3 Things We Learned from Holly Sullivan of Spectrum Health and SHSMD

by | Oct 15, 2020 | Healthcare Industry Insights | 0 comments

We always come away from conversations with Holly Sullivan feeling smarter and inspired, and our recent interview for the Healthcare Insight podcast was no exception.

Here are three things we learned or con­firmed dur­ing a live­ly dis­cus­sion with the senior direc­tor of strate­gic mar­ket­ing at Spec­trum Health and pres­i­dent of the board for the Soci­ety for Health­care Strat­e­gy and Mar­ket Devel­op­ment (SHSMD) as we dis­cussed the over­all health­care response to COVID-19 and what this means for the future.

Content has been critical to the COVID-19 response at Spectrum Health.

Hol­ly and her team gleaned con­sumer insights ear­ly in the pan­dem­ic that made it clear: Spec­trum Health had a lead­er­ship role to play in guid­ing the com­mu­ni­ty on COVID-19. They imme­di­ate­ly respond­ed by devel­op­ing a con­tent strat­e­gy that offers clar­i­ty on where and when to get help, cel­e­brates recov­ery wins and shares inspi­ra­tional sto­ries of hope. She says the organization’s com­mit­ment to cre­at­ing con­tent that edu­cates and engages all Spec­trum Health audi­ences is thought­ful, inclu­sive and fluid.

“We con­tin­ue to think about how we can deliv­er mes­sag­ing not only to our con­sumers and our patients but also to our 35,000+ employ­ees and com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tions,” she says. “We’re always ask­ing how can we be that source of truth for them, and delib­er­ate­ly get those mes­sages out to our Span­ish-speak­ing com­mu­ni­ties and oth­er diverse audiences.”

Virtual care is rapidly shifting from novelty to the new normal.

When Spec­trum Health closed all offices in March, they quick­ly moved all pri­ma­ry care physi­cians and spe­cial­ists on a vir­tu­al plat­form. By April, they had ramped telemed­i­cine vol­ume to the point where a sin­gle day in April saw 2,000 visits.

Mov­ing into the fall of 2020, Hol­ly says the orga­ni­za­tion con­tin­ues adding func­tion­al­i­ty and pro­mot­ing vir­tu­al care as offer­ing the same lev­el of excel­lence in expe­ri­ence and out­comes as in-per­son care. This shift to vir­tu­al care as a dif­fer­en­ti­at­ed plat­form is one of the organization’s high­est pri­or­i­ties, espe­cial­ly for younger demo­graph­ics who are just start­ing to form a rela­tion­ship with the health sys­tem. Sim­i­lar to the tran­si­tion of using a mobile app to deposit a check rather than going in-per­son to a bank, she sees this dig­i­tal evo­lu­tion as hav­ing long-term effects in healthcare.

“It’s like bank­ing,” she says. “When you’re bank­ing online you don’t say, ‘I’m going to my vir­tu­al bank.’ It’s just going to the bank.”

SHSMD is committed to helping marketers navigate the future.

As pres­i­dent of the SHSMD board, Hol­ly works close­ly with Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Diane Web­ber and the organization’s lead­er­ship to deliv­er val­ue to mem­bers. These efforts have been redou­bled dur­ing the pan­dem­ic. From cre­at­ing a clear­ing­house for COVID-19-relat­ed ideas and exam­ples on the SHSMD web­site to piv­ot­ing from the annu­al in-per­son con­fer­ence, Hol­ly and her team are con­stant­ly seek­ing new oppor­tu­ni­ties to help mem­bers con­nect and advance their careers.

She says SHSMD mate­ri­als like Bridg­ing Worlds: The Future Role of the Health­care Strate­gist, which is designed to help mem­bers adapt and devel­op skills for the future, are more rel­e­vant today than ever before. Con­sid­er­ing these resources along with the sup­port and exper­tise that strate­gic ven­dor part­ners bring to the table, Hol­ly is con­fi­dent health­care mar­keters will con­tin­ue ris­ing to the occasion.

“Our orga­ni­za­tions are look­ing to us as mar­keters to help nav­i­gate through this,” she says. “We’re fac­ing some new sit­u­a­tions and the lack of pre­dictabil­i­ty will con­tin­ue as we move into 2021, so keep­ing that agile men­tal­i­ty at the fore­front will be key.”

Listen to the Full Interview

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