Myrna Y. Vaca discusses her inspiring journey, strategies for effective healthcare marketing, and the role of community connections
In a candid interview, Myrna Y. Vaca, the Director of Community Relations for the University of Miami Health System under the Department of Marketing and Community Relations, shared her remarkable journey in healthcare marketing and her deep-seated passion for connecting with the local community. With a diverse range of responsibilities that span various facets of the health system, Vaca shed light on her role as a community strategist, her approach to complex healthcare communication, and the evolving landscape of healthcare marketing in the wake of recent events. Her insights offer a valuable perspective on the dynamic and vital field of healthcare marketing and communication.
The journey of a healthcare marketing enthusiast
Vaca's journey in the world of marketing began with the pursuit of her MBA. Through this academic endeavor, she realized that marketing wasn't solely about products but about storytelling. As she grew professionally, this realization evolved – marketing was about presenting one's narrative. This realization was the catalyst that ignited her passion for healthcare marketing. The ability to convey complex medical information through compelling narratives became her passion, a skill she harnessed to engage with the community and foster a deep connection.
Vaca shared that the University of Miami Health System serves a diverse community reflective of Miami's unique cultural fabric. Vaca's intimate understanding of the local community has become a cornerstone of her healthcare marketing strategy.
Drawing from her roots as a "Jackson baby," born in Jackson Memorial Hospital, Vaca values the profound influence of community knowledge on effective marketing. From diversity initiatives to nuanced communication about health concerns, she emphasized the importance of fitting messages that resonate with the various personalities that constitute Miami's population. This approach, she said, has not only made her a better professional but has also fueled an authentic connection with the community.
Transformative initiatives and the art of storytelling
Vaca's role as the Director of Community Relations spans the University of Miami Health System, encompassing diverse entities such as the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. She highlighted two significant initiatives that demonstrate the impact of healthcare marketing: the coveted NCI-Designated Cancer Centers and the groundbreaking Transformational Cancer Research Building. These initiatives emphasize her belief in the power of storytelling – through patient testimonials or research breakthroughs – as a means to effectively communicate intricate healthcare information.
Shaping the future of healthcare marketing
With the advent of technological advancements and the transformative influence of AI, the landscape of healthcare marketing is undergoing a gradual yet dynamic shift. Vaca envisions a future where AI and digital marketing are integrated seamlessly, enhancing accessibility and outreach. The spread of digital platforms and the use of smartphones highlight the necessity for healthcare marketers to establish a strong online presence. Vaca's highlighted the need to embrace innovation without hiding the quintessential human element of healthcare.
Vaca talked about the nexus of patient feedback, strategic planning, and marketing success. She described how feedback from both patients and employees forms the foundation for comprehensive marketing strategies. The healthcare system inherently provides better patient experiences by cultivating an environment where employees thrive. Patient feedback, she asserted, serves as a pivotal compass that guides healthcare marketing activities, shaping campaigns that resonate deeply with the community's needs.
Metrics of success in community-centric healthcare marketing
According to Myrna Vaca, measuring the success of healthcare marketing campaigns involves a nuanced approach, particularly in community-centric initiatives. She emphasized the strategic alignment of goals with partner organizations and the analysis of relevant data to determine a campaign's impact.
From the number of impressions generated to the conversion of appointments into services, the metrics are diverse and reflective of the campaign's multifaceted objectives. Ultimately, Vaca's vision exceeds mere metrics; her plans include improving the health and knowledge of the community and fostering a lasting connection between academia and the public.
In a world where effective healthcare communication plays an increasingly pivotal role, Myrna Y. Vaca stands as an exemplar of strategic storytelling and community engagement. Her insights offer a glimpse into the dynamic realm of healthcare marketing, emphasizing the profound impact of authentic connections, innovative strategies, and a firm commitment to fostering a healthier, more informed community.
Connect with Myrna Y. Vaca via her LinkedIn profile. She recommends those aspiring to start a career in healthcare marketing and communications build networks online for better presence and knowledge-sharing.
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