Mennonite Health JournalArticles on the intersection of faith and health
Mennonite Health Journal, Vol. 17, No. 4 – November 2015
Paul D. Leichty, editor
This issue of Mennonite Health Journal is the last issue of this publication in its current format for the time being. To understand the reasons behind this decision by the Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship (MHF) Board of Directors, a brief review of the history of MHJ is appropriate.
Mennonite Health Journal (MHJ) began as a successor to the previous Mennonite Medical Messenger in the fall of 1998. It was a quarterly print publication of Mennonite Medical Association (MMA) and Mennonite Nurses Association (MNA). MHJ also served Mennonite Chaplains Association (MCA) as well as the Canadian Mennonite Health Association and was available by subscription as well. The publication had its own quarter-time editor who gathered material, edited, and laid out each issue.
When MHF succeeded MMA and MNA in 2011, the last printed issue was published to finish out that year. Costs were reduced as the MHF Board decided not to hire a separate editor but instead to make MHJ an online publication with the MHF Executive Director serving as editor. Since that time, MHJ has been offered freely as an online publication serving MHF, MCA, and the International Mennonite Health Association (IMHA).
As MHF has developed, questions have arisen about the time needed to produce each issue compared to the seeming lack of readership and meaningful response to the content of MHJ. In its effort to reach out to a broader range as well as a new generation of healthcare professionals, MHF has explored various additional avenues of online communication through email and social media. The time seems right to explore these even more diligently.
In addition, the additional time previously spent by MHF staff editing and writing for the Journal will be channeled into other projects to grow the organization and expand its outreach with further programming. Thus, as a part of its overall strategic planning carried out at its meeting of October 9-10, the MHF Board decided to suspend publication of MHJ for the time being.
Other decisions coming from the strategic planning are outlined in two articles which frame this edition of Mennonite Health Journal. This issue begins with a message from the new MHF President, Beth Good, outlining the hopes and vision of the Board for the year ahead. The final article is by MHJ Editor and MHF Executive Director, Paul Leichty, and outlines some specific actions being taken as a result of this strategic planning.
In between, we feature some interesting articles on a variety of subjects.
The lead story is a report of an unusual evening meeting in Goshen, Indiana, including leaders of Nazareth Hospital, a Christian hospital in Israel, established over 150 years ago. The information and inspiration shared on that occasion will be of much wider interest than just Indiana.
MHF member, Janelle Aby, is featured in another article as the author of The Newborn Book which is a comprehensive guide to conditions affecting newborn babies.
Elizabeth Nafziger reflects on her Student Elective Term (SET) experience earlier this year. The May 2015 issue featured two other SET reports of those who had this experience during the 2014-15 academic year.
Finally, Murray Nickel, President of International Mennonite Health Association (IMHA) talks about the larger meaning of “Respect” in the context of cross-cultural program planning in under-developed countries.
We hope you enjoy this issue of Mennonite Health Journal. The MHF Board invites your comments and questions through the MHF Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul Leichty, MHF Executive Director, Editor
Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship
PO Box 918
Goshen, IN 46527-0918
Paul D. Leichty, Editor
Additional photographs supplied
About the author
Paul D. Leichty, M.Div. was the first Executive Director of Mennonite Healthcare Fellowship (MHF), serving from Sept. 2011 through May 2020. Paul has served as a pastor, church musician, computer support person, disabilities advocate, and administrator/organizer of a number of church-related ministries. In addition to responsibilities at MHF, Paul is Executive Director of Congregational Accessibility Network and was formerly Director of User Services at Mennonite.net. He is a member of Agape Fellowship of the Mennonite Church in Williamsport, Pennsylvania where he lives with his wife, Twila Charles Leichty.