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Ian Petty

CVS & Mental Health: Running the Gauntlet of Vice

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Note: This piece was originally published over the weekend in our Sunday newsletter. Want content like this delivered to your inbox before it hits our blog? Subscribe here or at the link below.

The Basics:

CVS has joined Walmart by placing mental health professionals in a few of its HealthHUBs across the country, with plans to expand. Meanwhile, other major retailers are beefing up their offerings by adding digital mental health services.

Our Take:

(3-minute read or 9-minute conversation)

Somebody clearly had “transform the industry” on their 2021 to-do list.

Yep, CVS got a lot of ink this week.

First, for expanding its mental health offerings. You can get your Essie nail polish, ibuprofen softgels, four-pack of paper towels and chat with a therapist in one convenient spot. Now that’s called meeting people where they are.

Last week the retailer said it’s expanding the scope of its HealthHUBs to increase access in underserved areas. They’re starting with a dozen test sites in places where many have experienced “high instances of mental health symptoms and distress, leading to increases in emergency visits” thanks to the pandemic.

Very triple aim. Props to CVS for democratizing access. Major step in the de-stigmatization of mental health issues – addressing our mental health should be right up there with our physical health. CVS is taking that step, as are other major retailers like Walmart, Rite Aid and Walgreens – Walmart with in-house therapists and all three with digital services.

Second, CVS announced their new $100 million venture fund to invest in digital start-ups.

Together, these should be big Ws for healthcare consumerism.

For CVS, layering mental health services on top of pharmacy, urgent care, family care and wellness products is supremely logical. And it’s just what you thought might happen when they bonded with Aetna in a loving act of vertical integration. These mental health services will be in-network to Aetna members. If this test pans out and the program expands, CVS will be looking to slot into the care continuum – or redirect it. And those not affiliated with one of the several vertically integrated behemoths could be at a serious volume and reimbursement disadvantage.

Finally, with regard to both the digital innovation fund and embedding therapists in stores, convenience is king. The HealthHUB motto is “Where healthier meets easier.” Enough said.

So, say you’re a traditional provider. How do you react?

We see two options: Partnering up with one of the retailers or taking a page out of their consumerism book. On the first point, the future of healthcare rests on partnerships. Traditional providers will want to be connected with CVS and others making similar moves to tap into the stream of referrals.

Now, let’s unpack the latter option.

  • It’s a given that hospitals aren’t the only game in town anymore. Evaluate the landscape so you know which new players you need to take seriously.
  • Look at your “consumer-friendly” offerings. Are they as helpful as those tools provided by other industries? Are they at least headed in that direction? If not, be damn sure not to over-hype your offerings. Advertising a tool or service that became commonplace in retail a decade ago might elicit a mere “meh.”
  • If you are taking meaningful steps to consumer-friendliness, share how you’re making experiences with your organization easier and more convenient. Explain new initiatives that are in the works so that even if you’re not where people might want you to be, they can see how you’re getting there.
  • Reevaluate your stance on price transparency. We’ve been harping on this for a while. This is a significant issue going forward. Not allowing patients to see prices before receiving care isn’t the same level of consumer experience as that nail polish + therapy vibe you can get at CVS. But it does give people a much clearer look at what they’ll be getting when they come to you.
  • Operationally, think about opportunities to integrate disciplines to foster holistic care. Can you embed or better connect behavioral health with primary care with cardiology with…?

Of course, the onus isn’t just on hospitals. CVS, we have our eyes on you. Here’s what we’ll be watching for:

  • Will you focus on episodic care or do you see this as an access point for a real care continuum? (You say you’re offering referrals along with assessments and counseling. What does that really mean?)
  • How will you help patients navigate what our Jarrard colleague Dan Schlacter termed “the gauntlet of vice?” Walking into a CVS, you’re faced with chocolate, junk food, gossip magazines and, in some places, alcohol. What’s the plan for helping patients work through those potential triggers on their way to the therapist’s office? Triggers that, as a successful retailer, CVS has dialed in through years of applying behavioral analysis.
  • Which door do we use? Between those potential triggers and the desire for privacy, how will you lay out your stores and HealthHUBs to make the pursuit of mental health services not awkward?
  • Will you use paper charts? Just kidding. Maybe. But really, as you expand offerings, how will you manage EMRs? And will there be a firewall between medical records and consumer data? If not, how will you mix that data to the patient’s benefit (hopefully)? 

It’s anybody’s and everybody’s game. Let’s hope the victory goes to the American healthcare consumer.

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Oscars Night Ad Tugs On Heartstrings, Puts Hospitals Under Pressure

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Note: This piece was originally published over the weekend in our Sunday newsletter. Want content like this delivered to your inbox before it hits our blog? Subscribe here or at the link below.

The Basics:

The CMS rule on price transparency went into effect on January 1 but hasn’t been enforced, yet. A new awareness campaign launched during the Oscars last week with the stated goal of combatting hidden prices in healthcare. The group hasn’t gained much traction but has significant (if obscure) financial backing and celebrity involvement.

Our Take:

(3-minute read)

A dash of celebrity can really bring an issue into the national spotlight.

Hollywood tried to do just that last week when they broadcast a $2 million, 30-second PSA on healthcare pricing during the Oscars. The goal was to raise visibility about consumers’ rights to see hospital prices before they receive care.

The commercial’s talent? Oscar-winner and activist Susan Sarandon herself along with fellow A-lister Cynthia Erivo. To rally the effort, the Power to the Patients campaign is encouraging people to display wall art and murals invoking the cause and designed by celebrity artist Shepard Fairey. Check out cool examples on their website.

So. Did it work?


Nothing’s gone viral yet: As of Saturday, the ad had only generated a meager haul of followers with 869 on YouTube, 813 on Instagram, 320 on Facebook and 166 on Twitter.

But providers, dismiss this at your own peril – especially if you’re one of the many that aren’t compliant with the currently-unenforced price transparency rule.

For those hoping this will just go away, you’ve got a few things going for you.

  1. The problem is complex.
  2. It hasn’t generated much coverage (finding a good link for the top of this note wasn’t easy and we ended up using their own press release).
  3. While we haven’t done any man-on-the street interviews, we’re guessing a raised fist – as depicted in the Power to the Patients iconography – isn’t what most people will associate with easy-to-navigate chargemasters.
  4. The ad and the website merely point to a problem without really explaining it or offering solutions.

But – and it’s a big but – Power to the Patients’ star-studded roster could be just the catalyst to fire up Americans about their power to bring healthcare to the consumer-friendly levels virtually every other industry offers. Already, savvy pundits are talking, including healthcare economist and blogger Jane Sarasohn-Kahn (HealthPopuli) who gave the organization a shoutout this week. And President Biden has indicated that he’s not pulling the plug on price transparency.

Providers certainly are more accustomed to insurance companies, pharma and medical devices being grilled as secretive drivers of cost. That won’t last long if this issue isn’t reconciled.

While we’re not exactly Power to the Patient insiders, we figure they aim to: induce providers to be compliant with price transparency; expose those charging higher rates and pressure CMS to enforce its own rule.

Which brings us to the advice portion – after all, that’s what we do at Jarrard Inc. So here goes:

It’s doesn’t matter if the campaign is clunky. Or that it uses splashy but vague tactics like murals and posters. Or that it hasn’t created a firestorm – yet. What matters is that the mission of healthcare providers is to deliver better, more equitable and accessible care to the communities they serve. We understand the challenges and the reasons given to not comply today. But wherever you are right now…

  • Think about the experience you’re providing to your patients. Decide whether that experience matches up with your mission, including on the rev cycle side of things.
  • Meet with your team to determine how far away you are from posting your prices and what you need operationally to make that happen.
  • Ask your community. Check in with your patients to learn what they want and how they’d like to approach things like scheduling, payment and – of course – cost estimates.
  • Be ready to explain why you’re taking the approach to price transparency that you are. If you’re not complying and haven’t been asked about it, consider Power to the Patients as notice served that you will be. If you are compliant, be ready to talk about how the tools work and be willing to acknowledge any gaps that may exist between checking the regulatory boxes and giving patients a seamless experience.

It’s time to step up your game. Otherwise, it may be your organization’s name in lights.

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It’s Your Reputation

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Note: This piece was originally published over the weekend in our Sunday newsletter. Want content like this delivered to your inbox before it hits our blog? Subscribe here or at the link below.

The Basics

Two major providers are making a move to help them and their patients by upping investment in online reputation management. They’re looking for more (and more positive) reviews, plus an easier pathway to respond to negative ones. Provider ratings on sites like Google and Yelp are a significant factor when people look for care.

Our Take

A two-minute read for the high points; a 10-minute video/podcast for more

Doctors, we’re talking about your reputation.

And so are a lot of others. While you used to think of marketing and reputation management as “dirty words,” many of you are catching on to the necessity for doing both.

Online reviews are definitely a big deal for patients seeking a provider. Resistance to addressing them is foolish, especially when you start seeing a wave of negative reviews or inaccurate information – like the ambulance that ended up in an empty field because the online listing for a new facility was wrong.

So, how do physicians – ahem, healthcare marketing departments – take care of their online hygiene and manage their reputations? Well, it takes energy and effort – there’s no silver bullet. Which means that before you go sign up with a software provider, you have to do a little of your own recon:

  1. Find your information. Where does your organization show up online? Google? Yelp? Facebook? Where are people finding your brick-and-mortar addresses?
  2. Review your information. Are your hours and basic contact info correct on all those listing sites?
  3. Collect your information. Create a spreadsheet that will serve as a single source of truth. Seem overwhelming? Start with one segment of your organization, say the clinics or just your physicians. This spreadsheet will be critical to tracking your presence online once you do sign up with a reputation management vendor.
  4. Correct your information. You don’t need us to explain this.
  5. Respond to reviews. Get back to people and express your appreciation for their feedback. Don’t avoid negative comments. Don’t do anything foolish, like ask for personal health information in a public forum. Questions? Check with your legal and compliance team – or call us, for that matter (but not for legal advice).
  6. Solicit reviews. Some platforms, like Yelp, don’t allow you to ask for reviews. So check first. Where you can, make reviews part of the post-visit follow up. Make it easy for people. One more time: Make it easy.

So, should you follow in Sharp’s footsteps and embrace reviews, actively soliciting them to help people find you and to look better when the do? If you’ve got your aforementioned ducks in a row, we say bring ‘em on.

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Support for Healthcare Workforce Mission Critical for Provider Organizations to Avoid Brain Drain

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National survey reveals 15 percent of healthcare workers unlikely to remain in the field following pandemic. 

BRENTWOOD, Tenn., and Chicago – The healthcare workforce is in desperate need of attention, according to a new consumer survey released today. 

The study, third in a series from healthcare strategic communications firm Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock and Public Opinion Strategies, revealed that as many as one in seven healthcare workers could exit the field following the pandemic, potentially leaving a significant staffing shortage at provider organizations. Age is a factor, with 23 percent of younger healthcare workers (aged 18-34) not likely to remain, compared to only nine percent of those in the 35-64 bracket, according to the January 2021 survey. 

“With no people, it’s mission impossible for healthcare,” said David Jarrard, CEO of Jarrard Inc. “An exodus from this essential industry is a real concern, coming on the heels of caregiver burnout that was raging prior to the pandemic.” 

“That’s why listening to and engaging with physicians and employees enterprise-wide is imperative for healthcare leaders today so they can make adjustments necessary to support and retain their cherished staff.” 

Yet on a positive note, healthcare workers are more willing to be vaccinated than they were last summer: Vaccine hesitancy among healthcare workers and their families has dropped six points since August. Of those who are living in healthcare households and skeptical of COVID-19 vaccines, concern about potential side effects is the biggest barrier to acceptance. That issue can be ameliorated over time as these individuals witness positive outcomes for others who have been vaccinated. 

The survey indicated that public trust in and support of healthcare providers remains high. The public wants to hear from doctors, nurses and hospitals on key healthcare issues, including COVID-19 vaccines. 

Together, the findings suggest that provider organizations are in a moment where workforce support will be critical to weathering ongoing pandemic-driven challenges – and to helping to educate and guide the public toward vaccine acceptance. 

“As we have seen throughout the pandemic, the public trusts healthcare workers and supports hospitals, wanting to hear from these groups on key issues,” Jarrard said. “However, it will be difficult to 

use this trust to promote vaccine acceptance and other health initiatives if those same caregivers are skeptical and burned out.” 

Other key findings revealed by the online survey of 1,002 American adults (credibility interval 3.53 percent), fielded January 12-16, 2021 when vaccination rollouts were well underway, include: 

  • Fear of the virus continues its dominance of American life in 2021: More than one-third of Americans view the pandemic as the most important issue facing the country, and 76 percent remain concerned they or a loved one will contract it. However, Americans feel safer in medical settings than many other public spaces. 
  • The public remains skeptical of vaccines: Barely half say they are highly likely to get vaccinated, with resistance strongest in key groups including women and minorities. Fear of side effects is the most often cited concern, particularly among those communities, underscoring the need for providers to be active vaccine educators. 
  • Providers are trusted and have a mandate to use their voice: Doctors, nurses and hospitals remain the most trusted professionals and institutions in the country and have generally escaped blame for problems in the vaccine rollout. In this moment, people want to hear from providers above all others on healthcare issues, especially about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. 
  • Healthcare workers are at their breaking point: Forty percent of healthcare workers are unlikely or only somewhat likely to remain in the field after living through the pandemic. Since August, concern about side effects has jumped 25 points among healthcare workers skeptical of the vaccine. In contrast, the vast majority of consumers think hospitals should require their staffs to be vaccinated. 
  • Providers have bright spots to leverage: Telehealth use has grown and is well-liked, with 53 percent of respondents saying they had used telehealth (up from 29 percent last April) and three-quarters of those saying they will continue to use it in the future. Meanwhile, virtually everyone feels that price transparency is important and valuable in their pursuit of care. They continue to think hospitals should receive more funding from the federal government. But most important: Respondents feel safer in medical settings and are more likely to return to care sooner than they were in August. 

“The past 12 months have put a spotlight on the work of our healthcare workers, along with hospitals, health systems and so many other provider organizations,” Jarrard said. 

“Though challenges remain, now is a critical moment for these organizations to step back and look at ways to maintain the trust they have earned, create or consolidate programs to improve access and outcomes, and fulfill their mission as we move out of the pandemic. That means continuing to educate about vaccines, but also looking to longer-term partnerships and programs like telehealth, price transparency and even hospital-at-home.” 

About Jarrard Inc. 

With offices in Nashville, Tenn. and Chicago, Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock, Inc. is a U.S. top 10 strategic communications consulting firm for the nation’s leading healthcare providers experiencing significant change, challenge or opportunity. Founded in 2006, the firm has worked with more than 500 clients in 45 states. Jarrard Inc. specializes in M&A, change management, issue navigation and strategic positioning, and has recently worked with more than 60 healthcare organizations on communications initiatives revolving around the coronavirus pandemic. Jarrard Inc. is a division of The Chartis Group. 

For more information, visit or follow us @JarrardInc. 

Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock, Inc. Grows Team by 20 Percent

Firm News

Firm expands across all practices as healthcare providers endure significant communications challenges

National healthcare communications consultancy Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock, Inc., expanded its full-time team by 20 percent over the course of 2020, President and CEO David Jarrard announced in a year-end recap. With 12 new hires, plus the addition of five of-counsel professionals, the firm’s growth and acquisition by The Chartis Group highlighted the critical communications needs hospitals, health systems and health services companies experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two vice presidents and two associate vice presidents headline the new team members. They are:

Emily Shirden

Emily Shirden
Vice President, National & Academic Health System Practice

Shirden joined Jarrard from Finn Partners, where she led thought leadership, issues management and integrated communications programs with a strong focus on analytics and measurement.

Kristen Nicholson
Vice President of Business Development, Growth Services Team

Nicholson has 20-plus years in the healthcare industry where she has focused on growth and development for an array of companies. Immediately prior to joining Jarrard Inc., she was senior vice president of account management for Shearwater Health.

Teresa Hicks

Teresa Hicks
Associate Vice President, National & Academic Health System Practice

Hicks is a former journalist who most recently led communications strategy for Ballad Health, taking the organization through a groundbreaking health system merger and subsequent integration, helping achieve regulatory approval in two states and marshalling community support.

Dan Schlacter

Dan Schlacter
Associate Vice President, Health Services Practice

Schlacter has more than 15 years of integrated marketing and communications agency experience. His background includes work with clients in health IT, life sciences, healthcare consultancies, provider services, industry organizations and patient advocate groups. Prior to joining Jarrard Inc., Schacter was a senior account supervisor with MP&F Strategic Communications.

“This year, perhaps more than any other, has reinforced the value of clear and strategic communications for healthcare providers of all types,” Jarrard said.

“We know how difficult it has been for executives and Marcom teams as they’ve been faced with relentless pressure and questions from policy-makers, the media and an often-skeptical public, all while working to fulfill their mission of delivering care under extraordinarily challenging circumstances. We have been proud to work alongside so many of these organizations to develop the strategies needed to bring people together as society confronts the coronavirus.”

Expansion occurred across the firm’s National & Academic Health System Practice, Regional Health Systems Practice and Health Services Practice as well as its Growth Services Team and client-focused Digital Services Team.

“Healthcare has changed in so many ways this year, and yet, our experience indicates that the foundational principles and underlying trends have not – they’ve simply accelerated,” said Jarrard. “Our new colleagues bring a wealth of experience in everything from marketing strategy to crisis communications, allowing us to help clients lead and shape the future of healthcare as we emerge from the pandemic and take stock of the many lessons learned.”

Additional New Team Members:

  • Jon Hughes, Senior Managing Advisor, National & Academic Health System Practice. Hughes is a licensed psychotherapist and change management expert who most recently led the workforce health and safety team at Northwestern Medicine.
  • Yolanda James, Senior Managing Advisor, National & Academic Health System Practice. James has a deep background in issue navigation and public relations. A veteran of several hospitals and health systems, she joined Jarrard Inc. following time as director of the Nashville Health Care Council’s Fellows program and PR director for the Tennessee Hospital Association.
  • Kristen Stocker Holder, Managing Advisor, National & Academic Health System Practice. Stocker Holder is a change management specialist who came to Jarrard Inc. from roles in community advocacy.
  • Josh Byrd, Senior Graphic Designer, Growth Services Team. Byrd is a digital communications specialist who brings videos, websites and designs to life for Jarrard Inc. and its clients. Byrd previously served as an art director and director of media production at advertising firm Maris, West & Baker.
  • Will Roberts, Senior Advisor, Regional Practice. Having represented academic medical institutions, community-based healthcare providers and health policy strategists, Roberts brings a strong background in policy and regulation to his work in change management and media relations. Prior to joining Jarrard Inc., he worked in the health practice of DVL Seigenthaler/ Finn Partners.
  • Allie Gross, Advisor, National & Academic Health System Practice. An award-winning journalist, Gross applies her background in media, writing and communications to help steer national and academic health systems through challenging transitions and change management initiatives. Gross most recently worked as a reporter at the Jackson Hole News&Guide.
  • Chelsea Schulz, Advisor, National & Academic Health System Practice. Schulz focuses on strategic planning and content development. She comes to Jarrard Inc. from several competitive internships, including HCA’s Sarah Cannon Cancer Research Institute, where she worked on strategic implementation plans and process improvement initiatives.
  • Hilary Sloan, Advisor, Health Services Practice / Digital Services. Sloan brings a media background to her role coordinating digital projects for the firm and its clients. Prior to joining Jarrard Inc., Sloan served as the operations intern for Velocity Collective LLC, a leadership business consultancy in Nashville, Tennessee.

New Of-Counsels:

  • David C. Pate, M.D., J.D.: Pate is an accomplished internist, lawyer and health system executive who is the immediate past president and chief executive officer of St. Luke’s Health System in Boise, Idaho where he led the evolution to clinical integration, accountable care and a physician-led delivery system. He joined St. Luke’s in 2009, following executive positions with St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System in Houston.
  • Denise Venditti, DNP, RN: Venditti joined Jarrard Inc. with 25 years in patient experience, nursing leadership and hospital operations. Prior to joining the firm, she served as the vice president of patient experience for Geisinger Health System. In her time at Geisinger, she also worked as associate vice president of nursing, direction of operations, and operations manager.
  • Pete Lawson: Lawson has spent four decades in healthcare and served as CEO at multiple hospitals. Prior to founding his own healthcare operations consultancy and joining Jarrard Inc., he was managing director and co-lead of hospital M&A for Raymond James.
  • Ryder McNeal: McNeal is a 30-year veteran of healthcare sales. Prior to his affiliation with the firm, he served as chief growth officer for Physicians Equity Resource Advisors, LLC., a boutique consulting firm headquartered in New York, and had roles in development with TeamHealth, DaVita and Sound Physicians.
  • Eric Hoffman: Hoffman is an award-winning public affairs professional with a career that includes more than 20 years at Edelman and Weber Shandwick, plus time on Capitol Hill working for political candidates and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Confronting the New COVID-19 Surge: 5 Communications Considerations for Healthcare Leaders

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With the holidays upon us, healthcare leaders and workers are facing a nightmare scenario: Already high COVID infections will surge to new heights in the wake of holidays gatherings.

Healthcare workers who are already exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally will be left to care for patients who did not heed the warnings of public health officials. And healthcare leaders face a daunting array of high-stakes communications challenges that must be thoughtfully navigated.

We are focusing our attention on five areas where communications can help your organization confront the COVID-19 surge and prepare for other imminent milestones:

  • Workforce resiliency and support. Healthcare workers are drained. To make matters worse, many people continue to ignore public health recommendations that would help limit the spread of the virus. That leaves already-exhausted healthcare workers to deal with the consequences – potentially even including rationing of care. Healthcare leaders need to make sure their employees have access to mental health resources. We are helping organizations take stock of their employees and provide them with much needed support. Our new volume of The Art of Change addresses this critical issue, with both high-level context and practical insights. (We will continue to add to this volume over the course of the next month as we evaluate the pandemic’s ongoing toll on our employees.)
  • Prepare communications for the most likely COVID scenarios. It’s a bit of déjà vu for healthcare leaders: needing to prepare communications for suspending services, limiting visitation, staffing shortages, calling in COVID-19-positive but asymptomatic caregivers to work, capacity issues, facility closures, remote work and even the possibility of rationing care. We can help you prepare for these scenarios and others by proactively developing talking points, FAQs, memos, media materials and more.
  • Share your safety message. Patients need to feel safe so that life-saving care is not delayed. We are helping healthcare organizations develop and share their safety message by highlighting tactics like mask requirements, isolation of COVID patients, enhanced cleaning procedures, etc. Patients need to continue hearing these messages.
  • Be the healthcare voice of authority in your community. With the election over and COVID infections surging, the media is again focusing on the virus. Use media interest to your advantage. We are working with clients to provide regular media and community leaders briefings. This will rightly position your organization as the community healthcare expert and will give you the ability to lay the groundwork for strategic issues like public health, your caregivers’ commitment and additional government funding.
  • Develop a communications strategy for the next hot button issues: vaccine distribution and the January 1 CMS price transparency rule. In a matter of weeks your organization will be tasked with sharing information about these issues. We are working with clients to develop messages for internal and external audiences, communications toolkits with talking points, FAQs memos, media statement and communications cadences.

We know the challenges you face are daunting, and we are here to help.

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Safe to Return: Behavioral Health and Pandemic Anxiety

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We are living in a pivotal moment for healthcare organizations as they face an unprecedented, existential threat.

Today’s healthcare leaders – from clinicians to executives – face a vexing challenge: how to successfully lead their organizations, patients and communities through a global pandemic. There is great opportunity in making changes to fulfill their missions and provide care and support to patients, the public and employees. A new approach to influencing and driving change is needed – an approach built from established clinical principles combined with effective communications practices.

Since behavioral health clinicians work daily to reduce patients’ anxiety and help them feel comfortable in specific situations, we turned to this field for insight. In addition to asking for ways to address pandemic-inspired anxiety and fear, we have captured their actionable advice on how healthcare leaders can most effectively guide their organizations today.

Read the white paper

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Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock Joins The Chartis Group

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Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock, Inc., a Nashville-based strategic communications and change management firm serving the healthcare industry, announced today that it had been acquired by The Chartis Group, a leading healthcare advisory and analytics firm.

Founded in 2006, award-winning Jarrard Inc. ranks among the top 10 healthcare communications firms in the nation. Specializing in areas such as issue navigation, transformation adoption, change management, strategic positioning and M&A, Jarrard has served more than 500 healthcare provider clients.

Jarrard joins Chartis at a time of great promise and challenge in the nation’s healthcare delivery landscape. US hospitals, health systems and other providers are confronted with dynamic operational, clinical and financial challenges while simultaneously being presented with unlimited opportunities for disruption and innovation. In both cases, organizations are facing the need to evolve and continue to grow and transform – which requires not only new strategic, clinical, digital and operating models – but also the ability to ensure their effective implementation and adoption. To that end, Jarrard brings great complementary strengths to Chartis.

“The power of what our two organizations can do together to help clients fully achieve their strategic and operational objectives could not be greater,” said Ken Graboys, CEO of The Chartis Group. “We believe successful, sustainable transformation requires effective change management and communications. By partnering with Jarrard, we can more effectively deliver results for our clients and the healthcare industry at large.”

“We are combining the power of effective communications with the exceptional strategic, financial, technological and operational expertise of Chartis,” said David Jarrard, CEO of Jarrard Inc. “We are bringing together the art and the science of change to a rapidly-evolving industry and in service to a mission – shared by both organizations – to make healthcare better.”

The acquisition of Jarrard furthers Chartis’ commitment to providing US healthcare providers best-in-class advisory capabilities. Under the partnership, like other sister companies, Jarrard retains its brand, culture, leadership and approach to client service, while being augmented by the expertise and resources of Chartis. The acquisition of Jarrard follows Chartis’ acquisition of The Greeley Company in 2019 and Oncology Solutions in 2018.

PALAZZO served as exclusive financial advisor to Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock Inc. in this transaction.

About Jarrard Inc. 
With offices in Nashville, Tenn. and Chicago, Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock, Inc. is a U.S. top 10 strategic communications consulting firm for the nation’s leading healthcare providers experiencing significant change, challenge or opportunity. Founded in 2006, the firm has worked with more than 500 clients in 45 states and has led communications and political strategy for $60 billion in announced M&A and partnership transactions. The firm specializes in M&A, change management, issue navigation and strategic positioning, and has recently worked alongside 75-plus healthcare organizations navigating the impact of COVID-19. For more information, visit

About The Chartis Group
The Chartis Group® (Chartis) provides comprehensive advisory services and analytics to the healthcare industry. With an unparalleled depth of expertise in strategic planning, performance excellence, informatics and technology, digital and emerging technologies, and health analytics, Chartis helps leading academic medical centers, integrated delivery networks, children’s hospitals and healthcare service organizations achieve transformative results. Chartis has offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York, Minneapolis and San Francisco. For more information, visit

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