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Carrie DeVries | APR
Senior Account Executive, LifeStyle
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On Aug. 1, 2015, University Medical Center (UMC) New Orleans opened in the city’s BioDistrict, featuring 446 beds, comprehensive primary and specialty care, cutting-edge research and the region’s only Level-1 Trauma Center. UMC New Orleans proudly took on its new role as Louisiana’s largest teaching and training facility for many of the state’s physicians, nurses and allied health professionals. The future of health care had finally arrived, and DEVENEY was there to support the momentous occasion every step of the way.

Leading up to the opening, DEVENEY worked diligently to share the news of the state-of-the-art hospital through several media-centric events. In June, UMC New Orleans welcomed local and national media into the hospital for an exclusive peek at the $1.1 billion, 2.3 million-square-foot campus. With the help of UMC New Orleans tour guides and the DEVENEY LifeCARE team, media filmed and photographed their way through the spacious clinic spaces, pod-shaped emergency department and high-tech operating rooms for the first time. Interviews were also facilitated during these tours, and the media reaction to the space was unanimous: WOW.

Weeks later, the most important day for the hospital arrived, and patients were moved into the pristine facility. DEVENEY and the UMC New Orleans patient moving teams executed a flawless transition from Interim LSU Hospital (ILH) to the brand new, private rooms of UMC New Orleans. Media were invited to interview the first patients and provided with a behind-the-scenes look as the wheels were set in motion.

Finally, DEVENEY was charged with planning a grand opening celebration on Aug. 26, during which hospital staff, leaders and stakeholders were on hand to celebrate the achievement of a medical milestone in post-Katrina New Orleans. Governor Bobby Jindal, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Acting Assistant Secretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Karen DeSalvo represented local, state and national government as speakers of the event. Once again, DEVENEY worked with both local and national media to report the historic occasion of presenting UMC New Orleans as the premier destination for health care, achieving 70 percent of media coverage from outside of Louisiana.

As a result of DEVENEY’s public relations efforts, over 527 stories were placed, resulting in 441,490,664 impressions with a publicity value of $2,978,621. This coverage, which included the New York Times, Al Jazeera and USA Today, was instrumental in shaping the perception of UMC New Orleans and boosting its impact on shaping the local health care industry. Thanks to DEVENEY and UMC New Orleans’ collaborative efforts, knowledge of the hospital’s opening and message was widespread – UMC New Orleans is the future of health care in New Orleans.

As part of the grand opening efforts, DEVENEY also produced a comprehensive marketing plan, including the launch of a TV spot.


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