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January 17, 2013

Lahey branding changes don't touch AGH

One of the country’s best-known health care brands is changing its name, and Lahey Health System is changing the names of some of its specific facilities as part of a branding campaign.

But the changes aren’t touching the name of Gloucester’s Addison Gilbert Hospital.

As part of a re-branding campaign in the wake of its merger with Northeast Health System — and thus Addison Gilbert and Beverly hospitals — Lahey Clinic is dropping the “clinic” from the names of its hospitals in Peabody and Burlington.

The Lahey Clinic in Peabody will now be known as Lahey Medical Center, Peabody, while the Lahey Clinic in Burlington will be called Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, Burlington.

Beverly Hospital and Addison Gilbert, however, will retain their current names.

Dr. Howard Grant, the CEO of parent company Lahey Health, said the name changes are designed to make it clear to the public that the facilities in Peabody and Burlington are hospitals, not outpatient clinics.

“When I first came here two years ago, I was often surprised when standing near the information desk that people were surprised to hear they had actually entered a hospital,” Grant said. “They assumed they were just entering a clinic like the old Lahey Clinic on Commonwealth Avenue (in Boston).”

The Lahey Clinic name has been around since 1923, when Dr. Frank Lahey founded a group practice in Boston. According to a history of Lahey on the organization’s website, it was being described in newspaper headlines 10 years later as the “world famous Lahey Clinic.”

Grant said the Lahey Clinic name will be retained by the organization’s physician group, which has practices in northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.

“The ‘clinic’ name isn’t going away,” he said. “That’s a very important part of our heritage. In no way does (the name change) diminish the legacy of the clinic.”

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