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Health Center Today, August 16, 2010

Happy Birthday, Health Center Today!

By Carolyn Pennington

It’s been one year since the Communications Department launched Health Center Today - your online source for Health Center news and information. During that time we have developed a loyal audience and have seen the number of visitors to our site increase dramatically. Currently, about 7,000 people visit the site each month.

The Today page targets a wide audience – not only Health Center employees, but the public as well, including patients and journalists who may want to learn more about our first-rate clinical services, our scientists’ ground-breaking research or our medical and dental students’ extraordinary community outreach efforts.

We update the site on a daily basis thanks to the efforts of the entire communications department. Chris DeFrancesco, Chris Kaminski and Carolyn Pennington carry the biggest writing workload while our webmasters, Sheryl Rosen and Jennifer Beardsley, post the stories and add their creativity to the design and layout of the page. Wendy Soneson has played a key role in promoting the site with outside audiences.

The Today page always has several main features that rotate regularly. Those stories typically highlight a newsworthy person or event in the areas of research, education or clinical care. Those stories often include a video Video Icon or podcast Radio Icon featuring one of our Health Center experts to supplement the text.

One of the most popular Today stories was the news conference held in our Academic Lobby when Gov. Rell signed legislation to renovate John Dempsey Hospital and build a new patient tower.

Another notable story was the volunteer efforts by Dr. Robert Fuller, head of emergency medicine at the Health Center. Fuller, a physician-volunteer with the International Medical Corps, helped get the Port-au-Prince General Hospital up and running after the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

And hundreds checked out the photo gallery we included in our story NICU Family Photos Are Focus of Emotional Exhibit.

The page also has an Applause section (complete with sound effects) that recognizes Health Center employees who have received awards or deserve a pat on the back for their outstanding efforts.

“It’s taken a while for people to realize there is no more Advance or Newsline,” says Maureen McGuire, director of marketing and communications. “However, the Today page goes above and beyond what those publications offered and covers a wider variety of stories in a more timely manner.”

McGuire says the Communications staff has set an ambitious goal of increasing readership in the year, especially among Health Center employees.

To share story ideas or suggestions, contact anyone in Communications or email Health Center Today directly at