KGH changes its name to Trios Health

Tri-City HeraldOctober 8, 2013 

The Kennewick General Hospital board voted unanimously this morning to change the system's name to Trios Health. The board is holding a news conference now to explain the move.

KAI-HUEI YAU — Tri-City Herald

— Patients who go to sleep at Kennewick General Hospital tonight will wake up the next morning at Trios Health. The hospital on South Auburn Street — the anchor facility of the Kennewick Public Hospital District — is undergoing a name change effective Thursday.

Officials announced the change during a news conference Tuesday, after a vote by the hospital district’s board of commissioners.

All facilities and services within the KGH system, from specialty clinics to home health to the KGH foundation, also will adopt the core name Trios.

“The bottom line is that we are not the same organization that opened its doors more than 60 years ago,” said CEO Glen Marshall. “We serve the full community — patients from Kennewick, Richland, Pasco and beyond ... We are no longer just providing general medicine. And we are no longer only a hospital. We are a complete community-based system of care.” Implementing the name change will allow the hospital district to make the most of its finite resources, Marshall said.

“With a large part of our organization relocating to (the new Southridge hospital) in the spring of 2014, we will need new forms, stationary, business cards, brochures and signs — expenses that would be occurring regardless of a name change,” he said. The district is expected to spend about $1 million on the new signs and materials.

Temporary signs will go up starting Thursday. Permanent signs are expected to be in place systemwide around the time Southridge opens.

Kennewick General Hospital admitted its first patient in 1952. The community chipped in to help pay for the facility, with residents holding events from rummage sales to a circus to raise money.

Wanda Briggs, a longtime hospital district commissioner, recalled Tuesday how her mother chipped in $25 — an amount the woman couldn’t afford but felt compelled to give toward the effort.

Briggs and Marshall both touched on the history attached to the KGH name but said it no longer describes the health system’s scope. “We have not been Kennewick General Hospital by definition for a very long time,” Briggs said. Commissioners agree “it’s time to better describe who we are, what we do and for whom. It’s time to realize that we are not just a small community hospital; we are a complex and comprehensive health care system fully committed to the total health of the Tri-Cities,” she said. The name change comes after years of research and discussion, officials said. Community survey information coupled with results from internal and external focus groups and interviews revealed “a lack of awareness regarding the depth, breadth and quality of our organization’s services,” according to a fact sheet from the health system.

A health care branding consultant helped find name possibilities, and Trios “passed through rigorous legal and linguistics screenings before our board and management team agreed to adopt it for our system of care,” the information said. The new name derives from Latin, with trio meaning a set or group of three.

“We have many trios around us — we serve the Tri-Cities, a set of three core communities thriving at the confluence of three flowing rivers. We provide a rich past, present and future. As medical experts, we address the three aspects of health: mind, body and spirit,” Marshall said.

He also noted the health system has a three-pronged philosophy of being compassion-driven, community-minded and physician-connected.

The new logo incorporates shades of green, which is the health system’s new signature color, evoking nature, growth, health, harmony, freshness and fertility, Marshall said.

“It has a strong emotional connection to safety and healing power. ... green suggests stability and endurance and environmental responsibility,” he said. “It is a symbol of the life on this great planet. It is our color, and another symbol for our community commitment.”

The color played a central role in a guerrilla marketing campaign the last couple of weeks involving students from Kamiakin and Southridge high schools in Kennewick. The students dressed head-to-toe in bright green and appeared around the Tri-Cities, performing and handing out items such as green pencils. Their efforts didn’t reveal a KGH name change was coming but ramped up excitement about “seeing green.”

Many of the students were at Tuesday’s announcement, along with dozens of officials from the health system and members of the community.

Dr. Hassan Haddadin, president of the medical staff, told the crowd he’s witnessed dramatic changes in health care during his career, but “what remains important for our physicians is that they continue to provide the highest quality of care for the patients, whether that be treatment or prevention.”

“In order to get the chance to work with our community, it is important that we — as a medical team — are presented accurately and completely,” he said, adding that the rebranding is being done “at the right time and for the right reason.” “As a medical team, we are committed to ushering in the new era of health care with Trios Health for this community,” Haddadin said.

-- Sara Schilling: 582-1529; sschilling@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @saraTCHerald

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