OKLAHOMA – Lisa Springer is far too humble. But perhaps that’s one of the characteristics that make her suited for a role that requires her to communicate on behalf of a nearly 40,000-employee organization.
The self-proclaimed small town girl has been named Mercy regional vice president of marketing and communications. Springer, a 13-year Mercy co-worker, will continue to oversee marketing, internal communications, market research, media relations and community relations for 14 hospitals and more than 60 clinics in Oklahoma. Additionally, she will play a leadership role in Mercy system-wide communications efforts across all four states Mercy serves.
The secret to her success? “I never hire someone who doesn’t know more than I do,” said Springer.
Mercy co-workers can’t see how that’s true.
“I think I learn something new every day from Lisa,” said senior marketing specialist Courtney Thomas, who has worked with Springer nearly three years.
When asked what this role means to her, the normally light-hearted Springer turns serious. She thinks back to a turquoise typewriter her grandfather gave her.
“My grandpa had an eighth grade education. He told me, ‘learn to type and you’ll always have a job,’” said Springer. “Really, I’m humbled. I can’t believe that little Lisa from El Reno gets the opportunity to be a vice president at a company like Mercy.”
On any given day, Springer is advising CEOs, writing speeches to be given to Congress, participating in growth strategy meetings, managing budgets and overseeing internal and external communications and advertising campaigns.
“Lisa is well deserving of this promotion as she has been a valuable member of the Oklahoma leadership team for several years,” said Di Smalley, regional president of Mercy in Oklahoma. “Lisa brings a true understanding of our ministry to her work on Mercy's behalf – in our state and across our entire ministry.”
One such Mercy system-wide focus is the recent rebranding effort, which began in St. Louis in September 2011. June marked the end of the brand transition, as Oklahoma communities adopted the new symbol in facility signage and names.
“It’s more than a new logo,” said Springer. “Our goal is to create a common experience for patients, no matter which Mercy facility they choose to receive treatment. We call it a ‘brand.’ It might be better described as a culture or an experience. Whatever you call it, it’s the essence of who we are.”
To communicate that essence, Springer and the 80-plus team of marketing and communications professionals across Mercy worked to educate co-workers and members of the communities Mercy serves about why the investment in a common brand was important.
“We have a tremendous opportunity to serve our patients and our nation during this complex transition for the entire health care industry,” said Springer. “It’s important that our patients and our co-workers get a feel for the stability, strength and resources our large system can offer. From technology like electronic health records and telemedicine – which let patients stay close to home and get the best health care possible – to pharmaceutical buying power to our extensive network of medical experts, our system’s strength ultimately means easier access to specialized care for our patients.”
Springer previously served as research director at Ackerman-McQueen, market analyst at Oklahoma Tourism and director of children’s education at First Christian Church in Oklahoma City. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oklahoma State University.
Mercy is the sixth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 31 hospitals, more than 200 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,600 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more about Mercy, visit www.mercy.net.