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From the Editor

Covering health has always been a big part of 5280’s DNA. Way back in 1993, we put “Denver’s Top Doctors” on our very first cover. That issue sold out four times at the Tattered Cover Book Store, and, ever since, “Top Docs” has been among the year’s best-selling issues.

Given that track record, my original idea for the magazine you’re now holding was quite simple: Pull together our annual Top Doctors and Top Dentists lists, add in some of our other health-related coverage, and assemble it all in one easy-to-reference guide. But as is their custom, our talented editorial team decided that 5280 Health offered an opportunity to go a whole lot further than simply repackaging articles from previous issues.

“Health care, medical trends, and personal well-being are such broad topics that it’s hard to really do them justice in a regular issue of 5280,” says managing editor Lindsey B. Koehler, who has headed up more of our annual Top Doctors surveys than either of us would care to admit. “We saw this special issue as a chance to dig into these vital topics, but to do it with the same voice, style, commitment to storytelling, and drive for excellence that we employ in every issue of 5280.”

Led by Koehler, our team has crafted an impressive resource for readers during a time when health care has become a focal point of national discussion. In addition to those ever-popular lists of the area’s best health-care professionals, this inaugural issue of 5280 Health also illuminates trends (“Outside the Network,” page 12), offers timely medical information (“Take a Shot,” page 14), and pulls back the curtain on a profession that remains mysterious to most Americans (“Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the News,” page 22).

We hope that you’ll see 5280 Health as a worthy addition to the wellness coverage we’ve been providing to you for more than 17 years. As always, we’re eager to hear your feedback: Write to us at or visit us on Facebook (

This article was originally published in 5280 Health 2011.
Daniel Brogan
Daniel Brogan
Daniel Brogan is the founder, CEO, and Editor-in-Chief of 5280 Publishing, Inc.

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From the Editor

In Harm’s Way

The Cold War was waged on many fronts. Korea. Cuba. Vietnam. Afghanistan. But the real war was fought in the form of a race to create an overwhelming arsenal of the most horrifying weapons ever known to man. The soldiers on the frontlines of that war were Coloradans like Judy Padilla and Tom Haverty, ordinary people who went to work every day at the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant. Year after year, they put themselves in harm’s way to build the bombs they were convinced would protect our nation.

Much has been written about the deplorable safety record at Rocky Flats, which operated just 16 miles northwest of Denver. By 1989, things had gotten so bad that the FBI raided the facility and discovered massive contamination. Sixty-one pounds of deadly plutonium lined the ventilation system’s ducts. Radioactive waste leaked from supposedly safe storage containers. And the facility’s record keeping was, to be polite, far from precise.

Very little of that was a surprise to folks like Judy and Tom. They knew they were doing dangerous work. Mistakes were made, but wars—even cold ones—are messy. As soldiers in the Cold War, they considered themselves patriots, and they believed the government they served would take care of them.

By 2000, the nation’s sick and dying nuclear workers had become a problem the government couldn’t ignore, and lawmakers pledged to address their needs. Congress passed a law acknowledging the government’s failures to keep workers safe at all times, and vowed that weapons employees suffering from any of 22 cancers thought to be caused by long-term exposure to radiation would be eligible for medical benefits and a compensatory payment of $150,000. In announcing the program, then-Energy Secretary Bill Richardson promised, “We’re reversing the decades-old practice of opposing worker claims and moving forward to do the right thing.”

Those promises have proven to be the cruelest of deceptions.

5280 editor-at-large Mike Kessler has spent the last eight months listening to the workers’ stories and unraveling the evasions the government has employed to avoid living up to its obligations. His story, “Out in the Cold,” begins on page 134.

From dozens of interviews, Kessler has crafted a compelling picture of what everyday life was—and is—like for Rocky Flats workers. This is magazine journalism at its very best. When Judy describes pressing her body against thick glass and feeling the warmth from the plutonium behind it, you’ll feel the heat on your own skin. And when Kessler shows the conflicts of interest between the public and private sectors—during weapons production, during the Rocky Flats clean up, and now as the government turns its back on dying workers—I’m sure you’ll be filled with the same overwhelming sense of disgust that I am.

It’s worth remembering Cold War vets like Tom and Judy as we think about what it really means to support the American men and women fighting in today’s war. If our soldiers are not fighting for oil, they are certainly fighting because of it.

This is one more reason we can no longer ignore the effects of our energy consumption—issues such as independence from foreign oil and climate change are fast becoming our most vital challenges, which is why we’re devoting the bulk of this issue of 5280 to the subject of energy. Blessed with a wealth of traditional and renewable energy resources, Colorado is, as former Senator Gary Hart writes in the essay that kicks off our package, “uniquely situated to do what must be done to ensure that future generations of young Americans will not fight Gulf Wars for someone else’s oil.”

We owe this to today’s troops and we owe it to heroes like Tom and Judy.

Dan Brogan
Editor and Publisher

Daniel Brogan
Daniel Brogan
Daniel Brogan is the founder, CEO, and Editor-in-Chief of 5280 Publishing, Inc.

From the Editor

13 Going on 30 hasn’t topped Citizen Kane as my favorite publishing movie, but it does have a few funny moments. The first comes when Jennifer Garner, having been magically transformed from an awkward 13-year-old girl into a 30-year-old magazine editor, realizes she’d better learn something about her chosen profession. Her crash course consists of a bag of Cheetos and a copy of Magazine Publishing for Dummies.

I’m not much for Cheetos, but if such a book actually existed I’d be on Amazon this very minute (and I’d gladly pay for overnight shipping). The first thing I’d look for is a chapter on “Forecasting for Growth.”

Back in 2001, I wrote to you that we were moving into bigger offices and expanding our publishing schedule from six issues per year to eight. We figured that both would fit us for a long, long time.

Less than four years later, we’re once again looking for more space. Our offices on Speer Boulevard, which once seemed so spacious, are now as cramped as our former digs on Pennsylvania Street.

But what’s really gotten crowded is our publishing schedule.

Having doubled the size of our editorial staff in 2004 (and likely by another 50 percent in 2005-assuming we can find someplace to put them), we’re now producing more great stories than will fit into nine issues (we added the ninth issue last year).

So, starting in February, we’ll be making one of the biggest changes in the 12-year history of 5280. We’ll begin publishing monthly.

First and foremost, a monthly 5280 will make us more timely than ever before. Beyond that, however, it’s a bit like popping the top on a crowded house. Suddenly there’s room to expand signature pieces like “Denver’s Top Doctors” and “Dining in Denver,” while at the same time allowing for more of the long-form narratives that have been attracting national attention for 5280 in the last year.

If you’re a subscriber, don’t worry. You may have signed up for nine issues, but we want you around for the full year. Your subscription has been extended; think of it as our way of saying thanks for your continued support of 5280.

My other favorite moment in 13 Going on 30 comes when Garner and her staff get the word that their magazine’s circulation is down and the corporate daddies think it’s time for drastic measures. “They’re talking about the R-word,” groans one staffer, clearly unwilling to speak the dreaded syllables: Redesign.

With 5280 winning national awards and setting sales records on the newsstand, we don’t have those kinds of worries. Even so, Kevin Goodbar, 5280’s art director, is just as reluctant to use the R-word to describe the changes we’re introducing with this issue. Call it a freshening. Call it a housecleaning. But, for Kevin’s sake, please don’t call it a redesign.

I think Kevin’s changes have made the magazine more readable (especially the listings) as well as more logically organized. They also set the stage for some new departments and features we’ll be introducing in the months ahead.

Beyond that, I’ll let the magazine speak for itself. Dig in, and don’t hesitate to let us know what you think.


Daniel Brogan
Daniel Brogan
Daniel Brogan is the founder, CEO, and Editor-in-Chief of 5280 Publishing, Inc.