Commercialization, Exploitation or Both?
“I was proud when I saw her picture on the side of the hospital and on several still and electronic billboards around town. I was especially proud to see this young black mother and grandmother, so young, fighting the good fight, “said Ally Venmeire, a friend of Denise Cook-Hill.
“What I didn’t like is that she was going through all types of procedures, living everyday life, being ill and suffering while someone else was reaping the benefit of having her face to market them with no financial support to help her along her journey.”
It was on the day of Denise’s funeral earlier this month, when that conversation came up again. Though there were many who had come to pay their respects to Denise, the subject was being openly discussed by some family members and friends.
Denise had been loving and giving, and the faces at the Greater New Hope Baptist Church family and friends paid homage to her impact on other people.
So, it is no surprise that she would enter into an agreement with the health care organization’s marketing team that she thought would help other people. As a matter of fact, her giving spirit, despite her long illness with a heart condition that had been with her since birth, was a very good application of her giving spirit. She understood and was living through a very serious illness. So she agreed to be a part of an advertisement campaign that would be used to bring attention to heart health and Riverside Medical Center offering the service in their service line.
Yes, service line. That means that it is a service that the health care organization finances and markets to get the public to recognize it and hopefully patients buy it when they need heart care. It is a highly competitive aspect of getting business for the hospital and very expensive heart care and procedures add a great deal to the earning potential of a health care organization like Riverside Medical Center.
According to Beckers Hospital Review, a noted health care magazine, Cardiology is number one among the top specialties that drive the most revenue to hospitals. Physicians generate an average of about $3.4 Mil. each year for their affiliated hospitals.
So imagine if you will, a patient, struggling with illness and despite the help of family and friends, moving through the burdens of care with limited financial resources and being utilized in an ad campaign sure to aid in bringing millions to a hospital that is most likely going to bill them.
It brings into question as to whether the patient is being exploited and in Denise’s case, if her kind heart, the one that failed her, should have yielded more help from Riverside Health Care through out her treatment and after her death. Riverside utilized her likeness on bill boards, radio advertisements and in print through out the South Land region to promote their multi-million dollar service line.
First In A Multi-Part Series
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