I would like to welcome you to Seattle LocalHealthGuide and tell you a little bit about the site’s goals and values.
First a little bit about me: I’m an M.D.—I trained in internal medicine at Virginia Mason Medical Center—but for the past 20+ years I have worked as a medical journalist.
I started out writing about health and medicine part-time while I was in practice, reporting as a freelance for such outlets as the The Washington Post’s health section, Reuters and locally for the Seattle Times and the NPR affiliate KPLU-FM.
Eventually, I became a full-time medical journalist and for ten years was a senior editor for the British medical journal The Lancet, the last seven of those years as the journal’s North American Editor.
I had felt for a long time that many important local health stories that were not being covered, so I decided to start a Website that would cover local health news, “localize” national news and provide links to local sources of information and support.
The emphasis of the content would be on health news that was useful – preferably providing information a reader could use the right away. The stories would also focus on news from the most reliable sources avaiable.
I also wanted to create a Web site that treated its readers with respect and not merely as commodity to be sold to advertisers. So LocalHealthGuide does not run the type of sensational stories that many health sites run to pump up traffic.
Instead, I hope the site will become a trusted source of health news and information and be visited by regular readers who know the site tries to cover news from credible sources that is relevant to their lives and important to their communities.
LocalHealthGuide officially launched one year ago, and the site now draws 25,000 visitors a month. That’s miniscule by Internet standards, where many sites number their monthly visitors in the tens of millions, but not bad for a site that’s grown quietly relying on word-of-mouth and the quality of its content.
In the coming year, I hope to expand the site’s coverage of local and national news and add iscussion forums where people in the region can share ideas, expereiences and concerns with others in their communities.
Your thoughts about the site and its coverage are welcome, as are any ideas or suggestions you may have that might make LocalHealthGuide a more useful service to you and your community.
If you would like to write for the site or have a column or essay you would like us to post, please do not hesitate to contact me.