To reinforce the singular mission of two organizations, the hospital introduced a new brand name, UF&Shands, and tagline: "The University of Florida Academic Health Center." The UF was blue, as was Shands, and the ampersand was a bright orange. The color scheme mimicked the university's colors, but it was the ampersand that quickly came to symbolize the partnership, says Guzick.
UF Health's new logo after the rebrand
"The ampersand began to represent this process of coming together as a functioning single unit," says Guzick. "Everyone came together and the ampersand became representative of that."
Transitioning three years ago to UF&Shands was a major undertaking, and it's likely that employees thought that brand change was permanent. Melanie Ross, chief communications officer for the system, says the strategic plan to pull all the separate healthcare units under the umbrella of UF&Shands worked.
"All the employees saw themselves reflected in that brand," says Ross.
Even Guzick, who still has an orange ampersand fabricated out of metal in his office, says it was hard to let the symbol go when it had been such a successful tool for bridging a gap internally. "We were basically saying goodbye to the ampersand," says Guzick." It sits in my office. It's an important piece of history."
However, the work that went into bring the university employees together with Shands employees paid off when it was time to announced its newest brand, University of Florida Health, or UF Health.