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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

On Call's 12th year, part 1

By Joseph Saling
On Call Magazine Editor / March 6, 2009
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This week marks the beginning of On Call's 12th year of publication. Over the years we've taken great pride in telling your stories, highlighting what you do professionally, and letting others see where you work and what it takes to do the job you do as allied health professionals. We've gone inside prisons to show you what nurses who work in the state's correctional system do. We've explored the role physical therapy can play in the life of women with breast cancer. We've gone to Fenway Park to spend an evening with the health professionals who operate the health clinic during Boston Red Sox home games. And we've followed school nurses through the corridors of the schools where they work.

One of my favorite covers for the print version of the magazine came from a nighttime ride our photographer David Stone took with the health team from Pine Street Inn on their rounds to look for homeless people in Boston in need of medical attention. When we did our recent series on caring for the homeless population in Massachusetts, David and writer Janet Cromer documented Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program's moving its inpatient facilities from the Barbara McInnis House to a new home at Jean Yawkey Place. And they did it through the eyes of one of the patients.

We've explored the humanities in healthcare. And we've done it from multiple perspectives, ranging from the value and use of nurse narrative to the healing power of art therapy.

After the tragedy of 9/11, we ran a series of articles about the heroic nurses who went from Boston to Manhattan to help in the rescue efforts and to provide relief and care for others involved in those efforts. We also described the preparation nursing staff go through to become eligible for deployment to the scene of a disaster. We've looked closely at the changing face of AIDS care. In fact, the first of several Will Solimene Awards for Excellence in Medical Communication won by our writers was for an article we ran on AIDS treatment at the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in Jamaica Plain.

We've looked closely at what's involved in the various jobs that you do. For instance, this month Linda Wessling describes the work done by the advanced practice nurses at Massachusetts General Hospital who work with psychiatric patients in the ER and urgent care clinic. We've spotlighted the wide range of educational programs, such as programs in radiology or pharmacology, that prepare you and others like you to do your jobs. We've brought you interviews with healthcare leaders and other prominent individuals on the Massachusetts healthcare scene. And we've striven to give you information you can use in your current job and in the development of your career.

We like our work and we want to keep doing it for a long, long time because, quite frankly, you're an interesting and diverse group of individuals with fascinating stories we haven't even begun to exhaust. But given the current economic climate, it might not be possible to keep doing what we do in the same way we've been doing it. That doesn't necessarily mean we'll go away. Currently, we are exploring options that can allow us to continue as part of the healthcare community's voice in and around Boston. The options are exciting, and I know they could make On Call more interactive and even more current. In the meantime we'll continue to do what we do. And I promise I'll keep you in the loop and let you know if and when changes are going to happen.

Joseph Saling

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