Case Study: Grateful Patient

By: Kurt Worrell
GP Graphic for Utah (1)

University of Utah Health

University of Utah Health is the only academic medical center in the state of Utah and the Mountain West and provides patient care for the people of Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, western Colorado, and much of Nevada. It also serves as the training ground for the majority of the state's physicians, nurses, pharmacists, therapists, and other health care professionals. University of Utah Health is consistently ranked #1 in quality in the nation among academic medical centers. 


Build an omni-channel grateful patient program from the ground up.  To create a new donor acquisition program that brings in sustaining, high-performing new donors from the patient population from the University of Utah Health Hospitals and Clinics. 


University of Utah Health began a partnership with StoryCause in July to launch a grateful patient acquisition program. Our objective was to engage patients through their personal experiences through an omni-channel grateful patient program and build a sustainable and high-performing donor base.  

Our objective was to first build a compelling case for support. The focus became articulating the strategic goals of the U of U Hospitals and Clinics to increase access, provide world-class compassionate care and highlight current and future opportunities for impact in the community at large. The outcome was the creation of engaging direct mail, digital and guided telephone conversations to acquire and retain donors. 

Each month, our team’s partner reviews and selects the best potential patients for inclusion in each phase of the program. The focus is on identifying gratitude and designing models and analytics to best identify potential sustainable donors. Some of the key metrics we focus on are age, wealth, area of service, distance travelled for care, and number of encounters. The entire population receives digital outreach, a narrower group of patients receive direct mail and a very focused/modeled group receives engagement outreach by telephone. The telephone outreach focuses on engaging patients around their story and remarkable experiences. 


Through the first 4 months of outreach, the program is hitting the mark. Patients that receive all channels of outreach are converting at rate of 6% with an average gift of $110. Even more impressive is that 25% of new donors are opting for a sustaining monthly giving option. We have also collected the stories that patients have to tell about their experiences in UU Health. Patients are recognizing healthcare people and teams with their gifts which contributes to an overall culture of philanthropy.