A Healthy Approach to Communication

Bellin Health System is an integrated health care delivery system serving Northeast Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, with three hospitals, two surgery centers, 32 clinics and 4,200+ providers and staff. The organization is nationally recognized for its innovative, high quality, lower cost healthcare.


Bellin Health wants to be the healthcare system of choice for those living and working in Northeast Wisconsin and Upper Michigan while, at the same time, acknowledged nationally for its innovation and focus on providing high quality healthcare that is also lower cost.

But, with a small communication team there was a need for a trusted advisor and strategist as well as a team that could develop and implement communication plans for a wide variety of stakeholders including internal and external stakeholders on a local, regional and national basis.


Over the course of more than 20 years, Bellin has turned to Leonard & Finco for a wide variety of communication needs, including:
  • Strategic and on-going social media for Bellin Health, Bellin Run, Bellin Women’s Half Marathon and Bellin for Women; populating 11 social platforms monthly. This includes content calendar development, copywriting, graphics, scheduling and cross promotion of service lines.
  • Strategy and media outreach for key initiatives, achievements, milestones, events and activities including messaging, positioning and plan development.
  • Internal, annual awards ceremony honoring individuals and teams demonstrating Bellin’s Values in Practice (including video production, scripting, event organization, related social posts).
  • External media relations including national, regional and local interviews, talking points, expert column development and news releases.
  • Annual community benefits report approach and content creation.
  • Strategy, planning and communication for acquisitions.
  • Internal communication plan development and implementation for initiatives such as new employee insurance plans.
  • CEO Transition: Developing and implementing an internal and external communication plan which included videos, social, internal emails and media outreach.
  • Development of Team Based Care playbook; which has been the focus of national speaking engagements and distribution worldwide


Communication efforts support and enhance the outcomes Bellin achieves through the work of its team members. As the leading healthcare provider in the area, Bellin receives national awards for its innovations and high-quality care from a variety of organizations including Leapfrog, Newsweek and others.
The internal and external communication efforts reinforce and amplify those efforts and are seen as a key component of the system’s success. A few outcomes of note:
  • On a monthly basis, the system garners hundreds of thousands of dollars in earned media Ad Value Equivalency (AVE); and vastly increased in 2020 due to stories focused on information about the pandemic.
  • Social media has grown dramatically. All channels that Leonard & Finco populates and manages have steadily grown, with the main Bellin Health platforms substantially increasing reach and engagement. The 2019 growth average was 16% and, in 2020, there are now more than 20,000 followers.

“The L&F team were critical in Bellin communicating our important change in leadership to so many people! The plan, including timing, went just as we hoped.”

George Kerwin
Retired CEO of Bellin Health