A little more than two years ago Tony Robbins, the departing editor of Public Health Reports, and Art Lawrence, of the Surgeon Generals office, asked me if I would step in for a little while and serve as editor of the journal while a permanent editor was sought. I happily agreed. After all, six months of working with and on issues that mattered to me, in a different forum, with people who creatively approached public health issues and could write about them, seemed more a gift to me than from me. The six months turned into almost two years, and I have enjoyed them. I have enjoyed them because of the wonderful work I see being done around the country, because of the passionate concern I see from practitioners, academics, policy makers, and students, because of the wonderful colleagues with whom I have worked.
Had I known it was going to be two years, I would have staffed up, and thereby relieved Judy Kaplan, Scientific Editor, of the enormous additional burden she has shouldered in producing the journal. Judy has done more than any editor should have to in getting each issue out. It is no understatement to say that every issue of the past two years is hers. In the absence of any other permanent staff, she and I were saved from failure and catastrophe by many colleagues who volunteered their time—including three volunteers who read manuscripts, brainstormed suggestions for articles, called friends and colleagues for contributions, suggested new ideas and approaches, and provided constant encouragement: Ken Brown of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Mark Yessian of the DHHS Office of Inspector General, and Anne Fidler, academic liaison to the Boston University School of Public Health from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They have been great support and great friends. Anne deserves special mention because week in and week out she was my partner in producing this journal, and deserved to be listed on the masthead as co-editor.
Janice Lesniak for the first year and Maureen Osolnik for the second provided essential administrative support and advice. This temporary federal employee is grateful for their knowledge, patience, and problem-solving skills. Mary Fisher has given us her time, good work, and unfailing kindness and calming presence. Tina DeLima time and time again bailed us out of those interminable work crunches, and seemed to do in hours what for others required days. Josh Trufant and Naomi Aluf, both of unfailing good humor, have been an integral part of our team and share in our success, as do Olivia Waishek, Polly Hoppin, Gary Kleinman, and Jeff Lazar. My personal thanks to Jeri Zeder for her invaluable assistance with everything that has my name on it.
Len Duhl, Peter Lee, and Julie Michaels made the special-focus double issue on the Healthy Communities movement possible. It is a meaningful contribution to the field.
HRSA’s Boston office has provided incalculable day-to-day and moral support, including Peter Rubbo’s computer expertise, and the Public Health Service and National Library of Medicine staffs have been wonderfully patient and supportive. I know that Bob Rinsky, the long-awaited and much-welcomed permanent editor will receive from them the interest, kindness, and help I have counted on. I already enjoy his fresh view and gentle enthusiasm.
At every critical moment, Surgeon General David Satcher has consistently and clearly expressed and provided his support for the continued existence and independence of the journal.
All of these have made the journal strong, but you, our readers, reviewers, and authors, through your letters, comments,
and contributions, have made PHR fresh, relevant, and responsive. As I said, I have enjoyed the experience and I am grateful for this opportunity.