Medical Branding & Marketing Blog

A Unique Perspective on Healthcare, Medicine & Marketing 0

Posted in the Category 'All Things The Anca Group'

Ashley Libby
Brand & Marketing Strategist | Principal & Founder, The Anca Group


I grew up watching my stepfather crawl to the bathroom on his hands and knees. There were times he would spend weeks on the floor, managing his construction business from 'bed' on the upstairs level of our Vermont home.

Before I ever met him, he had 'broken his back' twice. The first time, he fractured a vertebra in his lumbar spine falling off the back of a snowmobile on ski patrol at Stratton Mountain, VT. The second time he fractured a vertebra, he hit a downed tree lying across a trail, again on ski patrol at Stratton, but this time on skis.

I also watched as his orthopaedic surgeons, friends of his from Massachusetts General Hospital who also volunteered at the Carlos Otis Clinic at Stratton, operated, enabling him to get out of bed, walk, attend my games, and even ski again.

Loved-one experience. 

That sparked my interest in medicine. 

I started volunteering at the Carlos Otis clinic as a freshman in high school, graduated from the University of Vermont's undergraduate physical therapy program, and went into practice. 

I knew I wouldn't be a physical therapist forever, but that experience left it's mark.

My patients touched me. We spent a lot of time together. And during that time, life gets shared - goals, fears, pain, laughter, tears, families, hopes, dreams, and so much more. I love that. Trust. Relationships. Not transactions. Because as much as we have the opportunity to touch our patients as providers, if we let them, they will most definitely touch us so much more.

Provider experience. 

That sparked my passion for healthcare. 

I wanted to reach more people than I could in practice. Business school called my name. After graduating from the University of Michigan's MBA program, I turned my attention to orthopaedic marketing. It was a perfect blend of my experiences and education. I worked hand-in-hand with orthopaedic surgeons, spent countless hours in the OR, and launched and managed some really neat products. 

Healthcare marketing experience. 

That sparked my passion for branding and marketing. 

Then I started to think even bigger. I dreamed of having my own business, so I started The Anca Group. I've built my healthcare marketing business, and I've helped others start and grow their businesses and practices.

Business experience. 

That sparked my passion for strategy. 

To be sure, my life has contributed to my unique perspective on healthcare, medicine, branding, marketing, and strategy. But nothing has contributed to my understanding more so than my experience as a patient. 

At the age of 37, I've already been diagnosed with cancer and undergone seven surgeries, including a double mastectomy, reconstructive breast surgery, two knee surgeries, and major hip surgery. 

I know what it is to endure the wait between countless tests, wake up in recovery, receive massive hospital bills - sometimes right and sometimes wrong, fight insurance companies, get conflicting messages from providers, hear and share news you never thought you would, and think about one's own mortality.

But I also know what it is to have brilliant providers who care, who are on the cutting edge of their specialties, who approach healthcare in their own unique way, and who make a profound difference in their patients' lives - my life.

I can walk again. I can run again. I can ski again. I can live again. 

Patient experience.

That has sparked my passion for exceptional patient experience and exceptional patient outcomes.

So why do I share all of this?

Because I am The Anca Group. Much as many of my clients are their brand, I am mine.

I bring the depth and breadth of life and career experiences and my passions to all of my work. I will also bring it to the stories, knowledge, and lessons I share here and elsewhere.  

Here is my promise: What I share here will be a unique blend of business experience, healthcare understanding, and marketing insight as a loved one, a provider, a branding and marketing professional, a business person, and as a patient.

I have clients who have told me, "I don't know what it's like to be a patient anymore. I don't know what they are looking for." I do. Contact me. I'm here to talk. 

Thought? Comments? Questions?


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