Discovery Stories

ERIS Research Computing Core

"Apollo" Website Launch

MGH Introduces Newly Redesigned, Expanded Intranet

Have you checked out the redesigned MGH intranet, Apollo? The new site was created by our very own Josh Sostek, Developer for the Research Computing Core, in collaboration with the MGH News and Public Affairs Office – to strengthen and enhance communication throughout the hospital and provide easy access to information in one central location. The name "Apollo" was selected from more than 250 submissions from staff and celebrates MGH history as a nod to the Apollo Belvedere Statue in the Ether Dome.

Colleen Delaney, MGH Director of Internal Communication, Publications and Operations describes the project:

“We wanted to redesign the MGH intranet to create a thoughtful, strategic hub of information aimed at helping leadership and departments throughout the institution communicate in a more timely, efficient and effective manner. We were thrilled to work with Josh who – from the project’s early stages and throughout its first year in operation – has guided, supported and helped bring our vision to life. We couldn’t have asked for a better team to work on this project with and are so appreciative of Josh and Partners ERIS.”

Apollo features news and research stories, a hospital-wide calendar, an extensive A-to-Z directory and helpful department organizational charts and directories. Visit the new intranet, https://apollo.massgeneral.org. Apollo has over 400,000 pageviews since launch one year ago and average time on page of two minutes and 22 seconds.

Project Highlights

Josh Sostek and Alissa Scharf, Project Manager, worked closely with the MGH offices to understand the scope and requirements of the website design from both a business and technical standpoint. Apollo is a WordPress site with a custom-designed theme built by the Research Computing Core based on MGH requirements. Apollo is hosted on ERIS DIPR environment using the web hosting service maintained by ERIS. Apollo is designed to be a modern, adaptive, mobile-aware website, responsive to whatever device, mobile or desktop, it is viewed on. 

We had the opportunity to discuss technical challenges of this project with Josh Sostek:

"One particularly unique challenge for the Apollo website was to enable the site’s super admin, the ability to create subsequent websites for individual departments within the main website. After researching some Content Management Systems like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla, we found that WordPress had a feature called “multisite”. This was exactly what we were looking for. By adding one line of code to the configuration file the functionality was activated: “define ( 'WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true );”. It was as simple as that. Countless hours of development to create this functionality was saved. Here at Partners I feel that I have enough time to approach a new project with a “research first, then implement the best solution” approach, rather than the typical “hurry up, put the fire out” mindset. We have found that a little research and planning at the onset, can exponentially save time and money in the long run."

About the Research Computing Core

Our team of developers and software engineers can assist with web development, focusing on using PHP, Java, and modern web technologies like Drupal and WordPress. The Research Core team provides consulting and technology services to researchers and their project teams at competitive hourly rates. The Core collaborates with users on finding efficient solutions using technology for the unique needs of research environments. Contact rcc@partners.org for a free consultation.