To better reflect the breadth of services it offers to elevate the health and well-being of residents in Tulare and Kings counties, Kaweah Delta became Kaweah Health on Saturday, May 1.
The largest acute care hospital, and the only trauma center between Bakersfield and Fresno, announced that the rebranding includes a new name, a new logo, and an updated website.
“It is a momentous day for our organization. It’s the perfect time to reinvent, to redefine, to modernize, and to distinguish ourselves as much more than a hospital or a medical center,” said Gary Herbst, Kaweah Health’s Chief Executive Officer at a press conference on Tuesday. “Our new name reflects our changing role from being a healer of sickness and injury to a champion of health and wellness.”
Over the last 60 years, Kaweah Health has grown exponentially from its beginnings as a 68-bed community hospital to a healthcare system with eight campuses across Tulare and Kings counties anchored by a 435-bed acute medical center in downtown Visalia. It is the largest district hospital in the State of California with a combined 613 licensed inpatient beds and it is also the largest employer in Tulare County with more than 5,000 team members working beside more than 300 active Medical Staff members. Together, the Kaweah Health team offers cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, vascular surgery, trauma, invasive, non-invasive and interventional cardiology along with everything from mental health to dialysis, cancer care and more.
“We have really become a comprehensive, state-of-the-art, integrated health system with numerous outpatient clinics and urgent care centers,” said Herbst, noting that the organization has been named one of the best 250 hospitals in the nation by Healthgrades for three years in a row and one of the country’s top 50 cardiac surgery programs for four years in a row. Kaweah Health is also the only cardiovascular affiliate of the Cleveland Clinic in California and has in recent years, partnered with USC and Valley Children’s Hospital to help raise the level of care available to children and adults in Tulare and Kings counties. Kaweah Health is a fully-accredited teaching hospital with close to 130 residents training in six different residency programs.
For the past 10 years, the healthcare district watched others change their names to better reflect their broadening offering of services and their changing role in their communities. Two years ago, the idea of its own rebranding initiative picked up steam after Kaweah Delta adopted a new mission and vision statement and enhanced its foundational pillars to better reflect Kaweah Health’s purpose, passion, and reason for existence. Kaweah Health’s mission statement now reads: Health is our Passion. Excellence is our Focus. Compassion is our promise.
Kaweah Delta’s Board of Directors unanimously approved the rebranding initiative, which also received unanimous support from those employees, physicians, and community leaders and members who participated in focus groups. David Francis, President of the Kaweah Delta Health Care District Board of Directors, said he quickly learned after joining the board in 2018, that Kaweah Delta was more than just a hospital. “It isn’t just a hospital, it’s a system that’s dedicated to the wellness and health of the community and making sure that everybody is as healthy as they can possibly be,” he said.
The estimated cost of rebranding is between $600,000 and $700,000–that’s roughly $10,000 per year, or .00125 percent of the system’s $800 million annual operating budget, if Kaweah Health stands for another 60 years like Kaweah Delta did, Herbst said. Kaweah Health hopes to further defray costs through potential community fundraising as part of the Kaweah Delta Hospital Foundation’s 2021 Modernization Campaign.
“We firmly believe Kaweah Health to be an investment in our future. It will help us grow our market and our share of the market by making our services and facilities recognizable, accessible and preferred,” Herbst said. “We’ll continue to put our patients first as we invest in new services, new technologies, and new facilities. We’ll also be able to continue our efforts to recruit and retain the best and brightest who not only provide world-class care, but who infuse millions into our local economy as they buy homes here and shop local.”
Herbst said the rebranding initiative has given Kaweah Health employees something to look forward to after more than a year of COVID-19. “Never has there been a year in Kaweah Delta’s history like the one we just lived. I don’t want it to be the year we remember for all of the pain, suffering, sadness, and exhaustion we experienced. I’d rather it be remembered as the year Kaweah Delta was reborn, reignited, and re-energized. The year it rose like a “phoenix from the ashes”—stronger, smarter, and more powerful” he said. “We are modernizing our brand to show the world that we are innovative, confident, compassionate, and progressive – and as a symbol of who we are today, Kaweah Delta has evolved to become Kaweah Health. Our new name and logo honor our history, unite us as one, and propel us on our journey to world-class care.”