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John’s Hopkins Organ Exchange Program: Marketing on the Internets

While playing with a new “medication alerts on your cell phone” service invented by one very dedicated pharmacist, I linked over to a news article that John’s Hopkins had run a marathon organ exchange surgery day. Five healthy people donated 5 kidneys to 5 desparate patients in one session, across 6 operating rooms, involving over 100 surgeons, doctors, nurses and other health professionals. Wow.

As serious as kindey replacement surgery is, this sounds like a publicity stunt. And publicity it is getting for the hospital (one of the best in the world, of course) and the law barring payments to donors of organs (it may be too broad, preventing reimbursement for expenses and such).

The part I liked the best:

The couple turned to Johns Hopkins Hospital’s organ-exchange program, which they had discovered during an Internet search. 

John’s Hopkins is no stranger to marketing. I have appreciated their radio “medical minute” spots for many years, not for their content but for the way they injected “John’s Hopkins” into the conversation on topics other than lacrosse (okay, I grew up on Long Island in the 80’s so maybe that’s an atypical branding impression but it’s mine nonetheless).

I am convinced there is no upper limit to the amount of online promotion that could be done for such causes. Mayo Clinic grabbed onto the web early. Hopkins is so good offline, but the market is moving on line.