The Hematologist

September-October 2014, Volume 11, Issue 5

ASH Launches New Publication for Clinicians

Published on: September 04, 2014

This fall, ASH will begin publishing a monthly news magazine specifically designed to appeal to clinical practitioners in hematology and oncology. ASH Clinical News will provide timely updates in the field by reporting on key medical meetings, clinical trials, innovative technology, and influential papers in the literature. Additionally, regular features will include clinical consults, interviews with leaders in various hematology subspecialties, patient education information, news about individual ASH members, and updates on Society initiatives. Distribution will reach beyond the ASH membership to encompass the wider medical community, including advanced practice professionals (e.g., nurses, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants with a hematology focus) and physicians in related subspecialties.

"There is a real desire among our practicing members for more clinical resources from ASH, and we've heard that feedback loud and clear, said Society President Linda Burns, MD. "We hope that this new magazine will provide an engaging forum for the exchange of information while broadening our reach beyond the ASH community."

This important effort will be led by Mikkael Sekeres, MD, who was named editor-in-chief by the ASH Executive Committee after an extensive search led by Dr. Roy Silverstein. Dr. Sekeres is professor of medicine, vice-chair for clinical research, and director of the Leukemia Program at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.

"Mikkael's participation in ASH's Committees on Quality and on Educational Affairs, his keen understanding of the drug development process through his service on the FDA's Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee, and his passion for writing make him the ideal person to help shape the direction of this new publication," said Dr. Burns.

Dr. Sekeres gained an appreciation for journalism from his late father, Joel Sekeres, who was a newspaper writer and editor. He has been writing both scientifically and creatively his whole life, recently served as a clinical advisory editor of Oncology Times, and regularly contributes essays to the New York Times Well Blog.

In addition, the new editor-in-chief admits to being "a huge fan" of The Hematologist and reads every issue. He envisions ASH Clinical Newsserving as a complement to the "thoughtful and expansive treatments" of scientific content in The Hematologistby providing digestible pieces more along the lines of newspaper or magazine articles. He views the new publication as an opportunity to place the latest basic/translational research in a clinically relevant context that will serve to reinvigorate a portion of the ASH membership who may not have thought about such topics since fellowship.

Recalling his own days as a trainee, when he felt the educational sessions at the ASH annual meeting were over his head, Dr. Sekeres emphasizes his commitment to making ASH Clinical Newsaccessible to a wide range of audiences. Specifically, he notes the importance of reaching nurses and other physician extenders who are playing an ever-expanding role in hematology and oncology patient care. "While these clinically oriented practitioners may not have time to read every article in Blood or similar scientifically rigorous journals, my hope is that they will enjoy reading a magazine that explains the research concisely and has at least one section dedicated to their interests."

In addition, he explains that he hopes the magazine will be perceived as having a "fun, hip vibe" and says he would "not shy away from essays that contain humor, nor from considering a venue with a focus on narrative medicine, poetry, photographs, or works of art. People active in humanities and medicine always need another outlet, and having such a section will quickly propel the magazine beyond hematologists."

Another priority for Dr. Sekeres is to include younger writers to fight the perception of ASH as an "old boys' club." He explains that, "We want to portray the opposite with the magazine and emphasize that all voices can be heard." He sees interactivity with social media being an invaluable tool for engaging with the audience. Along those lines, he welcomes member suggestions for topics and features that would be of interest. Please send ideas to Managing Editor Karen Learner at ashclinicalnews@hematology.org.

ASH Active members should check their mailboxes for the first "preview" issue of ASH Clinical News to be mailed in October. (Note that the print edition will be distributed to all ASH members in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. International ASH members will receive complimentary online access.) In addition, a special launch issue will be available on site in San Francisco for all attendees at the ASH annual meeting in December. Beginning in January 2015, the magazine will be published monthly. A companion website and mobile app are also in development.

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