Even though Hektoen has evolved over the years, it still maintains a commitment to furthering medical/health education as a resource, collaborator and sponsor. Below are examples of Hektoen’s current approach to education.
Hektoen’s founders have made seminal contributions to the disciplines of liver disease, gastroenterology, urology, cardiology, and renal diseases, resulting in the publication of more than 2,700 scientific papers. They help advance medical education by means of lectures, symposia, and fellowships through key programs like:
- Medicine and the Arts
- The Morris T. Friedell Mentorship Program
- The Society of Medical History
- Medical Ethics Project
The journal started in November 2008 with the purpose of bringing culture into medicine and exposing healthcare professionals to art, ethics, literature, history, anthropology, literature, philosophy, religion, and sociology. This free, online-only publication averages more than 1 million annual page views and currently has more than 3,000 articles that are brought to life by 4,000+ images. It also sponsors an annual “Grand Prix” essay contest.
Hektoen’s Nurses & the Humanities initiative was founded in June 2006 to present programs that demonstrate and encourage the healing power of the arts and the humanities for caregivers and their patients. There is also an adjunct called the Hektoen Institute Nurses and Humanities Advisory Committee which provides humanistic, creative and interactive educational opportunities to clinicians.
Writing education and mentorships
Writing contests. Since 2012 Hektoen has promoted excellence in writing under the rubric of humanity in medicine by sponsoring eleven international writing contests, awarding monetary prizes to the winners and publishing their articles in its journal. Most contests covered general subjects such as art, literature, history, and patient care; some addressed specific subjects such as the history and use of blood in medicine. The winners and the subjects of their essays are listed in the Archives section of Hektoen International.
Lebanon collaboration. In May, 2021, Dr. Sally Metzler, a member of the Hektoen Board of Trustees, developed a cooperative program with the Lebanese American School of Medicine in Beirut, Lebanon. It consisted of sponsoring a writing contest in which all members of the school community, including students, faculty, residents, fellows, non-teaching staff, and alumni, were invited to contribute essays on the overall theme “The Glory of Lebanon”. The authors of the first- and second-place essays received monetary prizes, and the editors of the Journal selected four entries that were published in the Journal. In this era of social upheaval, virtual interaction, and burgeoning technology, this unique international collaboration has reminded us of the vital connection between humanism and medicine. Read winning articles.
American School of London (ASL). In the spring of 2021, Dr. Sally Metzler spearheaded an educational partnership with the American School of London (ASL). Ms. Juliana Menegakis, a junior at the ASL, was selected as the first Hektoen International – ASL journal intern. Her project focused on learning about the contents, mission, and operation of the Hektoen International journal; editing an online journal; research and writing. Ms. Menegakis selected a special topic and composed Queen Juana: the mad or betrayed, an essay on Juana of Castille that was published in the History Essays section of the Journal.
In July 2022 Dr. James Franklin, a member of the Hektoen Board of Trustees, counselled and mentored Mr. Nicholas Ghantous. The project selected by Mr Ghantous addressed the physical benefits of Salat prayers in Islam, and his paper, Physical benefits of Salat prayers in Islam, was published in the Islam section of the journal.
Aid to Chicago’s minority youth. Hektoen has supported monetarily the I Am Abel Foundation and is developing with it a strategic partnership that focuses on exposing Chicago minority youth to the humanities and helping them enter into careers in healthcare. This includes identifying additional resources for I Am Abel and supporting its educational efforts. Hektoen has also provided monetary support to organizations with similar educational missions such as Chicago’s Youth Guidance and Luminarts.
Operationally coordinated and financially supported by Hektoen, the Foxglove Alliance (FGA) was formed in 2015 and in addition to engaging in education initiatives, it is dedicated to:
- Engaging in community health programs
- Marketing, Communications/Promotion & Advocacy
- Formation of joint initiatives and strategic collaborations
- Issue identification, discussions and analysis
- Calls to action on critical and/or noteworthy public health care issues.
The other current FGA members are:
- Access to Care
- The Chicagoland Healthcare Workforce Collaborative
- Health Care Council of Chicago
- The I Am Abel Foundation
- The Illinois Association of Free & Charitable Clinics
- The Illinois Medical District
- The Institute of Medicine of Chicago
- The Lead Abatement Resource Center
- The Michael Reese Research & Education Foundation
- The Portes Foundation
- The Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago
- West Side United