Of mana­tees and an­telopes

Modern Healthcare - - Outliers Aside & Insides -

Out­liers’ mother taught us it wasn’t po­lite to make fun of some­one’s name. But some­times while pe­rus­ing ar­ti­cles about hos­pi­tals across Amer­ica … well, we just have to won­der: What were they think­ing?

We first be­gan to pon­der what ex­actly was go­ing on when we heard about Man­a­tee Memo­rial Hospi­tal in Braden­ton, Fla. (Per­haps, we thought, they just re­ally loved that poor man­a­tee!) But, of course, as with many of the names that have tripped us up, it’s a ques­tion of ge­og­ra­phy that can mys­tify an out­sider. Braden­ton lies in Man­a­tee County, of course—and so the name has noth­ing to do with any par­tic­u­lar sea mam­mal. Al­though, we have to say, it would make for a swell mas­cot.

A sim­i­lar dy­namic is at play for An­te­lope Memo­rial Hospi­tal in Ne­ligh, Neb., whose home county also in­spired its ap­pel­la­tion. Again, great mas­cot po­ten­tial.

Then there are the hos­pi­tals that just aren’t try­ing, name­wise. Ac­cord­ing to our bi­ble, the AHA Guide for 2010, 16 in­sti­tu­tions couldn’t come up with any­thing bet­ter than the min­i­mal­ist Memo­rial Hospi­tal. Come on, peo­ple! And soap opera fans can pick from two named Gen­eral Hospi­tal, one in Los An­ge­les (of course) and the other in Charleston, W.Va. And if you don’t like the city, try Sub­ur­ban Hospi­tal, in Bethesda, Md. Con­versely, there’s City Hospi­tal, for some rea­son lo­cated in ru­ral Martins­burg, W.Va. Then there’s Medicine Lodge (Kan.) Memo­rial Hospi­tal. Sleepy Eye (Minn.) Med­i­cal Cen­ter, of course, isn’t named for a med­i­cal con­di­tion, but for a long-ago chief of a lo­cal Na­tive Amer­i­can tribe.

At least one name con­jures up thrifti­ness—but then Lower Bucks Hospi­tal in Bris­tol, Pa., filed for bank­ruptcy early this year. Again, ge­og­ra­phy plays a role here, as it’s in Bucks County; but we bet the busi­ness of­fice didn’t come up with that name. And if you get a bill from the Billings (Mont.) Clinic, are you re­ally sur­prised?

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