The Preventionist: 5 Questions With EHE CEO Shaun Francis


EHE International

Healthcare coverage may be a red-hot topic but the value of preventive care isn’t debatable, considering the key role it plays in overall health.

The US company that has provided medical physical examinations and a range of other medical services for executives and employees, as well as consumers, for more than 100 years is refreshing its brand to raise its (relatively low) brand visibility.

EHE InternationalEHE new logo / 2017, North America’s largest healthcare management company, has refreshed its visual brand identity with a new logo and redesign of its website with an enhanced user experience and more emphasis on content marketing to provide clients with actionable and relevant information.

This summer, the B2B brand will extend the new identity to its                    products and wellness facilities. Late last month it added Instagram to its social line-up of Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

“At EHE, we are reimagining the healthcare and wellbeing experience through superior medical care, top quality service and cutting-edge technology,” Shaun Francis, chairman and CEO, stated. “We are future-forcused at EHE. This redesign is an integral step forward as we deliver an unparalleled patient experience with better outcomes.”

Francis brings unique qualifications to transforming EHE for its next century. Before he became the Chair and CEO of EHE and MEDCAN (a network of private clinics in Canada), the Toronto-based executive was one of the founding employees and Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for Broadlane. He also worked for Morgan Stanley’s New York and Toronto investment banking division.

He serves on the boards of the Invictus Games Canada and the Fraser Institute. He also serves as the Chair of the True Patriot Love Foundation, which he founded to benefit Canada’s military families. He previously served on the boards of Toronto Pearson Airport, Upper Canada College and was the Chair of the Ontario Chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), the PC Ontario Fund and the Veteran Transition Advisory Council.

Shaun Francis / Medcan & EHEbrandchannel talked with Francis (right) about EHE’s overhaul and focus on preventative healthcare for healthier and happier employees.

In refreshing a B2B brand such as EHE, what unique qualities are you focusing on with this brand refresh?

We’re a 104-year-old company built on the premise that an annual physical would lead to a better lifestyle. It’s still doing the same thing. It has muddled along for many decades. A group of investors, including me, acquired the company a little more than a year ago. The company has evolved and now is doing that annual physical in all 50 US states for big national, self-insured employers as well as consumers.

The brand has mostly been invisible—in the history of the company, it was more or less lost along the way. Even on the B2B side we didn’t have a strong brand presence or marketing resource. So we have created a whole new brand identity with a new marketing team. Our buyers are the HR executives of Fortune 500 companies and the users are the employees. We have to differentiate ourselves from the hundreds, if not thousands, of digital tech wellness companies and tell our compelling story so actual employees want to try this compelling service.

So EHE’s sweet spot is health plans’ incentives or requirements for physicals?

Of course we didn’t invent the annual physical. But we were the first to commercialize it. But today employers think of an annual physical being something quite nominal and inexpensive or it’s a very expensive benefit, typically a perk provided to executives. We’re navigating that space. We’re saying it shouldn’t just be an executive perk. In fact, with the Obamacare [law], you’re required to, but employees are getting it haphazardly or not at all, or expensively.

We’ll bundle together a lot of preventative services that employees have been getting into an annual physical and curate it through our 700 doctors nationwide. We own clinics in several major cities including New York, and to augment our network we contract with other doctors; if we catch something we can make a referral in your network. Employees who get the service repeatedly (see) their health results improve.

How will refreshing your branding help?

How do we take a 100-year-old company and update it? There are many digital health companies with new brands. We have to update and differentiate and say we’ve been doing this for 100 years and we have Fortune 100 customers. We weren’t just funded by Silicon Valley; we know what we’re doing.

And we need to have a brand presence with our customers so they recognize this is a great service my employer is providing. Previously, you had to explain a lot about what the service was. Today, when you see our brand flash across e-mail or social media, we want employees immediately to know what our value proposition is.

So how are you updating your brand with that in mind?

What do we do to become a brand journey experience for our clients, so in every way we touch them, it goes back to the core brand? We’re onboarding a whole new marketing department We’re updating the brand from a look-and-feel perspective. The evolution still isn’t done, but we’re contemporizing everything about our communications, rebranding our website and all of our materials and how we communicate with our clients.

And will there be more emphasis on digital marketing?

Healthcare today is increasingly technology-based. We have to update our look and feel, have a social media presence and be selective about what gets the most return on investment.

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