WarnerBoothe consults on groundbreaking for a new generation of skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities.
To the casual observer, the event would have been unremarkable. Business partners, architects, builders, local officials, and a handful of staff members gathered to break ground for Trellis, the first in a series of new skilled nursing facilities (see Trellis Groundbreaking). But behind the modest ceremony is a truly remarkable story.
A clue came at the end of the event, when one would expect a handful of well-dressed executives to stand for a photo-op behind long handled, gold-dipped shovels. By contrast, everyone in attendance at the Trellis event was invited to come forward and stand behind 60 ordinary shovels, burnished with a Trellis logo and with blades painted Kelly green. Then, all together, every person stepped forward, took hold of a shovel, and pressed it into freshly tilled dirt. Earth moved on March 9, but not because a CEO made well-intentioned predictions about the future. Earth moved because everyone dug in together, literally, right then and there. It was a reminder of what has been happening in Trellis’s parent company for 18 years, and what will continue to happen as the first Trellis facility begins to rise.
Digging in together has been a key component of WarnerBoothe’s “deep branding” work with Trellis’s parent company, Plum Healthcare. With its 63 facilities and over 11,000 employees, Plum presented WarnerBoothe with several defining questions, such as: “How does Plum build this first Trellis facility in a way that honors the work of the entire Plum family? How do Plum employees not only celebrate the new facility, but contribute to its success? How does this landmark step energize everyone—including construction and business partners?” In the back and forth collaboration with Plum, several interesting solutions emerged, including a digital one. That proprietary solution will be unveiled by WarnerBoothe in the coming months.
But Plum didn’t have to wait for a digital tool to send the signal that everyone in the organization is part of Trellis. The groundbreaking event did that. Looking around, it was impossible to ignore the diversity of attendees, or their enthusiasm for the vision of Trellis. As a Broadway singer concluded with “Bring Him Home” (from the musical Les Miserables), everyone was reminded that the goal of this short-term rehabilitation facility is to get people well and home again. One of Plum’s founders remarked, “Once the lights go on in this facility, they’ll never go off. Generations of people will come. For all of them, Trellis will be a way station on their way back home.”
Another of the founding partners observed that the strength of the Trellis vision, and the determination to achieve it, truly resides in the people of Plum. “Our employees are not all here today. We wish they were. But make no mistake about it—we are standing on their shoulders. They are part of the inspiration for why this facility is being built. So we represent them—all of them,” he said. And then everyone took to their shovels. Everyone moved the earth. Everyone demonstrated, in a symbolic way, that what 60 shovels can do is infinitely better than what a few can do on their own.