Cascade Healthcare Community, the largest private, nonprofit health care provider in the region, has changed the name of the organization to St. Charles Health System. The official name change took place on April 1.
The choice to change the name came after conducting an independent community survey in August 2009. The survey revealed that people in the Central Oregon community were familiar with the St. Charles name and associated the name with high quality health care. The CHC name was not as familiar and, as the survey revealed, actually caused confusion among respondents.
“As an organization, we had a feeling that the St. Charles name had strong and positive recognition in the region,” said James A. Diegel, FACHE president and CEO of St. Charles Health System. “But the survey gave us overwhelming data that this was the direction we needed to take to identify the health system moving forward.”
The CHC name was created in 2001 when St. Charles Bend merged with Central Oregon District Hospital in Redmond, which later became St. Charles Redmond. The names of the hospitals within the St. Charles Health System umbrella will not change at this time.
Diegel added that some efforts had been made to brand the CHC name, but that it never caught on. Diegel and the St. Charles Health System board of directors knew it would cost the organization valuable funds to brand the CHC name and it was clear that the St. Charles brand was already established.
“In some ways this decision is about us moving forward with a name that embodies our dedication to serving all patients in need and who we are as an organization,” Diegel said, “But it is also about making a smart business decision. Why spend money branding CHC when St. Charles is already well know and recognized? We decided that we would much rather put those funds towards services that are critical to this community.”
Other than the change in name, patients of the St. Charles Health System campuses will not notice any other changes to care or services. The health system will remain a nonprofit and will continue to provide vital health care services to the region.
St. Charles Health System, Inc., headquartered in Bend, owns and operates the St. Charles medical centers in Bend and Redmond, leases and operates Pioneer Memorial Hospital in Prineville and provides management services for Mountain View Hospital in Madras. SCHS is a private, not-for-profit Oregon corporation and is the largest employer in Central Oregon with more than 3,000 caregivers in Bend, Redmond and Prineville. In addition, there are more than 350 active medical staff members and nearly 200 visiting medical staff members who partner with SCHS to provide a wide range of care and service to our communities.