RHOM 4th Anniversary Event by Parker Ratcliff

Project Purpose and Objectives

The Rehabilitation Hospital of Montana (RHOM) opened in August 2019 and is the only free-standing, inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Montana offering patients intense physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech/language therapy so that they can return home as independently as possible. Patients come to RHOM after having experienced a stroke, trauma, amputations, traumatic and non-traumatic brain injuries, and more. The average length of stay for a patient at RHOM is 12 days. Patients often arrive anxious and vulnerable, but after meeting their care team, they become very close quickly and form wonderful relationships. 

Each year RHOM host an anniversary celebration for their prior patients, employees and their family members, and the community. It is a particular time for patients to return to the hospital to see caregivers and show them how much additional progress they have made in their healing journey.

I have the fantastic opportunity to participate in planning the 4th Anniversary Celebration with a small team of employees from RHOM. We held a kickoff planning session, and during that meeting, I was assigned leadership opportunities, such as identifying the target audiences of patients and community members to invite them. I had the chance to create content for an invitation, design social media images, and help create other event marketing materials. I also created social media content for their Facebook and LinkedIn pages to promote the event. Part of the planning was organizing volunteers, working with caterers, ordering decorations and party tents, and writing a press release to pitch to the local media.

By helping to plan this event, I was able to put many of the skills I learned in the classroom into real-life practice, such as writing content for social media, designing images to promote the event, writing a press release, and coordinating with many vendors to provide products or services the day of the event.

The objective was to plan and help execute a fantastic event that is smooth and highly attended and that people enjoy! The other objective is to help grow the awareness of the services RHOM provides as they are a  young company and still growing brand awareness. 

Samples of the Work Produced

Options for event t-shirts. Two versions of artwork on three different colored t-shirts:

Marketing Tactics for Event: Direct Mail Postcard, Poster, Banner Up Sign, Yard Sign

Press Release for Event

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Challenges Encountered in Completing Project

I did not encounter any problems completing the project. We did experience vendors delayed with delivering quotes for products or services timely. We had to follow back up with vendors and remind them. The creative vendor that we used also missed deadlines, but my mentor anticipated that and was able to work in extra days of cushion to allow for delays. Overall, it was very smooth, and I had outstanding leadership and mentorship, probably why I did not run into challenges completing what I set out to accomplish for this project.

Project Processes

I met with my mentor two or three days a week during the semester to work on the project. We had a brief huddle (meeting) each time; I communicated what I would prioritize that day and what I would deliver at the end of each day. This was a very smooth process and helped me stay on track and focused on the projects and the needs they had of me as well.

The most important principles I learned were how a well-run department and organization work together. Communication was the key to success. Tactically from a process perspective, I was able to use their equipment to access design software and Canva, which I used for designing social media content images. We used social media for advertising the event, and I used Microsoft programs such as Word and Excel to create to-do lists, organize volunteers, pull names for mailing to sort, and take notes from meetings.

An Overview of the Experiences

The experience was fun. My mentor and the team I worked closely with were engaging and supportive, helping me learn and listen to my ideas. It was also a fantastic experience to work with an agency and a professional designer. Watching my mentor communicate with the senior leadership team was also a great learning experience – she was well-prepared and brief in her presentation. She provided just the right amount of detail about event plans. She allowed them to pull questions out of us versus giving too much information all at once in her presentation. The actual event isn’t until August 10, 2023, so I cannot share experiences from the event at the time of this report.

Insights I Gained from the Project

I have gained so many insights and takeaways. First, finding an organization where communication and teamwork are valued and essential. I was very impressed with how they lived the core values of their organization each day. Second, I enjoyed my mentor. No matter where I may end up working when I graduate, I would like to identify a mentor in that industry that can help me. My mentor during this project was beneficial in providing clear direction, which made the work enjoyable and smooth. Lastly, using the skills I learned in the classroom in the real business world is excellent. I learned so much and was very grateful for the opportunity and experience.

Project Overview Video

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