Engagement Marketing

Culture + Brand = Passion for Engagement: Volunteers in Medicine

The value of having a favorable brand is that it inspires public trust and confidence – the stronger the brand, the more likely people will associate with it. A most important contributor to brand strength, and one that is difficult to duplicate, is the organization’s culture.

“Over time … we ultimately came to the realization that a company’s culture and a company’s brand are really just two sides of the same coin.”  Tony Hsieh

A strong culture and brand also support effective workplace engagement. Volunteers in Medicine (VIM) is a perfect example of this culture-brand-engagement relationship. With nearly 100 community clinics throughout the U.S., VIM’s mission is to “promote and guide the development of a national network of free clinics emphasizing the use of retired medical and community volunteers within a culture of caring to improve access to health care for America’s under-served, particularly the uninsured.”

Amy Hamlin, VIM Executive Director, with speaker Sybil Stershic
Amy Hamlin, VIM Executive Director, with speaker Sybil Stershic

I had the honor of working with this organization as a speaker at their Volunteers in Medicine Alliance Conference. Preparing for and participating in the conference, I was impressed by VIM’s Culture of Caring, a hallmark of its clinics and overall brand that appeals to patients, volunteers, and staff.

Volunteers in Medicine’s Culture of Caring is an approach:
based on an ethical standard in medicine acknowledging that how people are treated during a clinic visit is as important as the actual medical care they receive. We believe that people who come to a VIM clinic are our friends and neighbors, good people in need of help. Surviving on limited resources, they often exhibit great courage simply trying to get through each day. Recognizing the strengths of those in need and respecting their dignity, the ‘Culture of Caring’ seeks to heal not only physical illness, but also the injury caused by bias, prejudice and indifference.”

As the foundation of its mission and brand, this special culture enables VIM clinics to successfully attract, engage, and retain physician and medical volunteers, as well as administrative volunteers, by offering them high-impact, meaningful opportunities to:

  • serve people in need
  • in a patient-focused environment
  • and with greater scheduling flexibility and more control than in traditional healthcare settings.

The chance to “practice the art of medicine, not the business of healthcare” through its culture of caring to engage volunteers and staff is critical to VIM’s brand strength and sustainability — a winning formula for patients, VIM volunteers and staff, and the communities VIM serves.

How does your culture and brand impact your organization’s engagement with employees and customers?

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