CASE STUDY: M&A Communcations

Hospital merger strategic communications to bolster community support

Beginning in 2012, the Board of Directors of Maryland's Carroll Hospital began the process of exploring the possibility of an affiliation or merger to fully implement their “Vision 2020” strategic plan. In support of their goals, the board determined the need to form a partnership with a health system that could complement their community vision and mission.

Carroll Hospital was literally founded by their community; the founders going door-to-door to solicit donations from their neighbors raised the funds. Before the board could begin the process of exploring the market for potential partners, rumors that outsiders might take control of the community's crown jewel began to circulate. Maintaining community support was not merely important to the board, it remained the source of the hospital's identity.
Management and the board asked Vianovo for strategic communications help to discuss the reasons for, and the board's approach to, identifying a potential partner with the community and employees. Vianovo helped Carroll Hospital leaders conduct an effective conversation with their communities – giving Carroll Hospital leadership breathing room to conduct a yearlong market analysis, interviews and negotiations that led the board to choose LifeBridge Health, the 4th largest health system in Maryland, as their partner. Vianovo helped implement a strategic communications plan to roll out the announcement.
With the completion of the transaction, Carroll Hospital doubled the employed physicians within their network, expanded their women and children’s clinical delivery model, cardiovascular services, cancer related services, surgical services, primary care, senior health and population health services.
The Maryland chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth, a global organization focused on driving middle-market growth, recognized the LifeBridge Health-Carroll Hospital Merger as the 2015 Deal of the Year, honoring the companies and individuals who were successful in the business transactions that had the greatest impact on the region.