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Photo of Centra's Danville Medical Center at sunrise

Centra Health

Increasing accessibility to vital information

About Centra

Centra Health is a regional nonprofit healthcare system based in Lynchburg, Virginia. They are one of the only healthcare systems in the region, serving a mostly rural population of nearly 500,000 and offering medical care in 50 locations.

Centra Health is extremely involved in their community and it was their number one priority to ensure their site was user friendly and navigable for patients and visitors.

The Situation

Centra Health’s website,, was five years old and no longer served the health system or its patients well. The site was running on Drupal 7 and the Centra Health team needed to upgrade to a modern version which offered more security and extensibility. 
They were looking to migrate from Drupal 7 by November 2022, and to work with a consultancy who had the capacity to continue to support the site from both a strategic and technical perspective. 
While the current site design reflected a recent brand refresh in logos and color, the navigation was clunky and the site’s language was not reflective of the brand voice. Ultimately, the site lacked a clear path for both visitors and employees to find important health and contact information. 

Palantir created an environment of clarity as they guided our team through the process of assessing our previous site for redesign and optimization. Their focus on research in content planning and development and their expertise in design and functionality were pivotal in the creation of the beautiful new site we have for our Caregivers and community.

Diane Ludwig, Vice President of Communications, Marketing, and Public Relations

Project Highlights

  • Significant decrease in out-of-date, ineffective site content thanks to strategic content planning process and manual migration
  • A user research-supported information architecture and content structure
  • User-centered, robust search functionality that drives content findability for providers, locations, services, and general site content
  • Beautiful, modular design system showcasing the core elements of Centra Health’s brand


Understanding that Centra Health was working within a fixed budget and timeline, we worked closely with their team to identify and prioritize the highest value work throughout the project. We split the project into three phases: Discovery/Design, Content Support and Implementation. This allowed for each phase to leverage the learning from the previous phases, and to pivot where necessary.

What became clear early on was that the technical implementation would be fairly straightforward, but the design, content planning and content development effort needed focused attention. During the initial discovery phase, we took a deep dive into the site’s current structure, features, content, and analytics. Through a qualitative and quantitative user research plan that involved user interviews, Top Task analysis, information architecture (IA) testing, and card sorting, our team identified the highest priority experiences  for site visitors and developed a data-driven content model and design system with this as the foundation.  
We then supported the Centra Health marketing team as they established internal support for the new design and began the intense work of content creation and revision. 
Our content mantra was “less is more." Instead of migrating all of Centra Health’s content from their old site to their new one wholesale, we coached them to be intentional about what made the cut.  We provided the  team with criteria for content inclusion and templates that matched their new content model in order for them to develop content in parallel with the build work. 
This framework pushed the team to manually review and edit their existing content before it was copied to the new site. They gained a better awareness of the content they had, and it helped them validate  that content was up to date, and written and presented in accordance with their goals and brand. Provider and location information was moved to the Drupal 9 site through programmatic migration.

Image of Centra Health's new Women & Children Health service page

Impact and Takeaways

The new site was designed to prioritize the needs of Centra Health’s core audience: their patients. These include easily identifying and finding the right care, making an appointment, paying a bill, and accessing the patient portal. The new look and feel was created to bring increased accessibility and to provide a mobile-friendly site in order to meet visitors at their point of access: on their phones.  
With a lens of patient and visitor experience as top priority, we created a robust search experience for both global search and providers and location search with key facets through creating a service-line oriented IA (information architecture). 
We created an accessible, modern, and secure Drupal site that enables Centra Health to better serve the needs of its community and provides them with a platform for future growth. We are continuing to work with the Centra Health team through our Continuous Delivery Portfolio to add new features and improvements to their site.

Image of new Centra Health home page

Palantir truly leaned into our organization from a strategic perspective and the needs of our community. They became a vital part of our team in helping bring this project to fruition- and are still a vital part of our team in the continuous delivery phase!

Diane Ludwig, Vice President of Communications, Marketing, and Public Relations

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