The Lodi Memorial Hospital system has changed its name to Lodi Health after more than 60 years, after deciding its name was no longer reflective of all the services it provides.
Today, Lodi Health has about 60 separate programs and services, many of which are free-standing entities beyond the hospital walls. Administrators hope the rebranding announced Friday will better represent their full scope of services.
“Honestly, we’ve been an integrated health system for a long time now,” Lodi Health President and CEO Joe Harrington said in a prepared statement. “We need a name that better reflects our system, and believe Lodi Health captures that.”
Signage at clinics, practices and other buildings that bear the Lodi Memorial name and logo will be changed, and letterhead and other paper products bearing the Lodi Health moniker will be ordered as the old products run out, according to Carol Farron, hospital spokeswoman.
Email addresses have already been changed to reflect the new parent company name of Lodi Health.
However, the hospital itself will retain the Lodi Memorial Hospital name.
Lodi Health is also incorporating a new tagline — “Your care, our compassion” — which, like the name change, will gradually be introduced over the next year.
Farron said the motivation for the changes was to help patients comprehend all of Lodi Health’s services.
“If people don’t understand what we have to offer, how can they choose us (as their health care provider)?” she asked.
As hospital administrators talked to staff and held community forums regarding the name change, Farron said many people commented that it was about time.
“The hospital has really evolved a lot,” she said. “We (only) had hospital services when it opened up and through the 1970s.”
The following decade, Lodi Memorial Hospital founded its home health-care program to allow patients to purchase medical equipment following hospital discharge. Also in the 1980s, the adult day-care and child-care centers which operate at Hutchins Street Square were created.
In the 1990s, a survey found an estimated 50 percent of patients seen in the hospital did not have a primary care physician, according to Farron.
So a number of medical clinics and specialty practices were opened.
“The hospital moniker doesn’t really capture what we are. We’ve evolved into an integrated health care agency,” Farron said.
Lodi Health Board Chairman Cecil Dillon said this has been a board-driven initiative.
“Our board is comprised of community-member volunteers who strongly believe we need to help our friends, family and neighbors know about the full complement of Lodi Health services,” he said in a press release. “We also believe that Lodi Health means a lot to our community, and people may now understand why a bit better. We are the second-largest year-round employer in Lodi and our health services meet just about any need.”
Farron refuted rumors that the hospital has been sold.
“(That’s) very far from the truth,” she said, adding that it is still owned by the community foundation that founded it more than 60 years ago.
That group, which later became known as the Lodi Memorial Hospital Association, came about as World War II was coming to an end. In 1945, citizens formed the nonprofit group in order to build a hospital for Lodi. They were farmers, bankers, teachers and housewives — all people who had no experience building a hospital.
But they asked neighbors to join their association, and thanks to membership funds and some Hill Burton funding, they brought in $1.1 million between 1945 and 1950, when they broke ground on the current hospital site.
The association essentially owns the hospital. It is still active and accepting members for a lifetime fee of $100.
“They would never allow this hospital to be sold,” Farron said Friday.
Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at email@example.com.