By: Rebecca Mayer Knutsen
With the August launch of OneCape Health News, Cape Cod Healthcare is positioning itself to be Cape Cod’s preeminent healthcare news source. “We provide exceptional care, and OneCape gives our experts an opportunity to share their expertise with the community,” says Michael Lauf , president and CEO of Cape Cod Healthcare (CCHC).
OneCapeHealthNews.com aims to educate people about disease prevention and treatment, promote wellness, and decipher our nation’s dynamic and complex healthcare system.
Focus groups held a few years ago revealed that Cape residents were hungry for health news, and more specifically, local health news. According to Robin Lord, CCHC’s communications director, the community has rallied around the endeavor. “The venture is growing community-wide and getting more interaction,” says Lord.
The community OneCape serves is comprised of Cape residents—many of whom either work for the health system or are family members of employees—as well as the thousands of visitors who flood the adventurous shores of Cape Cod each summer.
One long-term goal is to address topics that serve the health needs of people on and off the Cape. The news team, headed by Lord as managing editor, was surprised to see one of its early headliners land in a national spotlight, gaining an early lead on that long-term goal.
Within 24 hours of posting a story detailing how an Apple Watch alerted a Tabor Academy football player to a serious health problem, major outlets across the country had picked up the relevant story. “Social sharing is a large component of what we’re trying to do,” says Lord. “We’re proud of the piece for highlighting the serious health risks involved with not staying hydrated while being active.”
An interesting facet of the health broadcast venture, according to Lauf, is that the stories are mainly being generated from the staff themselves. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to engage our patients and community better by sharing our expertise across many areas of healthcare,” says Lauf.
Lauf is quick to point out that it’s not just a marketing ploy. “Pat Kane (senior vice president of marketing for Cape Cod Healthcare) and Robin have done a remarkable job in creating this communication vehicle to differentiate the CCHC brand,” says Lauf. To ensure the news is relevant and timely, Lord has assembled a team of seasoned freelance journalists to push content out into the community.
“We want the community to refer to us first for health-related information needs,” says Lauf. “We’re thrilled with the response so far.”