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PPR new CVPH hire 1002
P-R PHOTO/GABE DICKENS Christine Blake (left), publication specialist at CVPH Medical Center, and Michele Powers, the hospital's new director of communications and marketing, go over some business matters at the office. Powers brings with her eight years of experience with the North Country Chamber of Commerce.

New CVPH hire has expanded duties

By: JEFF MEYERS

PLATTSBURGH — Michele Powers brings experience and a genuine fondness for the North Country to her new position as director of communications and marketing at CVPH Medical Center.

Powers, who spent the last eight years at the Plattsburgh/North Country Chamber of Commerce as director of tourism and then vice president of marketing, displays an air of confidence and enthusiasm as she wraps up her third week at the Plattsburgh hospital.

“It’s such an incredible opportunity,” she said of her switch from the business-and-tourism-oriented atmosphere to the health-care arena. 

“I loved it (at the chamber); it was such a wonderful job. But I love change; I love the challenge of a new position.”

JOB REWORKED

The hospital expanded the former job of director of public relations to create the new position. 

Although Powers will continue to be responsible for hospital relations with the media, she will also look in new directions to promote the Medical Center’s role in the community.

“We’re looking to develop strategies that can further the hospital’s mission,” she said, noting that she would like to promote an increased use of social media and online advertising to highlight the hospital’s impact across the region.

“Communication and marketing go hand in hand,” she added. 

“They’re interchangeable in how they can be used to reach out to people, both internally and in the public.”

CONNECTIONS

Powers has already introduced herself to the hospital’s medical staff, including doctors, employees and administration, as CVPH begins to look at new marketing strategies.

But she also wants to strengthen the bridge that connects the medical facility to the North Country and its residents.

“CVPH offers so much in terms of services to the community,” she said. “Its wellness programs, the Wellness Center, the Health Center — there are a lot of things the hospital does to promote wellness in the community. We want to make sure people are able to take advantage of that.”

Powers believes there are many similarities in marketing between her experience at the chamber and in health care. Before coming to the North Country, she worked for an HMO health-insurance system and has a familiarity with the ins and outs of medical care.

She said she has been warmly accepted by the CVPH community and has already learned a good deal from meetings with staff and administrators.

MARKETING PLAN

Her first goal is to begin preparing the hospital’s marketing plan for 2014, including a clearly defined list of goals and objectives.

Strategies will include input from the medical staff, the community and from the hospital’s partners at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington.

“Figuratively and literally, the hospital is the center of the community,” she said. “Part of my job at the chamber was to create a nicer environment for the community. The hospital makes this (North Country) a better community.”

‘PROVEN RECORD’

Powers has more than 20 years experience in strategic marketing, communications and media relations. At the Chamber of Commerce, she managed marketing efforts for the Adirondack Coast Visitors Bureau and the Plattsburgh International Airport.

“Michele has a proven track record of delivering results through enhanced communications and marketing initiatives,” CVPH President and Chief Executive Officer Stephens Mundy said in a news release.

“I’m confident her expertise will reinforce the strategies and goals of CVPH and Fletcher partners as we continue our mission to provide top-quality health care to the North Country.”

Powers is originally from Saratoga County and earned her bachelor of science degree from Union College in Schenectady.

Email Jeff Meyers:jmeyers@pressrepublican.com

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