Budget cuts taking your breath away?

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I was enjoying my morning coffee today and reading this article which interviewed the former CEO of Cleveland Clinic Dr. Floyd D. Loop about his book, Leadership and Medicine.

In it, he described an interesting story about a group of World War II soldiers that he probably intended to be more of a lesson on leadership than advertising strategy.

Here is the excerpt:

In Hampton Sides’ book, The Ghost Soldiers, he describes a group of 1,600 American prisoners during World War II who were placed in a small cargo hold–way below deck, ill-ventilated, unbearably hot, and dangerously life-threatening. The prisoners were gasping for air, passing out, and because they were suffocating, they panicked. Then their captors shut the hatch and made it even worse. When all seemed lost, a man, not high ranking, stood up and shouted, “We’re in this together and if any of us want to live, we’re going to have to work together. Calm down. The men in the far corners are suffocating. Take off your shirts and fan the air toward them.” The improvement was immediate.

The fact is, most hospitals have faced and will continue to face budget cuts. That’s the way it is.

Unless they have massive reserves, the competitive edges many hospitals hoped to hang their hats on in the next few years – new centers of excellence, robotic surgery, new facilities – are on hold.

So if you’re working in healthcare marketing today, be the guy below the deck. Focus your strategy, rally the troops and do what you can to be sure your marketing efforts have enough air to be effective.

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