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With this issue of Public Health Reports (PHR), we bring volume 125 to a close. This was a productive year for PHR in that we published five supplements in addition to our regular issues. Subjects have run the gamut from the retrospective—a fascinating historical review of the 1918–1919 flu pandemic—to the prospective, including this issue's accompanying supplement on public health preparedness, which provides diverse models for training personnel to respond to public health emergencies.
PHR has a long and storied history. You may be aware that the first issue was published in 1878, and the journal has been continuously published ever since, making it one of the oldest, if not the oldest, public health journals in the world. Recently, I had the opportunity to look through old issues of PHR and the PHR Historical Collection: 1878–2005,1 and was fascinated by the issues of “the day” and how they relate to modern concerns. Notable topics were yellow fever, smallpox, and cholera in 1878; these conditions are still in our world today. Racism and discrimination in the wake of the plague outbreak in San Francisco in 1900 has been replaced by the concern over health disparities. The fight over mandatory health insurance began in 1919 and continues today. Drug addiction prevalence and trends were important in 1924, radiation exposure was discussed in 1953, and in 1980, we addressed the concern over health care for medically underserved areas.
Each of these health concerns, as well as numerous other seminal events, has shaped public health as we know it today. How will the events of 2010—including the earthquake in Haiti, the oil spill and cleanup in the Gulf of Mexico, H1N1, the emergence of genomics and nanotechnology to prevent disease, and the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—shape future public health policy and practice? It is said that history is reported by the victors. Let's work together so that in 100 years, our successors will be able to report a victorious outcome on the issues we are facing today.
As we usher in 2011, we bid farewell to Captain (CAPT) (ret) Laurence D. Reed, who served with distinction as Acting Editor of PHR for two and a half years. CAPT Reed maintained the highest standards of quality for the journal. One of his notable attributes was his mentorship of junior scientists and his ability to work with individuals who were inexperienced authors and help them write effective manuscripts. CAPT Reed also led an impressive volunteer Editorial Board, which reviews every submission and selects the most important manuscripts for publication. The Editorial Board's work has grown considerably over the years as the number of submissions has increased. A sincere thank you is extended to Richard Clayton, PhD; Lisa K. Fitzpatrick, MD, MPH; Richard Henry, MPH, ML; Daniel Hoffman, MSPH, PhD; and Patrick Sullivan, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVPM.
The high quality of PHR is also dependent on our column editors, managing editor, scientific editors, production assistant, and photographer. These outstanding individuals, in addition to our business partners and colleagues at the Association of Schools of Public Health, ensure the quality and timeliness of the journal.
Of course, PHR would not be possible without the scientists and practitioners who submit their manuscripts for publication, and for our extensive cadre of outstanding peer reviewers. As Acting Editor, I wish to thank everyone for contributing to PHR. I'd also like to thank our readers; without you, this journal would not exist.
In August, the World Health Organization declared an end to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic. But new and continuing public health challenges will come to bear in 2011 and beyond. As these events unfold, look to PHR to continue to publish sound scientific research and influential public health articles.