Hospitals’ names change

Published 12:32 am Thursday, January 26, 2012

About a dozen local health-care officials marked the name change at Washington’s hospital to Vidant Beaufort Hospital at a ceremony unveiling the new sign Wednesday afternoon. (WDN Photo/Betty Mitchell Gray)

Local health-care officials marked the name changes of two Beaufort County hospitals by unveiling new signage in Washington and Belhaven on Wednesday.

Beaufort Hospital now carries the name Vidant Beaufort Hospital, and Pungo District Hospital is using the moniker Vidant Pungo Hospital as part of the name change of University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina to Vidant Health.

“This is a special day for us,” said Harvey Case, president of the newly named Vidant Beaufort Hospital at a ceremony unveiling a new sign at the Washington hospital. “Having a new name lets people know who we are … and they can associate a special level of care with that name.”

Case told a group of about a dozen hospital officials and employees that the name change “will mean more and more as the years go on.”

This is the second name change for both Beaufort County hospitals in the past six months. When then-UHS assumed management of then-Beaufort County Medical Center in September, the hospital’s name changed to UHS-Beaufort Hospital.

A similar name change occurred when UHS completed a deal with the then-Pungo District Hospital.

Earlier Wednesday, officials in Greenville unveiled the new name for Pitt County Memorial Hospital, now known as Vidant Medical Center.

Last summer, University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina had announced plans to shorten its name to UHS. But in September, UHS was informed by Pennsylvania-based Universal Health Services that it holds a trademark registration for the letters UHS.

As a result, the Greenville-based system chose to begin a rebranding effort, culminating with the choice of Vidant Health

That change was announced in late 2011.

At that time, hospital officials said the name Vidant Health was derived from the Latin root “vi” which is universally associated with life, vibrancy and vitality. The name is closely tied to the system’s mission “to enhance the quality of life for the communities we serve, touch and support.”

The mark — with its stylized letter “V” — symbolizes Vidant as an interconnected system of care. It was designed to support the health-care system’s values and to reflect a confident, strong and caring organization that focuses on the patient at the core of its efforts, according to a news release announcing the name change.

“The new brand identity pulls together all the important services and facilities that make up our organization that is uniquely ours. It is legally protectable and reflects who we are,” said Dave McRae, chief executive officer of Vidant Health, in a news release marking the change Wednesday.

During the past decade, the system has grown from one hospital to a network of interconnected physician practices, more than 11,000 employees, 10 hospitals, home-health and hospice programs and wellness facilities.

“As our health system continued to grow, we found that many of our patients didn’t realize all that we offered,” said McRae. “By uniting all of our hospitals, programs and services under one brand, we will improve access to quality health care in the region by enhancing the patient’s experience and improving health outcomes.”

Also changed Wednesday were the names of five of the health system’s regional hospitals, its physician practices and its hospital-affiliated medical practices.

UHS Physicians, which manages or employs many of the medical practices in Washington and Beaufort County, is now named Vidant Medical Group. Lifestyles Medical Fitness Center, part of the Washington hospital, is now named Vidant Wellness Center.

The Outer Banks Hospital in Nags Head and Albemarle Health in Elizabeth City will continue to operate under their existing names.