Kaweah Health CEO Gary Herbst introduces the new name and brand for the health system. Photo by Breanna Hardy.
Written by Breanna Hardy
Kaweah Delta Health Care District is now Kaweah Health – and it’s getting a blue and orange makeover to prove it.
After 60 years of influence in Tulare County as Kaweah Delta Health Care District, the medical system is rebranding to Kaweah Health, CEO Gary Herbst announced Tuesday. The rebrand comes with a new logo, fresh colors, and a name that will transfer across all its health care facilities, clinics, and specialty doctor’s offices.
“We will always take care of patients when they’re sick or injured, but we have a much keener focus now on keeping them healthy – keeping them out of the hospital, and elevating their health condition to live a more fulfilling life,” Herbst said.
Rebranding costs an estimated $700,000 – most of which will go toward new signage. Herbst said Kaweah Health’s marketing department has done all of the rebranding efforts, rather than paying millions of dollars toward third-party consultants.
The hospital’s roots in Downtown Visalia date back to 1936, when Visalia Municipal Hospital was built. Today, Kaweah Health’s newly-expanded emergency department stands on its old grounds.
While Kaweah Delta Health Care District is still its legal name, the brand refresh will eliminate patient confusion across different clinics under the Kaweah Health umbrella, Herbst said.
Sequoia Prompt Care, an urgent care clinic on Ben Maddox Way in Visalia, is part of the Kaweah Health system. Many patients don’t know this by the previous branding and signage, so they opt to receive care elsewhere. Visalia Medical Clinic, which partnered with Kaweah Health five years ago, is another clinic that goes undetected as a Kaweah Health clinic.
In eliminating the confusion, the rebrand is expected to help bring in more money because of the clarity of care.
Rebranding has been in discussion for the last decade, but the health care system started making moves two years ago.
“We are still in the midst of the pandemic, we are still hurting financially, and we’ve had to make some difficult decisions over this last year that were certainly unpopular,” he said.
Kaweah Health suffered a $60 million loss due to Covid-19, namely, not operating elective surgeries while spending more on Covid-related expenses. With $35 million in pandemic relief, it still is swinging back from a $25 million net loss. The health care system cut expenses to survive, including not matching retirement funds, and not handing out raises to employees. Kaweah Health will resume those pauses in July when its next fiscal year begins.
Herbst believes the rebrand will streamline its health care system, increase visibility and brand awareness, and ultimately bring more revenue down the line. The goal is to grow the market and gain traction back to profitability. Herbst said the brand refresh will help attract and retain physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and staff.
“We think this is exactly the perfect time to reinvent ourselves, to redefine ourselves, to modernize and distinguish ourselves from everybody else,” he said.