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Cornerstone Health



An exploration into what Cornerstone Health is to its patients and solution concepts for how to better communicate the message.

Individual freelance project



Cornerstone Health is a small clinic in Evanston, IL that specializes in holistic rehabilitation. The team of physicians is skilled in chiropractic, physical therapy, nutrition, prenatal care, and infant care, and their approach is uniquely developed by the head physician and is distinct from all traditional clinics. 


At its heart, this was a communication challenge. Cornerstone isn't a typical chiropractic or physical therapy clinic, so they struggled to effectively convey who they were and what services they offered. 

An additional challenge they shared with me was how to smoothly transition patients from their head physician, Dr. Fergus, to the other physicians on the Cornerstone team.


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How should we

portray ourselves?




To solve this challenge, I wanted to know what happy patients thought of Cornerstone and why they kept coming back. At my initial meeting with Dr. Fergus, the founder and head physician, I proposed a 3 week project that would include interviews, a share-out with the Cornerstone team to present my findings, and a few concepts to illustrate actionable insights. 

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Because we wanted to understand what made Cornerstone special, I asked Dr. Fergus to ask his most supportive patients if they would be open to sharing their experience about the clinic with me. Over the course of 2 weeks, he would send me their names and phone numbers and I would follow up with them to interview them.

In preparation for these interviews, I created an interview guide. Of particular interest was my inquiry into what Cornerstone was to these people, how their experience there differed from past experiences at other clinics, and what they would say when recommending the clinic to a friend. 

I conducted 8 thirty to forty-five minute interviews and 3 in-person interviews. 


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I met with the Cornerstone team for 3 hours to walk through and reflect upon the findings from my research. These are the findings that particularly impacted them:

How patients saw Cornerstone as a partner. We began to brainstorm different ways of reinforcing this relationship and empower patients to act as partners. 

Considering what characteristics made a patient the right fit for Cornerstone's approach. They had never thought from the patient's perspective like this. 

How patients were willing to pay for more time at Cornerstone. Dr. Fergus was so concerned with minimizing the time with patients to save them money that he hadn't considered their willingness to pay for more time. 

How communicating the different strengths and weaknesses of each Cornerstone physician could help patients understand why they were being transitioned from one to another. Too often patients only wanted to stay with Dr. Fergus. 


To illustrate the actionable insights that came out of my research, I created some quick mock ups of possible solutions. 

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As is the case with many consultant jobs, once the work is completed it's challenging to follow up to see if the client has incorporated any of the suggestions.

At the outset of the project, I had asked Dr. Fergus to write me a recommendation on Linkedin if he was happy with the work I did. His recommendation of me is on the right. 

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