St. Bernards Healthcare hosted a press conference Tuesday to announce the formation of Matthews Medical Mile, a consortium of businesses that provide health-related services and are located along a one-mile section of Matthews Avenue.
Owners of more than 100 businesses located along the route and within a block or so on either side of Matthews Avenue have joined together to promote the Matthews Medical Mile as the premiere destination for healthcare in Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri.
“This area already is a destination for healthcare services and goods,” stresses Chris B. Barber, president and chief executive officer of St. Bernards Healthcare. “It has been for a very long time.
“Many businesses that fall into the healthcare sector of the economy are located along Matthews Medical Mile. Some have been here for decades, while some are “newcomers” to the area. The business with the longest tenure, of course, is St. Bernards. It has been here for 110 years.”
Barber said plans have been in the works for months to designate the section of East Matthews Avenue as the “Matthews Medical Mile.” Businesses have been eager to sign on.
The Matthews Medical Mile will be distinctive in several ways ... with lots of visual identifiers. One of the things that marks this corridor as unique is that the curbing is painted burgundy. Pole banners will go up along the route and in parking lots owned by businesses that are taking part in the marketing effort.
Subdivision-type signs will be erected at either end of Matthews Medical Mile. One will be in the St. Bernards physician parking lot at Matthews and South Church Street, and the other will be near the ASU overpass. That sign will not be up until overpass construction is complete.
Billboards will be located in and near Jonesboro touting the Matthews Medical Mile and serving as way-finding aids for people whose destinations are at Matthews Medical Mile businesses. A special kiosk panel at The Mall at Turtle Creek will carry the Matthews Medical Mile map and will list all participating businesses.
Specially designed sidewalk signage and other types of enhancements will be added` later.
Matthews Medical Mile businesses will be included in a special web site … www.MatthewsMedicalMile.com. Information on that site will give business addresses as well as complete directions for finding each business. That web site will have a map that marks the exact location of each participating business, with physical sites designated by numbers. Each participating business will have a large window sticker with a number that corresponds to its site number on the map. Each business also will have brochures with maps.
The Matthews Medical Mile web site also will contain links to web sites of the individual firms.
Businesses taking part in the Matthews Medical Mile will be authorized to use the “MMM” designation as their location in all their advertising and marketing programs. In addition, all will benefit from overall marketing efforts.
“The Matthews Medical Mile” already is a healthcare services destination,” Barber stresses. “This new marketing effort simply will serve to enhance that.”