With the Fall 2014 issue of Penn Medicine, we unveiled a redesigned magazine. Graham Perry of NCS Studios remains our designer, but he and his colleagues have introduced a new look to our pages. Many photos are now run larger; the body text has changed; most articles are now set in two broader columns rather than three narrower ones; more infographics are sprinkled throughout the issue, varying the look of the page; and a couple of new regular departments –- The Prep and One Last Thought, residing on the inside front cover and the inside back cover -– have been introduced. The redesigned issue, we believe, will serve our mix of interesting and varied content very well while catching the eyes of our readers.
In addition to running the address of the magazine’s web site somewhat larger at the bottom of the contents page, we’ve added a small “Keep in Touch” box in the Editor’s Note. We hope that will encourage readers to check for news about our broad institution through Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and even here on the News Blog in between issues.
Our goal, of course, remains the same: to create a sophisticated link that brings the alumni and other readers closer to the Perelman School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania Health System and helps maintain alumni ties to the institution. Penn Medicine seeks to inform, engage, and foster institutional pride and loyalty. The magazine brings news of the institution’s advances in research (both basic and clinical science), patient care, and medical education, and often provides a view of national trends from a Penn perspective.
The Fall 2014 issue does indeed have a pair of articles that examine national concerns in a timely fashion. Our cover story is “The Brain in Peril,” in which a suite of three articles explores how scientists and clinicians at Penn Medicine and elsewhere have been expanding our knowledge of the harm that football and some other sports can do to the brain -– and coming up with ways to detect and treat brain injuries sooner. Although concussions have drawn most of the attention, a newer focus is chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a potential result of cumulative blows to the head. In addition, Penn researchers are working on ways to detect and treat traumatic brain injuries caused by battlefield blasts.
The Penn Medicine issue appeared shortly before the most recent New York Times Magazine (November 9), whose cover story is about the brain injuries suffered by National Football League players and the legal challenges facing the NFL. As in our article, one of the main topics is chronic traumatic encephalopathy, first discovered in the brain of a former NFL player by Dr. Bennet Omalu. In addition, the November 9 “Health Commentary” blog by Dr. Mike Magee covers much of some of the same ground.
Another very timely article in the redesigned Penn Medicine is “The Doctor Prescribes . . . Information,” about physician and blogger Wendy Sue Swanson, M.D., a 2003 graduate of our school. She blogs and Tweets under the name Seattle Mama Doc. Now executive director of digital health at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Swanson makes a very convincing case that physicians today must be aware that their patients are paying attention to social media. Physicians must be ready to counter the health misinformation their patients may come upon. After all, who is better suited to examine the evidence? So Swanson makes use of the same social media to respond. One of the ways our designer, Graham Perry, sought to make the layout look more contemporary was by running excerpts from Dr. Swanson’s blogs to look almost like screen shots from her sizable library of more than 520 posts.
We hope that with interesting and timely copy and engaging layout, Penn Medicine will continue to be a favorite place for alumni and other readers to visit. On that point, our design remains the same!