BETHANY — The Children’s Center has long been a place for healing children.
In the early 1900s, it officially became a hospital, though the building’s exterior or name never reflected the change. That changed recently when a new name was unveiled: The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital.
“People thought we were a day care,” Heidi Russell, vice president of communications and development, told The Journal Record.
The center’s marketing coordinator, Melissa Richey, said she noticed in her own life that people didn’t know what happened at the center.
“It is kind of surprising when you tell people you work at The Children’s Center and they weren’t familiar with what we do here every day,” she said.
The center decided it needed to make sure people knew its mission and who it served.
In March 2012, it called public relations firm Schnake Turnbo Frank to see just what was needed to help people better understand the mission. STF toured the facility, learned about the center, and then set to work to make sure others new about it as well.
Through a series of online surveys, the center learned that while it has been in approximately the same location since 1909, the name didn’t tell anyone anything about what it did. But changing the name would come with some challenges.
Richey said the staff wanted to keep “The Children’s Center” in the name because it had such a strong connection to the patients, the patients’ families, the board members, and others involved with the facility. At the same time, the center is a licensed hospital, so the name became The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital.
It was announced in September to the staff and before being officially revealed publicly this month.
“That was the best of both worlds, where we could maintain our rich history, but add more of a medical twist,” said Russell.