Spring 2006 - Vol. 1, No.1

Lawrence I. Bonchek, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.S.
Editor in Chief
Welcome to the inaugural issue of The Journal of Lancaster General Hospital. We know you have more than enough demands on your reading time, but when you hear more about this Journal and its unique features, we trust you’ll see that the title of this article isn’t meant to suggest any sarcasm.

Our mission is simple: To provide an educational resource that helps physicians and other interested parties in the LGH service area maintain the highest standards in the science, practice, and delivery of healthcare. In doing so, we’ll fulfill multiple objectives:

The first is to provide useful information efficiently, by having professional writers work with the medical authors to be sure the articles are clear and concise. Several features will enhance the Journal’s utility: its pages are a bit smaller than 8 1⁄2 x 11 so it fits more easily into pockets; the pages are perforated near the binding so you can easily remove any article you’d like to save; and CME questions will be provided for credit.

Second, our medical staff of more than 800 has lost its former familiarity. An awareness of the fine work by others on the professional staff, and insight into the administration’s thinking, should strengthen our mutual respect and sense of community. Third, because physician-authors will be prompted to examine their outcomes, quality should be enhanced. Fourth, it is long past time for LGH to be recognized for our enviable and often unheralded record of important clinical research and innovation. Finally, this “Record of Medical Progress” at LGH should strengthen our recruiting activities.

To fulfill these objectives and our Mission, each issue will contain four scientific articles that discuss clinical and research activities and new technologies at the hospital; review important or controversial clinical subjects; or describe the involvement of LGH physicians in collaborative national trials that offer new treatment modalities.

Our CEO Tom Beeman, or another member of the hospital administration, will provide a broad perspective on healthcare delivery, or discuss specific LGH issues and plans. (In this issue Tom explains why he feels that local community hospitals are central to any effort to improve the American healthcare system.) This perspective will be complemented by one from the President of the Medical Staff. (This time Dave Polin, M.D. explains the importance of research at LGH, and the value of integrating it into clinical practice.)

LGH Sr. VP and General Counsel Bob Macina will explore medico-legal matters and bioethics (see his discussion of Advance Directives in this issue); Leigh Shuman, M.D. will discuss new imaging technologies (this time it’s noninvasive CT angiography); and Alan Peterson, M.D., whose weekly “Family Practice Family” is legendary, will select one topic for in-depth discussion and comment (in this issue it’s about unhealthy contaminants in fish.)

And as Editor, I will not only report on progress at the Journal, but in subsequent issues will try to stimulate your thinking on a variety of medical issues.

We will, of course, post the Journal’s contents on the LGH web site. And, as a unique feature of each issue, an included CD will bring you audio interviews with interesting people in the LGH family. Our discussions will range over a broad spectrum of topics in healthcare, from scientific discussions about innovations and controversies in medicine, to administrative problems in healthcare delivery, to aspects of health policy in America that influence your practice and life.

For this inaugural issue, I talked with Tom Beeman about his view of LGH and where he hopes to take it. Next, I visited Holmes Morton, M.D. at the Clinic for Special Children in Strasburg, Pennsylvania, to discuss his world-famous work on genetically caused errors of metabolism among the Amish and Mennonite communities.

We acknowledge an ambitious agenda for the Journal, but we are dedicated to making it interesting and worth your time. We welcome your feedback, and encourage you to write, call, or email me or our Managing Editor Gina Bissett. You’ll find Contact information on page 2 of the print Journal.