Author's Guide

What is Health Progress?

Health Progress, in publication for more than 100 years (formerly as Hospital Progress), is the official journal of the Catholic Health Association. The journal explores complex health care issues from a Catholic perspective. Published quarterly, Health Progress looks at emerging challenges and offers both practical approaches and theological foundations for action. The journal has a wide reach and has won numerous awards.

What is the mission of Health Progress?

Health Progress is a forum for the exchange of ideas and information vital to the Catholic health ministry and integral to promoting a just U.S. health care system. Health Progress strives to influence society's debate on health care issues and explores opportunities to strengthen and transform the Catholic health ministry. It encourages examination of health care practices in light of Catholic values, especially human dignity, the common good, care of poor and vulnerable persons, and stewardship of resources.

Accordingly, Health Progress focuses on such topics as:
  • Catholic identity, culture and values integration
  • Best practices and new models in Catholic health care
  • Collaborative strategies
  • Ethical issues
  • Leadership development
  • Long-term care and the continuum of care
  • Reform of the U.S. health care system
  • Sponsorship options and responsibilities
  • Spiritual issues in the health care setting
  • Theological issues
  • The relationship between Catholic Church teaching and health care delivery

Who reads Health Progress?

The print version of the journal reaches more than 14,000 leaders in the Catholic health ministry and others interested in its work. The journal's audience includes health care executives, managers, ethicists, religious sponsors, trustees, physicians, nurses, Catholic Church officials, policymakers on Capitol Hill, and others. Health Progress is available in libraries that subscribe and also is available online at no charge. With permission, articles can be linked to websites or downloaded as PDF files from the CHA website for professional use.  (Please contact Betty Crosby at CHA for permission.)  

Health Progress authors are often recognized for their work, and the journal has won numerous awards. Authors also have the satisfaction of contributing to the essential body of professional knowledge that advances the Catholic health ministry.

Who writes Health Progress articles?

Some articles, particularly overviews of selected topics, are assigned to freelance writers with expertise in health care. But in most cases, experts from a wide variety of Catholic-sponsored and other organizations write on topics with which they have firsthand experience and which relate to topical themes selected by editors in advance.

For example, a system CEO might describe her organization's governance structure, an ethicist might write on the traits of an ethical leader, an attorney on corporate compliance, a consultant on forming integrated networks. Health Progress also interviews opinion leaders and executives to provide their insight on contemporary health care issues.

Regular columns by CHA staff experts are also part of the mix.

How do I write an article for Health Progress?

First, be sure your topic is of vital importance to at least one segment of the journal's diverse audience. Keep in mind that the article need not be written directly for chief executives, but it must provide them with useful information. The article should relate Catholic mission and values to the subject at hand. It will be helpful to consult past issues to determine if your proposed topic is appropriate or has recently appeared, and it is nearly always a good idea to discuss your proposed topic and your qualifications for writing it with the Health Progress editor. The editor will be able to provide more specific guidelines. Outlining the article may help you ensure that its ideas follow a logical progression.

Health Progress is published quarterly. The editor will provide a deadline for receiving your article. If a topic demands urgent attention, the editorial staff will work with you to ensure timely publication.

What writing style is appropriate?

Readers prefer concise articles that are substantiated by research and, when appropriate, documentation, including endnotes when specific references or related additional information is needed. To encourage readers' interest and help them interpret information, include figures, tables, or sidebar stories if possible. Provide the source of quotations, figures and tables.

Your first paragraph should capture readers' attention by stating the article's premise clearly. Focus on writing in a readable, conversational style. If an idea can be expressed in two words, do not use five. For more lively prose, choose easily understood words, eliminate jargon, and avoid overly complex sentences.

Use subheads to alert readers when introducing a new topic. Do not use a conclusion merely to summarize the article. Instead, use your conclusion to provide a new idea or bit of information or discuss implications for the future. Suggest a brief working title, but keep in mind that editors often rewrite titles for clarity, style or space.

Feature article manuscripts are, in most cases, approximately 2,000 to 3,000 words. The length may vary depending on the complexity of the topic.

How do I submit a manuscript?

You must submit your manuscript by email to [email protected] and clearly indicate in the subject line that this is a new manuscript submission. Emails can occasionally be misdirected or overlooked, so if you do not receive a reply indicating your article was received, follow up with a note to the editor in a week or so.

Microsoft Word documents are strongly preferred. The author’s name and contact information, and the topic of the article should appear at the top of the article.  At the end of the article, include appropriate titles and affiliate organizations of all authors. Be sure to include all authors' addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses. Health Progress uses endnotes, not footnotes, and requests that they conform to the Chicago Manual of Style NOTES format. Authors also must provide written permission to publish any tables, figures, and creative works, or text exceeding 100 words taken from another source.

What happens after I submit a manuscript?

After reviewing your article, the editorial staff may make suggestions to the author for manuscript revisions or reject the manuscript. After the article is revised by the author, Health Progress editors will accept the manuscript, edit it, and return it to the author for approval before publication.

If your article is accepted, the editorial staff will request a transfer of copyright ownership to Health Progress.

After publication, authors receive two copies of the issue containing their article.

How do I contact Health Progress editors?

The editorial staff of Health Progress is available to answer questions or help you submit a manuscript. Contact, Editor, Health Progress, Catholic Health Association, 4455 Woodson Road, St. Louis, MO 63134-3797; (314) 427-2500.