A Peek Behind the Walls
By Shawn Arni, Director of Marketing – Medical, Children’s Mercy Kansas City
Children’s Mercy is one of the most beloved organizations in Kansas City. That is one of the reasons I’ve worked here for more than 20 years now, and I’ve always been proud to tell others where I work and what I do.
Founded from humble beginnings in 1897 by two sisters – one a surgeon, the other a dentist – Children’s Mercy has grown from a single bed to a 367 bed pediatric health system serving more than 500,000 patients yearly from all of over the world. Yet despite its reach, so many know so little about the hospital.
In 2014, we met with a Coolfire Productions to discuss a new opportunity. We have a great story to tell, but we needed a bigger platform to tell it. We envisioned a prime-time docu-series on a local network affiliate that could take viewers into our specialty care clinics, the emergency room and the operating room, to share the inspiring stories that happen every day. Opening the inner workings of the hospital would come with risks, but we were confident that viewers would be moved by the inspiring stories of our patients and staff.
That was the start of what became “Inside Pediatrics,” a six-part documentary series, allowing viewers to follow patients and families as they sought hope and healing at Children’s Mercy. From a liver transplant to a cancer diagnosis, from a rare genomic diagnosis to open heart surgery, “Inside Pediatrics” gave viewers unparalleled access into the clinics, the operating room – and the hearts and minds of patients, families and staff.
It was a huge undertaking. Season one involved 59 days of filming, 28 patients from 22 different cities (across five states), 458 employees filmed and seven celebrity appearances.
So how did we do? Hint: We’ve now produced two seasons, won numerous industry honors and two Emmy awards.
Join us at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 21 at Brio as Laurie Ellison, Chief Marketing Officer at Children’s Mercy, gives a behind-the-scenes look at “Inside Pediatrics.” Learn what went into the decision-making process, what ROI measures the hospital used, and how the hospital successfully executed this Emmy award-winning series.
–By Shawn Arni
KC IABC Board Member
Director of Marketing – Medical, Children’s Mercy Kansas City