Rotator cuff surgery

Physician assistant Rosie Boschen helps Dr. Rafael Williams manage tools during a surgery earlier this year at St. John’s Health. The hospital announced this week that its long-awaited name change had arrived.

There’s a new kid on the block in health care. Kind of.

St. John’s Medical Center announced it has officially changed its name to St. John’s Health, making good on a promise made back at the beginning of 2019.

“The last time we invested the time and resource into making sure communications were accurately representing what we offer and our values was more than a decade ago,” Chief Communications Officer Karen Connelly said. “Based on the internal response, the feedback is that [the new name] reflects this positive energy we’re all feeling.”

The hospital’s board of trustees approved the name change at the beginning of the year. The hope then was that the rollout would be in July. However, the hospital wanted to take time getting used to what rebranding actually meant.

The name change is meant to reflect a view of health care that goes beyond reacting to injuries and illnesses, CEO Dr. Paul Beaupre told the hospital board at its August meeting. New offerings from the Wellness Department are prime examples of the way the institution is expanding the concept of health care.

The lifestyle medicine program the hospital has been developing approaches treatment for chronic conditions such as diabetes and obesity by targeting lifestyle choices. It tries to improve nutrition and exercise routines in order to help patients take fewer prescription drugs and feel better in the long term.

“We love the opening that it’s giving us internally to think about programs from a patient’s perspective,” Connelly said.

St. John’s started the rebranding internally, changing letterheads and the way administrators refer to the organization when talking with staff.

Even though the change is official now —inside and outside — patients will still see signs that say St. John’s Medical Center around the campus.

“We’re not in a big hurry to rush that along,” Connelly said. “We have a temporary sign in front of the hospital right now.”

Administrators and board members have expressed excitement about the name change, and they hope that it will better reflect the scope of the hospital’s offerings.

“We’re talking about viewing the health of the community, rather than focusing on certain symptoms and illnesses,” Connelly said.

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Contact Tom Hallberg at 732-7079 or thallberg@jhnewsandguide.com.

Tom Hallberg covers a little bit of everything, from skiing to long-form feature stories. A Teton Valley, Idaho, transplant by way of Portland and Bend, Oregon, he spends his time outside work writing fiction, splitboarding and climbing.

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