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The Explosion of Social Media: The ISHLT and JHLT Catch on Social Fire!

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David A Baran, MD, FACC, FSCAI
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
Newark, NJ, USA

We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it...

- Billy Joel

Since the advent of the World Wide Web at the beginning of the 1990's, the pace of innovation has increased exponentially. The advent of social media services such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have contributed to a global sense of "connectedness" at some level and have functioned as avenues to disseminate information. While some of these services started as ways for teenagers to chat, they have become legitimate tools for adults to exchange information of a professional nature and have an immediacy which has challenged "old school" media such as traditional journals and newspapers.

In the area of science, we have a plethora of journals which compete to publish the material of highest interest and increasingly, the "consumption" of this information is in electronic format. Many of us remember keeping file cabinets full of research papers cut from paper journals, and organized by topic area and while this is still common, the practice is giving way to downloads of "PDF" (portable document format) files which can stored on local storage or an ever increasing number of private "cloud" sites.

With the large number of quality scientific journals publishing on an ever increasing frequency, there is the need to capture the eyes of interested professionals. In particular, journals are rated in terms of the impact that a manuscript has after publication and how immediately the data is disseminated. With this in mind, Drs. Mandeep Mehra and Patricia Uber asked me more than a year ago to spearhead the effort to develop a social media presence for the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. The journal has articles which are highlighted for outstanding quality as "featured" publications and are free to download. The Journal pays a significant amount of money to make these articles free of cost to download and therefore maximizing viewing and eventual citation of these featured works is a high priority. Also, the hope was that the profile and reputation of the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation would be further enhanced by reaching out to the readership via social media.

I assembled a team of partners in our Social Media Workgroup and we have successfully built a large following on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for the Journal. Our first members were Drs. Shelley Hall, Brian Lima, Jaime Hernandez-Montfort, Kofidis and Ryan. This year, we added Drs Bertolotti and Fenton as well as Ms. Kelly Stelling from the Nursing Science / Allied Heath Council membership.

Our Team:

David A. Baran, MD, FACC, FSCAI (docbaran@gmail.com) is the Director of Heart Failure and Transplant Research at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey. I am interested in immunosuppression and clinical trials as well as interventional heart failure, focusing on the use of percutaneous mechanical circulatory support devices and cardiogenic shock.

Shelley Hall, MD, FACC (Shelley.hall@baylorhealth.edu) is the Chief of Transplant Cardiology and Mechanical Support/Heart Failure at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. She has been at Baylor for 19 years and has supported its growth from a fledgling effort to a top tier transplant program.

Brian Lima, MD, FACS (Brian.Lima@baylorhealth.edu) is the Director of Clinical Research for Heart Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. He is an Associate Professor of Surgery, Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and coordinates Social Media outreach for his team.

Jaime Hernandez-Montfort, MD (Jaimehdz22@hotmail.com) is the Co-Director of Cardiogenic Shock and Acute Circulatory Support at Baystate Health in Springfield, Massachusetts. He is a member of the ACC Education Committee, Massachusetts Chapter and was recently elected to be the JFTC representative for the MCS council of the ISHLT.

Theodoros Kofidis, MD, PD(Ger), FRCS, FAHA, FAMS (surtk@nus.edu.sg) is a Senior Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon and Chairman, Initiative for Research and Innovation in Surgery (IRIS) at the Dept. of Cardiac, Thoracic, and Vascular Surgery at the National University Hospital / National University of Singapore. He has a special interest in innovative teaching methods and is writing a digital textbook of minimally invasive thoracic surgery.

John Ryan, MD (john.ryan@hsc.utah.edu) is an Assistant Professor, University of Utah and Director of Pulmonary Hypertension at University of Utah Healthcare. He is a section editor for social media at Circulation and has performed trials and published research on the use of social media to spread research findings and to increase the impact of medical journals.

Alejandro Bertolotti, MD (bertolotti.alejandro66@gmail.com) is a Cardiothoracic Surgeon dedicated to Heart and Lung Transplantation since 2001 at the Favaloro Foundation University Hospital, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is very committed in communication and awareness of organ donation, transplantation and alternative treatments, both to academic communities and to the general public, through different local mass media and social networks.

Kelly Stelling, RN (kastelling@gmail.com) is a cardiac catheterization lab nurse at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey. She is the head nurse on the ECMO team as well as the principal person coordinating databases for advanced heart failure interventions and structural heart disease.

Matthew Fenton, MD (Matthew.Fenton@gosh.nhs.uk) is a Consultant Pediatric Cardiologist and Heart Transplant Physician at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, NHS Foundation Trust, England. His research interests Research interests are endothelial dysfunction, CAV and outcomes research.

We also decided to add a role with helping expand the Social Media outreach of the ISHLT itself. The ISHLT has long had a Twitter account, but we added LinkedIn and also significantly expanded the offerings on these accounts. Our focus for the ISHLT social presence is to highlight items of interest to our members as well as interested non-members, including news about heart and lung disease, mechanical circulatory support, thoracic transplantation and pulmonary hypertension, as well as the pediatric aspects of these disease states. The JHLT presence will focus primarily on the late breaking papers from the Journal so these two social presences are complementary but separate. So, on Twitter, please follow @ISHLT and @TheJHLT.

On LinkedIn, ISHLT and TheJHLT or use the web-links below



On Facebook, "like" TheJHLT please!

We would be happy for any feedback at:
JHLTSocial@gmail.com or ISHLTSocial@gmail.com. ■

Disclosure Statement: The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose.

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