Hillsdale Hospital launches new community outreach campaign as rural hospitals struggle

What’s happening: According to estimates from the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform, more than 600 rural hospitals throughout the country are at risk of closure – and more than 200 of those are at “immediate risk.” The nonprofit Hillsdale Hospital organization has taken a proactive approach to make sure that their own hospital isn’t one of the unfortunate 600-plus, introducing a new community engagement campaign appealing to the local community to remain their health care option of choice.

What they’re doing: The hospital has launched a new marketing campaign dubbed “Hillsdale Strong. Hillsdale First.” in an effort to have the community choose Hillsdale Hospital as their first choice for care. In addition to new marketing materials and advertisements, the hospital has set up a “Hillsdale Strong. Hillsdale First.” website that provides a how-to guide for selecting services, volunteer opportunities, and more.

Bona fides: Despite the difficulties facing rural hospitals, Hillsdale Hospital has made significant investments in their health care services since 2020, including the launch of the Center for Advanced Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine, the Center for Infusion Care, the Women’s Pelvic Floor Center, and more. Recent accolades include being named a Top 100 Rural Hospital and Best Nursing Home in America in 2022, and a Top Workplace USA in 2023.

[Related: Read “Going mobile: Hillsdale Hospital finds an innovative solution to a pressing problem” on Rural Innovation Exchange.]

Why it’s important: “The industry is facing a daunting future right now, so it’s not just rural hospitals anymore. The big systems and giant hospitals are facing uncertainty, and we expect to see them attempt to enter the market in rural communities, touting better quality and shiny new facilities,” Hillsdale Hospital President & CEO Jeremiah “JJ” Hodshire says in a statement.

“We’ll see those systems work to siphon patients from local hospitals in order to cover their own losses, while charging more for the care those patients were already receiving closer to home, now with the increased burden of travel, all without any significant increase in the quality of care. If those efforts are successful, we could see the rate of rural hospital closures drastically increase.”

Hillsdale Hospital is located at 168 S. Howell St. in Hillsdale.

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