Case Studies

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Stewart's Ambulance Services

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The Challenge

The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) landscape in New Hampshire was encountering daunting difficulties. Specifically, ambulance service providers were grappling with systemic issues that shut down one ambulance company and limited the service of several others, leaving several on the brink of dissolution and threatening the sustainability of the industry as a whole. These circumstances necessitated an urgent and comprehensive change, and potential governmental intervention, to avert a statewide EMS system failure. However, navigating this change required achieving consensus among a diverse set of stakeholders with complex and at times competing interests, including for-profit and nonprofit organizations, fire departments, hospitals, professional associations, and a fragmented group of lawmakers, which constituted a significant hurdle to finding viable solutions.

Our Strategic Approach

Our team recognized the complexity and urgency of the situation, and began generating public awareness to increase constituent engagement, unify stakeholders and concentrate the attention of decision-makers. Pinkston crafted a strategy to engage the diverse group of stakeholders, encapsulate their concerns and bolster public consciousness through an earned media campaign.

More specifically, our team set out to conceive and disseminate a comprehensive research report. This report was to include in-depth interviews with pivotal stakeholders, a survey encompassing all EMS stakeholder groups and trend data concerning the call volume of New Hampshire's EMS and population demographics. The objective was to distribute this report to local media channels, such as TV stations and newspapers, with significant viewership and readership from residents and legislators alike. Additionally, we planned to post the report on the ambulance association’s website to enhance its reach and impact.

The Opportunity

The research process presented an opportunity to engage a wide array of stakeholders – including EMS ambulance companies, municipal fire chiefs, hospital administrators, skilled nursing facilities and government officials – and foster greater trust and alignment. A proposed survey created an avenue for front-line staff to voice their experiences, hurdles and suggestions. This information-gathering process served as an opportunity to galvanize a group of stakeholders advocating for change.

Additionally, the report would function as a catalyst for meetings with legislators who hold the power to implement the systemic changes needed to stabilize the EMS system. This comprehensive report would allow decision-makers to act more swiftly by providing them with a foundation of established facts and a coalition of aligned stakeholders.

The Outcomes

Pinkston developed a report titled "The State of Emergency in New Hampshire," spotlighting research data and insights along with an analysis of commissioned reports from neighboring states where applicable. The report findings elucidated and prioritized the issues plaguing EMS in NH and served as a diagnostic base for exploring potential solutions.

The New Hampshire Ambulance Association released the report, sharing it with state legislators, regulatory committees, professional associations and news outlets to unify stakeholders and drive urgent action.

The Impact

Pinkston organized media interviews coinciding with the report's launch to attract statewide attention to the precarious state of EMS services in New Hampshire. This media effort included both broadcast and print interviews featuring Justin Van Etten, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Ambulance Association, discussing the report's findings and New Hampshire EMS services at large.

Nearly all impactful media outlets featured the report, including the statewide outlets Union Leader, The Concord Monitor, WMUR-TV, and New England Cable News. The report achieved national attention when Yahoo! News republished the Union Leader’s piece.

The ultimate objective of the report and its accompanying media coverage was to urge rapid legislative action to address the critical issues within New Hampshire EMS services. One month post-release, this goal was realized as the NH House of Representatives voted to pass an unprecedented increase in the Medicaid rate for ambulance transportation, signaling a significant win for the initiative.

Published Research Report

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Christian and his team impressed me with their ability to balance grace and tenacity in guiding us through a challenging time. So I didn’t hesitate to call on them again for advice and PR management. Their efforts continue to strengthen UM Holdings companies.
John aglialoro

John Aglialoro
Chairman & CEO
UM Holdings Ltd.