By Paul Leighton
---- — 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.”
Lahey Clinic and Northeast Health Systems merged in May, creating a $1.3 billion organization with 1,200 doctors that will compete against Partners Health Care for the north of Boston health care market. Partners includes North Shore Medical Center in Salem and the Mass General/North Shore Center for Outpatient Care in Danvers.
Grant said there was no consideration to changing the names of Beverly Hospital and Addison-Gilbert Hospital. The only changes will be the addition of a new Lahey logo and the tag line, “A Member of Lahey Health,” to the hospitals’ signs.
“Those institutions have marvelous reputations within their communities,” Grant said. “There was never a doubt in our mind that it was important to retain that local identity.”
As part of the branding campaign, Lahey Health has developed a new logo and will start airing TV, radio and print ads. The new logo features a green “L” based on the signature of Dr. Lahey.
Lahey Health hired a New York advertising agency, The Brand Union, to work on the branding campaign. The Brand Union’s clients include Fidelity, Canon, Heineken, Ikea and Shell, according to its website.
Lahey spokesman Scott Hartman would not disclose the cost of the campaign. He said it “represents a significant investment for both Lahey and Beverly compared to prior campaigns.”
“In addition to advertising, we are employing cost-effective methods including social media to educate the public about Lahey Health and the services we provide,” Hartman said.
Grant said the campaign will be an ongoing effort to educate the public about the what Lahey Health offers.
“Historically there are a large number of patients that leave their communities to go elsewhere for care in part because they don’t understand the quality and scope of care delivered right in their own communities,” he said. “Our goal is to keep as many patients as possible at home for their care. It’s more convenient for patients, less costly, and it keeps jobs in the community.”
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or via eail at firstname.lastname@example.org.