There’s been no shortage of gratitude across the country as non-health care people see the incredible sacrifice that health care professionals and care providers are making on behalf of our collective health and well-being. As COVID-19 has dominated headlines, health care brands are finding unique ways to celebrate teams, shape the narrative and connect aspects of their brand experience.

Want to read more? Check out more examples in the Health Care Heroes Series:

Learn More: Celebrating Health Care Heroes in the Age of COVID-19: Part II
Learn More: Celebrating Health Care Heroes: Part III

Here are some of the standout examples that might inspire you in today’s complex environment.


Breaking competitive barriers:

Competition in health care is unique—you don’t have the same level of brand-to-brand battling that is standard across many categories. The pressure of COVID-19 has caused some brands to elevate beyond their own teams and to celebrate the collective actions of their industry. At Emory Healthcare, a message supporting all of Atlanta, their core market, moved them from participant to global citizen in support of the industry calling. This is a time where you can play a broader leadership role addressing the needs of all community constituents rather than just the typical stakeholders to whom you are typically responsible.

Emory Healthcare Atlanta


Challenging the narrative:

What do you do when you had planned to launch a powerful new brand campaign in one of the country’s most expensive media markets in the country but suddenly face a global pandemic that fills your hospitals? At Northwell, the largest health care system in the New York region, you pivot from a story purely about the brand to a focused effort to change the narrative about COVID-19.

Learn More: Brands, not Government, can be our COVID-19 Cure

The new spot, voiced by actor Ray Romano touts information over fear, and was featured in FastCompany. It takes leadership and bravery to take a stand for the greater good. This direction was a perfect fit for Northwell’s brand, which has always focused on leading the industry forward under the guidance of a visionary CEO, Michael Dowling, and a forward-leaping CMO, Ramon Soto.

Elderly Couple by Window

Celebrating employees across the experience:

At UCHealth, headquartered in Denver and including the state’s largest academic medical center, the organization has been both tireless and coordinated in its approach to celebrating its hard-working staff. They make it incredibly easy for anyone to get involved in celebrating or expressing gratitude with a landing page on the website allowing anyone to send a message, picture or video. There are easy to share, bite-sized assets designed to be easy to share. Volunteers and staff have created messages on the sidewalks from employee parking into their facilities to help teams to feel values. Executives are on the frontlines delivering personalized, one-to-one recognition of peoples’ great work. And, they’ve leaned on their network to provide some very famous celebrators including Denver legends John Elway, Peyton Manning and Emmanuel Sanders.

Covid Thank Yous

Learn More: In the age of Covid-19, Messages Matter

In health care, we’re all feeling out the best way to engage our internal audiences and to celebrate their heroic efforts. These best practice ideas stand out both in terms of their impact and ease of implementation. As we see more examples, we’ll plan to share them.

Is there a health care heroes celebration that you’ve seen? Please share it with us here.


Justin Wartell
April 3, 2020 By Justin Wartell