Imagine being discharged from the hospital with nowhere to go. Unfortunately, for thousands of Chicagoans without homes, that's reality. More than just a shelter, The Boulevard of Chicago gives homeless people on the road to medical recovery a place to restore their health and rebuild their lives by providing high quality, cost-effective medical care, holistic support, and housing services. There, ill and injured homeless adults can break the cycle of homelessness, restore their health, and rebuild their lives.
In order to grow their programs, The Boulevard needs to passionately communicate their message with potential hospital and Managed Care Organization (MCO) partners and investors. The facts regarding return on investment are there. Initial data shows that there is up to 52% cost savings to healthcare providers when patients come to The Boulevard to recover post-discharge, instead of lingering in the hospital and then being discharged back to the streets. More importantly, when these healthcare institutions invest in The Boulevard, more people can be on the road to health and home.
Our objective was to create a video campaign for them to use to forge these crucial new healthcare investments and partnerships. Presenting data only goes so far in boardrooms of healthcare organizations. The Boulevard wanted a video piece that would emotionally and powerfully explain their unique and important work and lead to new investments in their organization.
With a topic as complicated as healthcare reform, our goal was to create a video that used both powerful human stories and hard data to show how The Boulevard helped fill a crucial need. The strategy for this project was to appeal to both the emotional and rational sides of healthcare industry decision makers. We needed to show them how much money they can save by investing in The Boulevard, while also showing the humanity and dignity of the residents.
We created a video story because we believe in the power of visual storytelling to compel audiences to impactful action. The video was unscripted and interviews were conducted in a documentary style. This choice was made to appeal emotionally and authentically to the audience.
We spent several days shooting around the facilities of The Boulevard to show the benefits of the center in action. We featured resident support groups, visits to the onsite doctors, relaxation time in the garden, and the living quarters.
We also followed up with a former resident who spoke about his struggles of being homeless and HIV-positive, the help The Boulevard gave him, and its role in helping him secure a job and permanent housing. His story served as the human example of what could be accomplished when The Boulevard is funded.
A crucial component of the strategy was the choice to feature testimonies from existing healthcare partners. Illinicare and CountyCare are MCOs that have invested in The Boulevard. Having their representatives speak passionately about their partnerships with the organization will resonate with their peers and translate into more partnerships with similar organizations. We also utilized data from these MCOs to show the return on investment. When they put money into The Boulevard, their patients receive better care alongside a suite of services to improve not only their health but their life overall. The result of this holistic approach is that patients do not need to return to the ER as often, thus significantly reducing the costs of the MCOs. We animated graphics to visually display these statistics, as a way of making the data come alive for the audience.
The implementation plan for the video started with a premiere at their gala. The video was used as a crucial part of the night's programming, introducing the final ask for money. The night sucessfully raised 8.5% more funds than the previous gala. After the premiere, The Boulevard targeted healthcare industry executives and used the video as a tool to set up meetings to pitch them on investing in their organization. The video is also their main tool in these meetings, and they've secured 10 upcoming meetings before the end of 2016.
The Boulevard now has a powerful tool to help raise funds directly from donors and, more importantly, use as they expand their investing partnerships with MCOs.
From Christine Holt, Director of Development for The Boulevard: "The Hospital Video project, created by The Telling Well, introduces hospital and Managed Care Organization (MCO) executives to the medical respite approach to addressing homelessness, as pioneered by The Boulevard of Chicago. The video not only tells a compelling personal story; it also shares up-to-the-moment data detailing how The Boulevard helps to lower repeated ER usage and hospital readmission rates, offering a more strategic solution to part of the complex cycle of illness and homelessness. This video invites hospitals and MCOs to partner with The Boulevard in a proven approach that provides lasting change for homeless Chicagoans and cost-effective options for healthcare entities.
Before the end of 2016, we anticipate sharing this film with executives from up to ten Chicago hospitals and MCOs. We greatly appreciate the work that Picture Show Films put into crafting this valuable tool, and we appreciate their investment in providing dignity and healing for Chicagoans in need."
Most importantly, the results lead to serving more homeless individuals with viable healthcare options. When these at-risk individuals get the care they need, everyone benefits.
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