In these highlights from our healthcare marketing podcast, Megan Pruce and Mallory Yoder from the business engagement strategies team at Vanderbilt Health share insights on their journey from a small, siloed department to a leading voice helping advance the shift to value-driven care.
The marketing and communications team at Vanderbilt Health is instrumental in advancing the organization’s population health initiatives. We recently spoke with Vice President Megan Pruce and Senior Manager Mallory Yoder for our healthcare marketing podcast, and among other insights they offered the following guidance for peers who are championing value-driven care.
Marketing and communications is a critical piece of the population health puzzle.
When developing public health initiatives designed to change behavior, Megan says strategic marketing and creative teams like hers are uniquely qualified to help package and present critical ideas while connecting the dots across multi-disciplinary teams.
“If you had marketing and communications professionals at the table for the design and rollout of these change management programs, you’d get much more buy-in from the audiences,” says Megan. “So much of the success with these initiatives is based on the first impression, and marketing will ensure it is interesting, compelling, memorable and clear.”
Finding the right people is critical to building an innovative team.
Megan says the most important thing she looks for when hiring is not one of the typical traits associated with a healthcare marketing and communications team. She points to Mallory, who is working toward her master’s degree while working full time at Vanderbilt, as a great example of the skills and mindset required to move the organization forward.
“We want people looking for a professional challenge,” she says. “We are naturally very curious and creative, we contribute in meetings, we raise our hands and take on stretch projects. We’re really careful about the types of people we welcome on the team because it’s not for everyone.”
Megan notes that a key to her success in building a high-performing, innovative marketing and communications team is an often-overlooked part of the hiring process.
“One of my secret approaches [to hiring] is cover letters,” she says. “If you don’t take the time to pitch yourself in a cover letter, you’re probably not going to take the time to get invested in a product and a solution. If you are truly interested in doing this work, you will take the time to write a cover letter or email to me that is very specific to what you’re trying to do and what we’re trying to do.”
Success takes talent, tenacity and time.
Megan and Mallory encourage their peers that like any successful initiative, it takes people willing to challenge the status quo—and a healthy dose of resilience—to lay the foundation for a successful population health strategy. Over the past two years, their team has evolved from a small group that was primarily focused on physician communications to a highly valued strategic partner.
To follow this path, Mallory recommends starting small and finding ways to demonstrate value along the way.
“You have to present short-term wins,” she says. “To get a seat at the table from writing newsletter communications to where we are now was not an overnight success. You have to prove yourself by keeping up with what’s going on with the clinical side and being able to speak their language. Eventually, those short-term wins stack up and you’ll find a partner who’s open to trying something new and different than what’s been done before.”
Megan encourages her peers in healthcare marketing and communications to realize the value they bring to the table when designing and implementing strategic initiatives.
“We don’t have letters after our name as some people do, but we are equally as valuable when it comes to putting together really good plans and strategies—and that’s the dream that we all wanted in our careers.”
Listen to the Full Interview
We Can Help!
Find out how our team of healthcare marketing experts can help you engage physicians and advance value-based care initiatives.