SHREVEPORT, LA – Imagine that the same efficient workers you count on to bring you fabulous french fries are now standing over you, holding your very life in their hands. That’s just where you might soon find yourself, as McDonald’s prepares to open Ronald McDonald Regional Medical Center in Shreveport, Louisiana. The fast-food giant is turning to medicine as it looks for new and creative ways to re-invent it’s brand.
“We’re not just about double patties and Super-Sized sodas anymore. We’re a wholesome part of the American lifestyle from the moment you step into one of our restaurants to the second one of our ambulances brings you in the front door of our world-class medical center. It started with apples and oatmeal on the menu, now we’re jumping into state-of-the-art healthcare. We don’t want people to think about obesity or heart attacks when they hear our name; we want them to think of healthy and delicious healing,” said J. Royce Blethy, McDonald’s Health Services Director.
In a time when McDonald’s has been shut out of several high profile healthcare systems due to hospital image concerns, golden arches corporate executives are fighting back.
“We said, ‘Fine. If you don’t want us in your hospital, we’ll just build our own,” says Mr. Blethy, calm and confident as he gazes out across America from the arch-shaped McDonald’s Tower high above Oak Brook, Illinois. “I think patients will choose the McDonald’s brand, and traditional hospitals will realize that they already lost the battle years ago. We’ve been drawing these customers in since they were toddlers. From their first steps toward the soda fountain to that final crushing episode of chest pain, McDonald’s will always be there for them.”
When asked what will be served on patient trays at the new McDonald’s Medical Center, Mr. Blethy glows as he describes the choices.
“In addition to our scrumptious standard menu items, patients will have a variety of healthful options to choose from. If they want, they can opt to replace the standard Quarter-Pounder with Cheese with a low fat, low carbohydrate, McTofu Stack. Or they can trade the usual Butterfinger McFlurry for standard hospital issue jello. It’s all about empowering customers with the freedom to choose…what’s more American than that?”
The new hospital has plans to become a center of excellence in Bariatric Surgery, Cardiac Care, and Diabetes Management. Blethy envisions a medical world where patients will be a able to order up a Double Cardiac McBypass or a Happy Meal Insulin Kit in addition to the McNuggets and fries they already know and love.
“We’re blurring the lines between fast-food and health, and people are going to love it.”
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