Case Study

EverHeart Hospice


Formerly known as State of the Heart Care, EverHeart Hospice is a not-for-profit company located in West Central Ohio. This rural hospice serves 15 counties and employs over 105 people. With 40 years of service, their legacy runs long and was one of the first hospices established in the country. 

The challenges were numerous. Was their name causing confusion? Did their name need to change, and if so, why and how would we convince the stakeholders of the reasons? Were there communication problems within all three target audiences? How could we build consensus while showing transparency to reinforce trust among staff and referring partners?

Another issue was their tagline — “Care without limits”. It was an oversell that left employees feeling vulnerable because they couldn’t live up to the promise. Unfortunately, they’re affected by the restrictions of Medicare and found themselves indeed limited to some degree . 

Convincing a major organization to make dramatic changes would take a lot of research and communication. A monumental task that IronGate embraced through it’s GateWay Methodology.


We quickly realized from initial conversations, there was dissatisfaction and an internal breakdown of employee acceptance of their brand and name usage. The hypothesis leading into the research, suggested confusion in the community, with their own employees, and among referring partners. IronGate conducted an extensive research effort, utilizing focus groups, individual interviews and a community survey to verify the shared suspicions about the overall confusion with the current name and branding.


Our research revealed the company name (State of the Heart Care) was confusing and even misleading to prospective clients. Most respondents thought they offered cardiology services, and 70% of the employees didn’t use the company name when answering the phone. When State of the Heart Care changed their name five years ago, the decision was made to remove the word “Hospice”, feeling there was a stigma associated with it. Referring partners were confused why a company would hide from the word that described its core competency, and employees were insulted because “Hospice” was their mission and calling.

After much research and investigation, the evidence was undeniable. IronGate renamed the company “EverHeart Hospice”. A new corporate identity and brand tagline were created that addressed the confusion head-on and put the business back on track with their employees, partners and the community. Along with a website and brand platform, their identity has been restored and their commitment to their mission renewed.

The GateWay



Logo design

Corporate identity manual

Brand positioning

Tagline development

Printed collateral

Print ads

Social media branding

Video/radio, scripting and production

Website design, development and hosting

Inbound Marketing

CRM Implementation

SEO strategy

What Our Client Says

Kristi Strawser

CEO of EverHeart Hospice

Our name and brand were causing great confusion to our market. It was unclear from our name what services we provided. Even our staff did not fully embrace our current brand. It became clear that we needed help and it was beyond our expertise and seemed like a daunting task. IronGate really provided a comprehensive approach and has worked to understand our services and mission to ensure that it was reflected thoroughly in everything they created. The staff became an extension of our organization in many ways. We are so elated to have a new name, logo, and brand that we feel appropriately represents our mission and organization.

Our Services

We offer the services that will solve your communications problems as we work with you through the GateWay.

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