February 28, 2008
Dear Voices Contributors and Friends,
I write with a very heavy heart to inform you of the demise of the Voices project. Having endured a similar event at UMKC with our first magazine, Touch, it seems incredible to be delivering the same awful news. Based on unfavorable budgetary performance for 2007, and facing uncertain projections for 2008, Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City has decided to eliminate the Office of Human Values in Medicine and terminate the Voices magazine project. My co-editor and managing editor are no longer employed by Saint Luke’s, and the sad duty of confessing that we have let you down falls to me. The magazine was about ten days from going to press; it will be no comfort, but the reception that it received at the Association of Writing Programs annual meeting in New York last month was extraordinary. Clearly, we had identified a niche that remains unfilled in this area, and our fellow medical humanities editors were very impressed and supportive.
Your patience has been wonderful. Our failure to reward it grieves me deeply. We have had your work for a very long time, and I am well aware of the lost opportunities for submission elsewhere that this has occasioned. I am deeply sorry for that. Having tried and failed twice in this endeavor, I believe that my fire for editing and creating a magazine has been sufficiently damped. I will continue to write, however, and pray that you will do likewise. You are all wonderful writers with something important to say. I will be watching for your wisdom. I wish you all well.
Robert A. Schwab, MD