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The North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System on Monday said it would rebrand as Northwell Health, a name change that executives said better reflects the system's mission towards overall wellness.
The name for the health system, one of the largest in the United States, also better reflects its geographic position in the New York metropolitan market, downplaying its North Shore of Long Island roots. In addition to running hospitals on Long Island, Northwell operates facilities in every New York City borough except the Bronx, as well as facilities in Westchester County.
"Our trustees recognized the need for a more consumer-friendly name that did not confine us geographically and reflects our emergence as a regional health care provider with a coverage area that extends beyond Long Island," said board chair Mark Claster in a statement.
Northwell is New York's largest private health system, employing 61,000 people. It is the 14th largest system in the United States.
"Being highly visible and clearly understood within and beyond the New York metropolitan area requires strong brand recognition," said CEO Michael Dowling in a statement. "The Northwell Health name is a reflection of our past and a beacon of our future. It's unique, simple and approachable, and better defines who we are and where we are going."
According to Northwell, none of the 21 hospitals it runs will be renamed.
The healthcare provider will launch a marketing campaign in 2016 to promote the new name. Branding consultants Monigle and Interbrand worked with Northwell to come up with the new name, and the provider has contracted with marketing firm J. Walter Thompson to help them develop a campaign.
While geographic identity was a major driver of the change, the shift to Northwell very much follows a recent trend in healthcare to put a greater emphasis on the overall health of a population, and not just the role hospitals play in treating the sick.
"We wanted a name that underscores our focus on keeping people well and better managing their health, rather than only treating them when they are sick or injured," said Dowling.
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Northwell adopted the North Shore-LIJ name in 1997, when the North Shore Health System and Long Island Jewish Medical Center merged. Since then it has added more hospitals to its portfolio, established a venture arm and created its own health plan. It also worked with Hofstra University to found a medical school in 2010.
In addition to hospitals, Northwell runs skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation programs, home care programs, hospice services, urgent care, primary care and other specialty services.
InnovateLI.com first broke the news on Friday, citing an internal memo sent by Dowling to staff. According to that report, trustees approved the name change on Thursday but decided to wait on announcing the change until after the 9/11 anniversary.