Healthcare Case Study


Three hospital medical centers with very different patient populations and demographics were merging and a new name and identity had to be forged that would give confidence and continuity to all stakeholders including medical professionals, patients, union members and the disparate communities the medical centers served.

The three hospitals, Merritt, Peralta, and Providence Hospitals, were located in Oakland California and US Marketing moved quickly to involve various interest groups in giving input as to a new corporate culture for the merged entity and as a basis for a blue print for development of a new name.

Multiple new options for names –as well as options to choose one of the existing names – were invented, considered and researched and the recommendation was enthusiastically accepted by the board of directors and the stakeholder communities.


The desired outcome was to effectively communicate that top quality medical care that would continue to be provided in the ever-changing neighborhood by the combined 3 merged hospitals. One objective was to make the new entity sound as if it had been there, providing great care, for generations – which in fact the three hospitals that made up the new entity had been doing! Another was to underscore the fact that the 3 entities represent a very high level of quality. The new medical center was named Summit Medical Center.

Thus the high level of excellence was underscored in the name Summit along with its’ location atop “ Pill Hill” as the neighbors had known and called the hospital neighborhood for years. Summit Medical Center, the new entity, was a big success and has gone on to be acquired and itself become part of the current Alta Bates Summit Medical Center which is the largest private not- for -profit medical center in the large and diverse East Bay region of Northern California with more than 1000 beds and approximately 1350 active physicians and approximately 90 thousand emergency visits and 200 thousand outpatient visits a year.