Nurses Question University of Michigan Health System’s Costly Rebranding Ploy

Name change to “Michigan Medicine” is distracting, devalues institution’s broad mission

(Ann Arbor, MI) Registered Nurses at the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) are questioning the wisdom of today’s announced name change to “Michigan Medicine.” The costly, unnecessary change wipes out a well-established brand that has earned community respect and worldwide recognition. The new name fails to reflect the broad mission of UMHS and was enacted despite concerns raised by nurse managers.

Community members who would like to urge UMHS to reconsider the change can sign this online petition:

“The money spent on implementing and marketing the new name would be better spent on patient care,” said Katie Oppenheim, RN and Chair of the University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council, which is an affiliate of the Michigan Nurses Association (UMPNC/MNA). “The term ‘medicine’ is almost exclusively associated with physicians, yet so many other professionals contribute to the treatments and breakthroughs here. We are concerned that time and resources are being squandered on a marketing ploy that ultimately diminishes the contributions of a diverse and dedicated staff.”

“To me and others, ‘medicine’ has negative connotations. You only seek medicine once you are already sick,” said Heather Roe, RN and UMPNC/MNA Vice Chair. “UMHS’s mission is broader than that. We deserve a name that makes it clear that we support health comprehensively, not just through medicine but also with prevention, research, education and other professional supports including nursing.”

“I can’t help but wonder what the other UMHS facilities outside of Ann Arbor think of this,” said MNA President John Armelagos, RN, who is also UMPNC/MNA Grievance Chair. “A statewide network was built on the current name and branding. Isn’t an obvious association with U of M’s prestigious academic resources part of what other hospitals were hoping to gain through affiliation? MNA commends the nurse managers who pointed out some of these concerns before the rebranding was announced. We only wish the administration had listened.”


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