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February 8, 2019

Derby's Planetree International merges with health care communications firm

PHOTO | Contributed

Planetree International, a global firm that coaches health care organizations on ways to humanize health care, has merged with a St. Louis-based company.

Planetree, headquartered at Griffin Hospital in Derby, announced the merger Thursday with Language of Caring, a company that provides online coaching in “compassionate” health care communication.

Planetree spokeswoman Sara Guastello said Language of Caring will retain its name but become a branch of Planetree. The company’s mailing address is in St. Louis but it operates virtually, Guastello said. Terms of the merger were not disclosed.

“I could not be more thrilled to bring together the talent, expertise, tools, resources and skills training of our two organizations,” Susan Frampton, president of Planetree International, said in a statement.

The merger will marry Language of Caring’s virtual communication skills training platform with Planetree’s coaching and certification program for delivery of patient-centered health care, Planetree said.

According to its website, Language of Caring promotes “advanced communication competencies that build trust, reduce anxiety and positively impact people’s experience.”

The company has trained staff at more than 200 health care organizations around the country, including the American Red Cross.

Planetree was pioneered in California in 1978 by a patient disillusioned with the impersonal nature of health care. It now partners with more than 700 health care organizations in 27 countries, including Stamford and Griffin hospitals in Connecticut.

Griffin adopted the model in 1992 and serves as the organization’s flagship hospital.

Contact Natalie Missakian at

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