Massachusetts General Hospital launches magazine that examines medicine's leading edge

September 28, 2005

Massachusetts General Hospital has launched a national quarterly magazine that explores the latest developments in biomedical research, promising clinical applications and health policy. The magazine, titled Proto: Dispatches from the Frontiers of Medicine, is being distributed to thought and opinion leaders representing health care, business, philanthropy and public policy - people interested in knowing what is going on today that may change the way medicine is practiced in the years to come.

Time Inc. Strategic Communications, the custom publishing arm of the leading magazine corporation, has been working with the MGH to plan, develop and produce the publication.

Proto, a prefix that conveys progress and discovery, seeks to travel new ground in its coverage of medical innovation. Unlike data-laden academic journals or consumer magazines that serve up the latest health information, Proto describes, reflects upon and assesses medical advances in a style that is engaging, colorful and provocative. Each issue includes major features that have been researched and written by nationally respected science writers. The magazine also contains regular columns, images, essays and facts that are designed to amuse, challenge and surprise.

"There clearly is great interest today in biomedical innovation, and we want to provide context and explanation for some of the incredible work that is under way in academic medical centers, universities, research laboratories and business and industry," says Peter L. Slavin, MD, president of the Massachusetts General Hospital. "Our purpose is not to focus exclusively on what is happening at our institution, but rather to sift through and sort out the most exciting innovations across the country and around the world."

Paul Libassi, Time Inc. deputy managing editor, calls Proto "an evolution in communicating to the sophisticated reader" through its blending of intellectual rigor, lively writing and powerful photography and graphics. "As one of the nation's leading academic medical centers, Mass General offers an important critical lens through which to view the frontiers of medical science," Libassi says. "We are thrilled to be collaborating with such an esteemed institution as together we move into new territory with this cutting-edge publication."

The inaugural issue of Proto - featuring articles about xenotransplantation, stroke, avian flu, medical simulation and genetics - is being mailed this week to more than 100,000 top-level health care leaders, Fortune 1000 CEOs, other business executives, venture capitalists, philanthropists, legislators and academics. The magazine includes limited advertising to help offset its production and distribution costs.

"This magazine is not afraid to provoke or expose readers to new and unconventional - even unpopular - ideas," says David Torchiana, MD, CEO and chairman of the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization. "Proto will discuss successful strides and medical breakthroughs, but it also will examine setbacks and failures, controversies and conflicts. Our goal is to deliver solid, hard-hitting medical journalism in a manner that is informative and entertaining."
Massachusetts General Hospital, established in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, with an annual research budget of more than $450 million and major research centers in AIDS, cardiovascular research, cancer, cutaneous biology, medical imaging, neurodegenerative disorders, regenerative medicine, transplantation biology and photomedicine. In 1994, MGH and Brigham and Women's Hospital joined to form Partners HealthCare System, an integrated health care delivery system comprising the two academic medical centers, specialty and community hospitals, a network of physician groups, and nonacute and home health services.

Massachusetts General Hospital

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