Welcome to Philly.com/Health, your new health information source

Kimberly Garrison, a local fitness expert, is launching a new series of wellness videos on Philly.com/Health.

Welcome to our health portal, Philly.com/Health. Our goal is to help you learn what you need to know about the health system in the Philadelphia region, from southeastern Pennsylvania to South Jersey.

It's hard to overstate the importance of health care in the Delaware Valley: The eight-county region is one of the largest medical centers in the country, with six medical schools, some 50 hospitals and several hundred biotech and pharma companies.

As important as health care is to the local economy, it's almost certainly more important to you. This web site will help you delve into what local hospitals do and learn what their patients think of them. You can dig into a disease and track new research and changes in care as they are discovered. And you will get the content of The Inquirer and our many wire partners, including our newest partner, HealthDay news, as trusty guides in a complicated world.

We're proud of our new features, including:

New blogs, including PhillyRN,  our nursing blog written by Lauren Auty, RN, BSN. Lauren has a nursing degree from Gywnedd-Mercy College and over eight years experience in emergency medicine and home health care. Lauren also holds a master’s degree in journalism from Temple University. We've also started the Health Editor's Journal to communicate directly with you. And we're continuing our popular CheckUp  blog, OncoGirl, written by a 12-year-old patient at CHOP, and our public-health blog, The Public's Health.

New features, including a series called "Embarrassing Questions,"  where we will put the questions you want to know - but were too ashamed to ask - to top medical experts.

More pages than ever before, including those on fitness (featuring popular Inquirer columnist Art Carey) and a new user forum, where you can ask and answer questions about health care.

New videos, including a fitness series by local fitness expert Kimberly Garrison.

New tools. We've partnered with Yelp! to create a doctor finder where you, the patients, can recommend the best doctors in the region.

A new series of hospital profiles. Researched by the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philly.com. these profile pages pull together information about all our local hospitals, including key statistics about how they care for patients. Check out an example here and start browsing the first 18 hospitals we've profiled; More hospitals will be added weekly.

As this site launches, it’s worth noting that this is not the end of the project but the beginning. We will be adding more features in the coming months. Most of all, we will be listening to our readers and viewers and creating new content that matters. We welcome your feedback.

Please e-mail us here or comment to share your ideas for us as we grow.

- Karl Stark, health & science editor, Philadelphia Inquirer