobies Healthcare Group Hires Strategic Marketing Expert

Maurine Kierl, PMP, Strategic Marketing Manager at Dobies Healthcare Group

Maurine Kierl, PMP, Strategic Marketing Manager

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Dobies Healthcare Group, a healthcare-specialized marketing, branding and advertising firm now entering its 25th year, is pleased to welcome Maurine Kierl, PMP, as Strategic Marketing Manager. In this role, Kierl will co-develop and manage strategic marketing plans and initiatives for the firm’s clients.

“This is a very exciting time in the healthcare industry, and smart, strategic planning is essential for success,” said Carol Dobies, CEO and Founder. “We are thrilled to start 2017 with added strength on our core strategy team, and it is our pleasure to welcome Maurine to our company.”

Kierl is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with more than 20 years of experience in marketing, strategic planning, project management and client relationship management. In her most recent role as Strategic Program Manager for the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), Kierl led strategic marketing, communications and rebranding initiatives targeted at healthcare and academic leaders nationwide.

Prior to her work at AAFP, Kierl managed strategic marketing and communications at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), where she collaborated with health sciences schools and other academic units to develop and execute integrated marketing plans. She also spent 15 years at Sprint Corporation, serving in a variety of managerial roles in marketing and project management. Kierl has a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in advertising from the University of Kansas. She has also held numerous board positions for organizations committed to health, wellness and education.

“I am excited to join such a highly talented and knowledgeable team,” said Kierl. “Having worked extensively with leaders in hospitals and clinics, academic medical centers, and health systems, I have a deep appreciation for Dobies Healthcare Group’s strategy-first approach to positioning clients for future growth in healthcare.”

About Dobies Healthcare Group

Since 1992, Dobies Healthcare Group has offered highly specialized expertise in healthcare marketing strategy, branding and creative communications. Our Kansas City-based company serves the marketing and branding needs of the entire healthcare industry, from hospitals, health systems and payers to medical device manufacturers, associations and certifying boards. We combine strategic marketing with creative communications to create healthier brands.

Secrets for Success in Healthcare Marketing

Insights from Carol Dobies, CEO and Founder of Dobies Healthcare Group

As a member of the 25 Under 25® Class of 2016, Dobies Healthcare Group was proudly named among several outstanding Kansas City small businesses earlier this year. Recently, CEO and founder Carol Dobies, MBA, spoke with Kelly Scanlon on Smart Companies KC Radio to discuss the driving force behind Dobies Healthcare Group and its success as a specialized healthcare marketing and branding firm. You can listen to the full broadcast below:

Highlights from the on-air discussion include:

Strategy-First: The Driving Force for Dobies Healthcare Group

Carol and her team have always championed a strategy-first approach to healthcare marketing. Unlike creative agencies that traditionally offer a new logo or advertising campaign focused on product promotion, Dobies Healthcare Group says, ‘First, let’s talk about who you are and what you do’  before the creative work begins. The idea is to initiate meaningful conversations with clients about their brands – a process that begins with insightful questions about how they interface with customers and employees, how leadership impacts and drives culture, and how they “deliver” on their brand promise. The ultimate goal is to tactically align client operations (what they do) with their communications (what they say). Brand authenticity is deliberate, and therefore, the work that goes into it must be highly strategic.

The Greater Good: A Passion for Making a Difference

Both professionally and personally, Carol has long understood the need for expert information and guidance that drives smart health and healthcare decisions. She has always had a passion for making a difference by connecting consumers to providers, providers to partners, and so forth – and she fosters the same passion within every member of her team. In fact, the notion of inspiring better, more informed decisions about health and contributing to improved care and quality of life for patients is at the very heart of the company’s mission. “We come to work every day because we believe we can help people make better, more informed healthcare decisions—and the power of that is pretty significant,” says Carol.

Carol Dobies, CEO and Founder of Dobies Healthcare Group

Carol Dobies, CEO and Founder

A Forward-Thinking Business Model

It’s not easy being a small business, but Dobies Healthcare Group embraces a smart and innovative business model that focuses on using talent and time wisely. From the beginning, Carol chose to embrace a virtual agency model, employing a small team of in-house healthcare marketing experts while strategically extending capabilities and reach through a national network of highly skilled, independent strategy leads. “The virtual model has really served us well,” she said. “It’s helped us play just as well, if not better than, any big business.”

Lessons Learned

Carol noted she has learned a lot since she founded Dobies Healthcare Group in 1992. Although it hasn’t always been this way, the company now has a C.P.A. on staff to proactively advise the company on finances, ensuring financial health. They are now “papered up” in ways they never were before with smarter, more binding contracts with clients and employees alike. Most importantly, Carol learned along the way the value of having a plan and vision for the company’s future. Looking forward, she anticipates continued growth for Dobies Healthcare Group – particularly with the launch of three strategic marketing and branding products last year and another new product on the horizon.

For more information about who we are and what we do at Dobies Healthcare Group, contact us.

About Dobies Healthcare Group

Since 1992, Dobies Healthcare Group has offered highly specialized expertise in healthcare marketing strategy, branding and creative communications. Our Kansas City-based company serves the marketing and branding needs of the entire healthcare industry, from hospitals, health systems and payers to medical device manufacturers, associations and certifying boards. We combine strategic marketing with creative communications to create healthier brands.

Dobies Healthcare Group Names Chief Strategy Officer

Julie Amor, MHA, Chief Strategy Officer at Dobies Healthcare Group

Julie Amor, MHA, Chief Strategy Officer at Dobies Healthcare Group

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Dobies Healthcare Group has appointed Julie Amor, MHA, as the firm’s Chief Strategy Officer. In this new role, Amor will engage in the development of market-leading strategies for health industry clients and lead innovative growth scenarios for Dobies Healthcare Group, fostering long-term partnerships for the firm.

“This is an exciting time for our company – we are forming new relationships that allow us to define strategies essential to our clients’ success in the ever-changing healthcare environment,” said Carol Dobies, CEO and Founder. “Julie is a dynamic leader with decades of industry experience and knowledge to help us realize our vision of creating healthier brands across the entire healthcare industry.”

Amor’s healthcare background includes more than 25 years in strategy, marketing, branding and operational intelligence. In her most recent role as Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Communication at The University of Kansas Hospital, Amor led strategic and operational execution for the hospital’s corporate communication, internal branding, affiliation-related integration and employee engagement, serving an instrumental role in the strategic transformation of the hospital’s brand identity. Other former employers include New Directions Behavior Health and Tutera Group. Amor has a master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Park University and a bachelor’s in Marketing Communications from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she also earned a Certificate in Gerontology. In addition, she has served on the Board of Directors for Kansas City Public Television since 2009.

“Healthcare marketing strategy is my passion, and I am thrilled to join this exceptional team, where our strategy-first approach positions us as a fierce competitor among the nation’s most prestigious healthcare marketing firms,” said Amor, adding that Dobies Healthcare Group is superior in its ability to position clients for future growth. “Having spent my entire career in healthcare marketing, I know it is here that I can apply my experience in meaningful ways to truly impact future health.”

About Dobies Healthcare Group

Since 1992, Dobies Healthcare Group has offered highly specialized expertise in healthcare marketing strategy, branding and creative communications. Our Kansas City-based company serves the marketing and branding needs of the entire healthcare industry, from hospitals, health systems and payers to medical device manufacturers, associations and certifying boards. We combine strategic marketing with creative communications to create healthier brands.

Dobies Healthcare Group Named a 25 Under 25® Small Business in Kansas City

25-Under-25-Non-Anniversary-webKANSAS CITY, Mo. — Dobies Healthcare Group was recently honored as a member of the 25 Under 25® Class of 2016 by Thinking Bigger Business Media.

Each year, the 25 Under 25 program recognizes a select group of small businesses for having a positive economic, social and community impact in the Kansas City area. Honorees are chosen based on demonstrated financial stability, community involvement, company vision and defining attributes, and ability to overcome adversity.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our team,” said Carol Dobies, MBA, President and Founder. “They feel strongly about making a difference in the way people think about health, and their passion carries over to every aspect of their lives–whether it be where they live, work or play.”

Dobies Healthcare Group was among the 25 local businesses selected in 2016, out of nearly 1,500 companies that received nominations.  As an honoree, Dobies Healthcare Group will be featured in a special 25 Under 25® supplement in the February issue of Thinking Better Business magazine and star as a guest on the “Smart Companies” radio show.

According to Thinking Bigger Business Media, small businesses comprise the largest number of companies both locally and nationally, with 83 percent of Kansas City area businesses employing less than 20 employees. The 25 Under 25® Awards program, which was established in 2002 to highlight the role small businesses play in the Kansas economy, aligns with Thinking Bigger Business Media’s mission of helping small business owners grow their companies. For more information about the 25 Under 25® Awards program, visit ithinkbigger.com.

About Dobies Healthcare Group

Since 1992, Dobies Healthcare Group has offered highly specialized expertise in healthcare marketing strategy, branding and creative communications. Our Kansas City-based company serves the marketing and branding needs of the entire healthcare industry, from hospitals, health systems and payers to medical device manufacturers, associations and certifying boards. We combine strategic marketing with creative communications to create healthier brands.