Catholic Hospital Creates Award-Winning Publication to Reach Women

by Charlie Milburn, Senior Account Supervisor - 07/13/16

St. Dominic Hospital wanted to find a way to engage women in the community. The result is a consumer publication that's driving higher patient volume and—most importantly—saving lives.



St. Dominic Hospital is a comprehensive, 535-bed tertiary care hospital located in Jackson, Miss. While the hospital previously had a community magazine—Living Well—the magazine was mostly standardized articles with no true ties to the hospital or community. St. Dominic wanted Yes Ma’am to be a relatable lifestyle magazine that features places and people familiar to its target audience.

After researching women’s magazines, St. Dominic decided to model Yes Ma’am after one of the most popular women’s magazines, O Magazine. St. Dominic wanted to create Yes Ma’am to relate relevant health and hospital-specific information to women ages 24–54 in the hospital’s primary and secondary service areas (approximately 80,000 women) in an appealing way. Based on the research, one of St. Dominic’s key goals was to gain a 1 percent increase in new patients/customers (800 patients) from this specified target audience.

Content Strategy

Yes Ma’am is a quarterly 16-page, hospital-oriented magazine that is directly mailed to women’s homes and posted online. In late March 2014, St. Dominic and True North marketing strategists came together to brainstorm topics for the first issue, using O Magazine as a guide. The team first decided on the magazine’s title —Yes Ma’am —which encompasses the essence of the strong Southern woman in the target audience. While other hospitals in the area have their own community magazines, Yes Ma’am is the only magazine of its kind in the area with majority original content. Each article is researched, fact-checked, and vetted by an expert in the field with appropriate calls to action relating back to hospital-owned services. Although the magazine is written and produced by a hospital, it does not have the typical “feel” of a hospital magazine—it is more like a general woman’s lifestyle magazine due the blending of articles about beauty, retail services, health, and local sites.


Catholic-Hospital-infographic.pngYes Ma’am magazine has been a success for the hospital, with several departments receiving calls and business due to articles in the magazine. For instance, St. Dominic’s Healthy Heart screening program received 41 new patients as a direct result of a call to action in the magazine. In addition, St. Dominic received 59 requests from women in the community who were not originally on the magazine mailing list to be added to the list.

St. Dominic also utilizes an address database to maintain its mailing list for Yes Ma’am and other community publications and direct mail campaigns. This database lists all socioeconomic information about each individual and splits the population into “patients” and “non-patients,” defined as those who have never used St. Dominic’s services. The hospital utilizes this database to track the effectiveness of each piece by calculating new patients and net revenue for each individual project.

According to this database, St. Dominic received 1,169 new patients in 2014 that were specifically listed on the Yes Ma’am mailing list, bringing an estimated $1,221,463 to the hospital in new patient income. This means St. Dominic exceeded its goal of a 1 percent patient increase with an estimated 1.5 percent total patient increase from this audience.

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