Dobies Healthcare Group Welcomes Additional Expertise in Creative and Client Services

Tara Grassie, Client Services Manager Anne Bracker, Creative Services Manager

Left: Anne Bracker, Creative Services Manager
Right: Tara Grassie, Client Services Manager

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Dobies Healthcare Group, a healthcare-specialized marketing, branding and advertising firm, deepened its expertise with the addition of two very talented marketing professionals: Tara Grassie (client services) and Anne Bracker (creative services).

“Tara and Anne bring the right experience, skills and talents to deliver the seamless service and powerful results our clients expect and deserve,” said Thom Ludtke, Vice President of Client Services. “Together as a team, we will further enhance the unique blend of strategic thinking and creative communications that has been at the core of our company for 25 years and counting.”

As Client Services Manager, Tara Grassie works with clients and internal teams to ensure on-time, on-budget execution for all marketing, branding and advertising initiatives. Tara has worked in healthcare marketing since 2013. At Nueterra Capital, she excelled at developing and implementing strategies and tactics for public relations and integrated marketing campaigns.

As Creative Services Manager, Anne Bracker provides creative direction and manages design, development and production of marketing and advertising campaigns. Her extensive experience includes art direction, graphic design and production design across a wide range of media for companies of all sizes. Most recently, she was Production Designer at Hallmark, where she collaborated with art directors and team members to achieve the company’s creative vision and standards. Anne will work closely with Shelly Searles, the company’s lead graphic designer.

Welcoming Tara and Anne to the team is the latest in a series of developments that mark continued growth for Dobies Healthcare Group as it celebrates its 25th year. Earlier in 2017, the company added a strategic marketing manager and new writing talent to its ranks, and launched its own unique community give-back program called Apple a Day. In September, the company announced the appointment of Julie Amor as company president in addition to her role as chief strategy officer.

“It’s exciting to join a healthy, growing company like Dobies Healthcare Group,” said Tara, adding that the mission of improving the way people think about health is a great source of inspiration.

Anne agrees: “I knew from the start this was an opportunity I wanted to pursue,” she said. “Being able to apply my visual communication skills in ways that connect people to better health is very rewarding.”

Tara, Anne and the rest of the Dobies Healthcare Group team can be reached at 816.753.3336.

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 Achieves Healthy KC Company Certification Again in 2017

Emblem signifying Dobies Healthcare Group’s silver certification as a Healthy KC CompanyKANSAS CITY, Mo – Dobies Healthcare Group, a healthcare marketing firm located in downtown Kansas City, has been certified as a Healthy KC Company for the second consecutive year. This recognition comes from the Healthy KC Workplace Wellness initiative, a program created in 2014 by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City and other regional health and wellness leaders.

“We are very proud to be among the growing number of local companies who are making workplace wellness a priority,” said Julie Amor, President and Chief Strategy Officer at Dobies Healthcare Group, adding that the company’s mission is to inspire better health decisions locally, nationally and even globally. “That health-positive philosophy is deeply embedded in every aspect of our work and highly embraced in our culture.”

Thank you to @WeAreHealthyKC & 200+ local companies creating a #CultureOfHealth in Kansas City. Click To Tweet

In addition to the traditional furnishings one expects to see in any workplace, the offices at Dobies Healthcare Group include exercise bikes, standing work areas, balance balls, and a special space dedicated to letting employees share articles, infographics and other communications with healthy lifestyle tips. Walking meetings are encouraged, and the company regularly hosts lunch-and-learns to provide expert guidance on such topics as nutrition and work-life integration.

Amor says the company is continuously adding to its workplace wellness initiative with a goal of more comprehensively – and creatively – supporting employee health and wellness. Earlier this year, the company launched its Apple a Day program, which provides opportunities for employees to inspire healthier eating habits in others by giving apples and nutritional information to students at local schools.

The KC Chamber reports that the number of Healthy KC Certified companies has nearly doubled since 2015. “We applaud the Healthy KC Commission for engaging local companies in finding ways to create a healthier workforce,” said Amor. “It is so exciting to see how the program has grown, and it is truly an honor to contribute to a culture of health and wellness that is coming to life across Greater Kansas City.”

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 thinking with creative communication to create healthier brands across the entire healthcare industry, from hospitals, health systems, physician groups, and payers to medical device manufacturers and distributors, pharmaceutical firms, associations, certifying boards and more.

Dobies Healthcare Group Strengthens Strategy-First Approach with Appointment of New President

Portrait of Julie Amor, MHA, President & Chief Strategy Officer of Dobies Healthcare Group

Julie Amor, MHA, President & Chief Strategy Officer of
Dobies Healthcare Group

As Dobies Healthcare Group celebrates its 25th year, the healthcare marketing and branding company, led by Founder and Chief Executive Officer Carol Dobies, has named Julie Amor, MHA, as President. Amor’s appointment further elevates the firm’s ability to deliver market-leading strategies and measurable results to its clients.

In her new role, Amor will implement corporate growth strategies, manage work force strategies, expand firm offerings, enhance the company’s social purpose initiatives and oversee corporate policies. In addition, she will continue her role as Chief Strategy Officer, working directly with clients to develop competitive marketing and positioning strategies.

As CEO, Dobies continues to lead the Kansas City-based organization, known for its unique, strategy-first approach to healthcare marketing, branding and advertising. Completing the company’s executive leadership team is Thom Ludtke, who joined the company in 2014 and continues to serve as Vice President of Client Services.

“With the rapidly changing healthcare landscape, the timing was right to divide my responsibilities as president and chief executive officer,” said Dobies. “Since joining Dobies Healthcare Group three years ago, Julie’s influence on the culture and direction of the firm has been very positive. I am confident she will translate her unwavering commitment to our mission and vision into strategic growth for the company for years to come.”

Amor has more than 25 years of experience in healthcare strategy, marketing, branding and operations. Prior to Dobies Healthcare Group, she was Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Communication, at The University of Kansas Hospital (now the University of Kansas Health System). There, she led the transformation of the hospital’s identity and established its market-leading brand position, and she was also responsible for strategic and operational execution of the hospital’s corporate communication, internal branding, affiliation-related integration and employee engagement. Amor earned her Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) degree from Park University after completing her bachelor’s in Marketing Communications from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Before KU, Amor was with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City. Additionally, her commitment to the community is exemplified by her role as Chair of the Nominating Committee, Board of Directors, for Kansas City Public Television (KCPT) since 2009.

When asked about her new appointment, Amor said:

“I have dedicated my career to authentic marketing communication as a cornerstone of corporate strategy. I am honored to now serve as President of Dobies Healthcare Group to develop and expand our corporate growth strategy as a nationally recognized healthcare marketing, branding and advertising firm. As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, the need to combine an aligned, shared vision with highly strategic thinking is a critical differentiator, not only to our success and sustainability, but for the success of our clients. I enthusiastically embrace the opportunity to further develop and execute toward the company’s vision of creating healthier brands across the healthcare industry.”

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 thinking with creative communication to create healthier brands across the entire healthcare industry, from hospitals, health systems, physician groups, and payers to medical device manufacturers and distributors, pharmaceutical firms, associations, certifying boards and more.

#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.