by Cassandra Clark, Project Communications Director
Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley is still under construction, but it is already earning international recognition. The project’s social media program is the winner of the 2009 Society for New Communications Research (SNCR) Excellence in New Communications Award for External Communications & Communities in the Nonprofit Division.
The award winners were announced at the 4th Annual SNCR Excellence in New Communications Awards gala at the Harvard Faculty Club in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley is a $320 million construction project to replace Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley.
The Society for New Communications Research Awards program honors innovative organizations that are pioneering the use of social media, ICT, mobile media, online communities, and collaborative technologies in the areas of media, marketing, public relations, advertising, entertainment, education, politics and social initiatives.
“The Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley social media program has been precedent-setting in the health care field. It has included using a variety of social media tools—a blog site with a Webcam, video, architectural renderings and other multimedia content, plus popular social networks, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, FriendFeed and YouTube—to engage the community in open discussion about the design and construction of a new hospital,” said Project Communications Director Cassandra Clark. “We set out to reach new audiences and involve them in our process, and we discovered new ways to have conversations between the public and the project team, including the architects, engineers and president of the hospital. It’s a major shift in how we communicate, and we are seeing positive results.”
SNCR Senior Fellow Albert Maruggi nominated the Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley Social Media Project, the first social media project of its kind undertaken by Sutter Health as a pilot program, for the award.
Business author Shel Israel, who is also a Senior SNCR Fellow and Advisory Board member, included the story of the Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley social media project in his recently published book, Twitterville: How Businesses Can Thrive in the New Global Neighborhoods (pp. 103-105), and agreed with Mr. Maruggi that the SMCCV project could qualify for a SNCR Award. They both remarked that they “loved the story” and found this social media outreach project to be “unique, a first of its kind” as a health care community advocacy program.
“Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley’s social media program is an impressive example of the successful and innovative use of new tools, technologies, solutions and practices to enhance communications and relationships,” commented Jen McClure, founder and president of the Society.
A list of winners and all the winning case studies submitted to this year’s SNCR awards program have been published on the Society’s website.
By Cassandra Clark, Project Communications Director
After much debate and public input, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to certify the EIR (Environmental Impact Report) and approve the zoning and land use entitlements for the new hospital to replace 54-year-old Eden Medical Center.
Passage of the EIR and land use entitlement approvals is a major milestone for the Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley project—and the communities that will be served by this new, state-of-the-art hospital and adjoining medical office building.
About 20 speakers addressed the Board of Supervisors about the new hospital as well as concerns about future plans for San Leandro Hospital. Eden President & CEO George Bischalaney expressed to the Board members the overwhelming support for the new hospital, even among those who encouraged rejection of the EIR to “save San Leandro Hospital.” Bischalaney and others urged Board members not to delay approvals in order to meet “a very tight project timeline” and advised the Board not to tie the new hospital project to the uncertainty around San Leandro Hospital’s future.
In the end, the Board of Supervisors maintained that its obligation was to make a decision on the land use entitlement proposal before them. However, Board members promised to continue to work with Sutter and the District to come up with an optimal plan for San Leandro Hospital, and to meet the health care needs of the communities.
We are grateful to the many people of Eden Medical Center, San Leandro Hospital and our communities for participating in this process. We had tremendous support at both Board of Supervisors meetings, through the petitions, and all the phone calls and letters of encouragement.
What Happens Now?
The Board’s approval clears the way for SMCCV to use the designated property to build the new hospital, which will be on the northwest side of the Eden Medical Center campus, adjacent to the existing hospital.
In the coming weeks, we will file the appropriate permits to begin work on the land, including the demolition of the vacant apartment building and other site improvements, and the foundation work for the actual construction of the new hospital. Oversight and approval for the further construction is handled by the
California Office of Statewide Health Planning & Development.
The immediate work around the campus will get the land ready for construction and help minimize delays so we can proceed with building the new hospital as soon as possible in order to meet the deadline for State-mandated earthquake safety requirements.
We look forward to moving ahead with the project. As always, your questions and comments are welcome on this blog and on our social networks!
We’re hosting another Community Open House on Wednesday night, March 18th, from 7:00-8:30 p.m., at the Eden Hospital Conference Center, 20103 Lake Chabot Road, in Castro Valley, California. You’ll be able to see more of the architectural renderings of the beautiful new Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley and get an update on our progress. You’ll learn more about the proposed schedule for construction, and get answers to your questions and concerns. We’ll be serving refreshments, and members of our project team will be available to talk with you. We look forward to seeing you there!
You can also stay informed by reading this blog regularly, especially if you subscribe by email or RSS feed. Just click on the orange RSS icon on the right side of the blue bar above for simple subscription instructions.
If you’re on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, FriendFeed, or other social networks, you’re invited to connect with us online. The links to our social network communities are in the right side bar. Our blog is also now featured in Alltop, in the Health section!
Please let us know if you’re a member of another online neighborhood, health care or business network that members of our project team might join to discuss plans for the new medical center. We would be glad to participate!
The new year brings renewed energy and focus on our project, as we move toward completing the entitlements to begin construction of the Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley hospital. The first major step in that process is the completion of the Environmental Impact Report. In December 2008, the Alameda County Planning Commission filed the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), and it is now available for inspection and comment.
As a reminder, the second public hearing on the DEIR is scheduled for tonight, Monday, January 5, 2009, at 6:00 p.m., in the Public Hearing Room of the Alameda County Planning Commission, 224 West Winton Avenue, in Hayward.
Of course, this isn’t the only opportunity to comment. The County can provide you with copies of the DEIR, or you can view them here, and you can send correspondence to the County directly in response to the DEIR. All of these links are provided here for your convenience.
In the meantime, we continue to grow our online network to keep our communities informed about our progress. We are still in the early stages, and we expect to continue to develop our online communities over the next several years through the construction period. Look for us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, FriendFeed and other popular sites, linked from the icons in the right sidebar.
You can also connect to us through your own social media networks. Contact our Social Media Team to let us know the URL (Web address) for your business, neighborhood or other social network where it might be appropriate for us to comment and discuss the new hospital with your online community.
Here’s to a healthy New Year!
Cassandra Phelps Clark
Project Communications Director
By Cassandra Clark, Project Communications Director
On October 22, 2008, we invited the community—and particularly the neighbors—around Eden Medical Center to come to the hospital to learn about the new Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley project. We had representatives from the hospital, Devenney Group (the architectural team), Sutter Health, the social media team, and others available to meet our neighbors, hear their feedback and answer their questions. We’ll be posting video clips from the event in the next few days, so keep an eye on our Video Gallery and the featured video box in the right sidebar.
The good news was that the project was well-received, with high praise for the design and sensitivity to the community. We had great questions asked of us, and excellent comments for us to consider as we move ahead (regarding traffic patterns, noise abatement and other important concerns). While we had a very active and interested audience, we hope even more people in the community will join us at future events we plan to host in the coming year. Keep reading this blog, because we’ll announce upcoming community events here.
We realize that people are very busy, and going to the hospital isn’t something most people like to do even when they are healthy! So, we plan to take our presentation on the road, attending events and meetings to hear what folks have to say. We’ll post any future meeting dates and times in our News Room. And, of course, we will use this new blog site to reach a much wider audience, particularly those who live in our community who may not otherwise get involved.
There is a misperception that the people in Castro Valley, San Leandro, Hayward and beyond are not too familiar with social networks, blogs and all the new ways to communicate with each other over the Internet. I hope to change that perception by grabbing new readers and subscribers in our area and far beyond.
So, think of this site as our community meeting. Stay informed. Subscribe to this blog to get regular updates by email or RSS feed. Tell us what you think by commenting on individual posts. Together, we have a great opportunity to shape the future of our medical center.
By George Bischalaney, President & CEO, Eden Medical Center
The Next Generation Hospital. The new Sutter Medical Center, Castro Valley.
Hello, and welcome to our new Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley blog. As CEO, I want to introduce our new blog site and invite you to participate in conversations with us as about the new hospital and medical office building that will replace Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley. I’m very excited to be able to share information and engage with you as we create a state-of-the-art medical complex from design, through the regulatory approval process and finally through each phase of construction, up to the opening in early 2013. It is a long, exciting journey and I look forward to taking you along.
It is clear to us that we need to hear from you, our extended community—patients, neighbors, employees, physicians and business partners—in order to help us meet our goals. We know that many of you who are reading this blog will have strong opinions you would like to share with us. We too feel that communication should not be only one-way. We believe that all of us are more effective when we work together and collaborate to solve problems, address questions openly and discuss issues of importance to the entire community. After all, this is your community hospital and medical center, and we are here to serve your health needs as well as we possibly can. This is our primary goal.
To fulfill that mission and our pledge to include the community in building a medical center that will serve everyone’s needs, we have launched a Social Media outreach program using the Web to not only keep you informed, but to give you a chance to interact with us so we can address your questions and concerns. Our blog will serve as your Internet “headquarters,” where you can find updated information and links to our main Eden Medical Center web site, plus links to other popular online social networks where we have started groups and online communities for further discussion about the new medical center.
Through a variety of social media tools, including our blog, Internet video clips, podcasts, popular social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, FriendFeed and others, you will get regular updates on our progress, plus you’ll have the opportunity to comment back, ask questions, and give us your opinions and perspectives. You’ll be able to converse with hospital administrators, the architects, our Social Media project team, clinical staff and other key people from Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley. We’ll feature posts from guest bloggers, as well as podcast and Web video interviews.
By the way, we did a survey about the community’s use of social media and social networks, but if you did not know about it before, your input is still very valuable to us. You can still take the short, fun Social Media Survey.
We would love to know if you are aware of other social or online neighborhood networks that we may not have covered, such as a Yahoo, Google, AOL or Ning groups. If so, please let us know. We would be glad to participate on already existing online neighborhood, business or other networks to provide information and discuss relevant matters with your communities.
To date, much of the work in bringing our vision to reality has been behind the scenes. Our design team has worked closely with physicians, employees and medical center trustees to help envision our future campus. In the very near future, we will have more detailed exterior images that highlight the buildings and the campus changes. Much of this is still subject to refinement to meet local and State approvals.
We invite you to subscribe to our blog by email or RSS feed…please note the box above, where you can enter your email address, or you can click on the orange RSS symbol above it to subscribe in an online reader (such as Google Reader). Your email address will remain private and will not be shared with other organizations for commercial purposes. If you subscribe, you’ll be alerted by email or in your reader whenever there is a new post to read on our blog.
If you want more information about Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley, you can find basic information on our About page.
For healthcare information, please visit our main web site.
Thank you for visiting, and please feel free to leave a comment or question in the space below. We’ll be glad to respond within a day or two.
President & CEO
Eden Medical Center
We have launched a Social Media outreach program, using the Web to keep you informed about our progress in building the new Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley, a Sutter Health affiliate, which will eventually replace Eden Medical Center; and we want to provide you with a forum to interact with us so we can address your questions and concerns. Our blog will serve as your Internet “headquarters,” where you can find updated information and links to our main Eden Medical Center web site, plus you’ll find links to other popular online social networks in the right sidebar, where we have started groups and online communities for further discussion about the new medical center.
We hope you’ll subscribe by email or RSS feed—please go to the “Subscribe by Email” box or the orange RSS icon on the upper right corner of the blog. The blog will be updated every week, so come back and visit us often.
We look forward to hearing from you and starting a conversation! Please feel free to comment at the bottom of any of the posts. Scroll down this page to read the most recent posts by our Blog Team.