GASTON COUNTY, N.C. -- A Gaston County hospital that drew scorn for its newly-unveiled tagline of "Cheat Death" is dialing back on the controversial campaign.
Caromont Health, the new name for Gaston Memorial Hospital, unveiled the new name and tagline on Thursday.
By Friday, community outcry prompted three county commissioners to hold a press conference denouncing the name and asking hospital to reconsider.
Commissioners Jason Williams, Chad Brown, and Tracey Filbeck, said they'd gotten phone calls and e-mails from residents who were offended, and hospital staff who said the new slogan cheapened their profession.
The county owns the hospital building and the land it sits on. Sunday, Williams, who is also the County Commission's liaison on the hospital board, shared a statement attributed to Caromont CEO Randall Kelley, in which Kelley said the hospital is "taking a step back" on the slogan.
"We will pause on the initiative long enough to consider a rallying cry that will unite us," Kelley said in the statement.
"Our objective is to start a health revolution through a bold rallying cry. Our intent was never to offend or incite," the statement continued.
Williams was grateful hospital leaders would reconsider the slogan.
"It was overwhelmingly rejected by the community," said Williams, "so I'm glad he was receptive to that criticism and we're kind of backpedaling and going to rethink the whole marketing campaign."
Kelley's statement doesn't outline the hospital's next step, but Williams believes commissioners will bring it up at their meeting Thursday.