Friday, April 7, 2017

What's in a name?

FORWARD PROGRESS: Ankers and Apollo in the Ether Dome

“When I think of the history of the MGH, I think of the Ether Dome. I love this room – it is filled with history in so many ways.”

And so it was the Ether Dome – and one of its residents in particular – that became the inspiration for Lisa Ankers, senior lab manager of the Thadhani Lab of Clinical Research in Nephrology, to come up with the winning name for the MGH’s new intranet, apollo.massgeneral.org. “Ether was too obvious,” she says, “but then I thought of the Apollo statue and it just came to me.”

Apollo – the god of medicine and healing, and also of knowledge truth, sun and light – is the name and face of the newly designed site. Though Padihershef, the Egyptian mummy is well known, there also resides in the Ether Dome a statue of Apollo Belvedere, given to the MGH in 1845 by statesman Edward Everett. The plaster statue is a copy of the original Apollo Belvedere, which was unearthed in Rome during the Renaissance and taken to the Louvre in Paris by Napoleon. The Louvre made and sold plaster casts of the statue, including this one that Everett bought and shipped back to Boston.

“When I saw the information asking staff to submit their ideas as part of an intranet naming contest, I knew the name would have to be a tie to the history of the hospital,” says Ankers. “When I thought of it, that was it. There are so many meanings associated with Apollo that relate to the hospital – I knew I wouldn’t think of anything better.”

Another Apollo tie? The original Hippocratic Oath, when translated into English, begins, “I swear by Apollo the Healer, by Asclepius, by Hygieia, by Panacea, and by all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will carry out, according to my ability and judgment, this oath and this indenture.”

Ankers received a signed Julian Edelman football for her winning submission. When she learned she had won the contest, she said, “I immediately called my husband, I could not believe it! I was completely surprised and it was such an honor. I already have a spot for it right on the mantel.” 



Read more articles from the 04/7/17 Hotline issue.

Browse the Entire Newsroom Archive

Back to Top