Case Study: Inpatient Physician Associates (IPA)

A compassionate healthcare brand experience.



Project Year




Brian Bossard, MD, FACP, FHM, was the first physician in Nebraska to practice hospital medicine, and one of the first in the country to provide hospitalist services. Hospitalist care in Lincoln began in 1993 at Lincoln General Hospital. In 1997, Lincoln General Hospital merged with Bryan Memorial Hospital to form Bryan Medical Center. As demand for hospitalist care grew, Dr. Bossard worked with medical center administrators to develop a collaborative model to provide 24/7 inpatient care at Bryan Medical Center. Inpatient Physician Associates (IPA) was founded in 2001 as a result of these collaborative efforts.

Hospitalist services were first provided by IPA in August of 2002 at Bryan Medical Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. The practice standards pioneered at IPA have been featured in many medical journals and texts, and IPA has become a nationally-recognized leader in the hospital medicine movement. In 2012, with the ongoing growth and expansion of the program, an executive leadership team was established as guidance to all members.

The need to recruit more physicians and providers became a large challenge for IPA. Prior to their engagement with Eleanor they did not have a cohesive brand experience. They lacked a proper brand identity, website, and digital marketing strategies necessary for recruitment. In addition, they were competing against health systems in their market and they needed a brand experience that would reflect their innovative approach to medicine while showcasing their dynamic group to new physicians and advanced practitioners.


Eleanor was tasked to create an employer brand experience that accurately reflected the IPA team’s talent, innovation, and values. We were retained to complete a brand audit, conduct visual research, and ultimately craft a unique brand experience for IPA.


We have a streamlined process for all of our branding and marketing work at Eleanor. This project started with a brand audit, which we complete with all of our clients. It’s during this process that we listen and learn about the company at hand. Our qualitative research leads to trusted visual results. We spent over 100 hours completing research before we started on the branding process. We feel confident in our strategies that always give the clients the brand experience they want to achieve. The brand audit provided all the insight we needed into the current employee perceptions of the Inpatient Physician Associates brand. We know that to have an effective brand experience, there cannot be a disconnect between what employees believe about the brand and what we are communicating to future employees. What we create must ring true to the current brand while successfully pairing it with the company’s vision. Through our research, we knew that the IPA brand should avoid the typical clinical feeling. It should exude warmth, innovation, and compassion at every step of the brand experience.


IPA has the brand they envisioned, and they continue to partner with Eleanor for all of their recruitment and marketing needs. We meet with them monthly to discuss ideas, strategies, and the best ways to recruit future employees. They have successfully recruited a diverse and talented group of providers year after year.

“Eleanor is a dynamic team of high achieving professionals focused on creating the best possible strategies and outcomes for their clients. I’ve worked with many agencies over the years and Eleanor tops them all. Highly recommend.”

Susan Rodenburg, Lincoln Parks Foundation

“Hands down one of the best decisions I made was to work with Eleanor Creative! Christine and her team are thoughtful and intentional. They make our meetings fun and productive and their work is amazing! They have helped us show the community who we are at Sylvan. Highly recommend.”

Missy Roh , Sylvan Learning

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