Lessons in Change Management from CHRISTUS Health’s Website Relaunch

October 27, 2023

You can do all the right things for all the right reasons and still find yourself in the crosshairs when you’re leading a major corporate change.

// By Jane Weber Brubaker //


How is it possible that a health system operating in four U.S. states and three countries in Central and South America with 50,000 employees would be invisible to search engines — unless you searched on it by name?

Take cardiology for example. CHRISTUS Health has a 100-bed heart hospital in Tyler, Texas. It is the largest heart care program in East Texas, with 46 employed cardiologists — and in 2021, it had zero unbranded search results.


Jeff Stewart, vice president, strategic marketing at CHRISTUS Health

“Scrub through our Google Search Console and you would not find a single unbranded word around cardiology, heart, vascular, anything like that,” says Jeff Stewart, vice president of strategic marketing at CHRISTUS Health.

That also means consumers are not able to find what they’re looking for online or access the care they need. If your stated vision for your digital front door is to provide “a superior and simple digital experience with convenient, easy-to-navigate, and reliable access to care online,” you have to make the necessary changes to align with that — and also deal with the potential blowback that any major change in a complex organization is bound to trigger.

That was the situation at CHRISTUS Health when Stewart came on board in 2021. He shared his story in a session at SHSMD Connections in September, “Can’t We Just Put the Old One Back?” In his presentation he captures the challenges healthcare marketers face as they help their organizations navigate change and shares advice for working through conflicts. The best argument is positive results.

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