One common criticism of virtually all of the recently (and thankfully) concluded presidential campaigns was their glib use of the word “change.” It seemed at times that the only real change in sight was the speech or commercial that didn’t use the word. Well, presidential campaigns have nothing on us publishing folks: “change” is the watchword in nearly everything we do.

And now “change” has really come home—specifically to yours truly. After eight years in the role, I am stepping aside as Editor-in-Chief of HEALTHCARE DESIGN to focus on what I love best—producing articles for this magazine and, increasingly in coming months, online features for our revitalized Web site.

I had been a writer/editor in healthcare publishing for many years before assuming my first “chief editorship” at a clinical publication called Geriatrics in 1982. It is gratifying, of course, to have the “final say” about anything, and it has certainly been a privilege I’ve enjoyed in my dual roles at this magazine and a sister publication called Long-Term Living. There comes a point at this level, though, when diversion become the rule, not the exception. As “Chief,” one spends a great deal of time at a lot of important matters, but never really focusing on what got you here: creating, developing, and finishing a project—if not daily, then close to it.

Over the course of my career in medical publishing I have seen several instances of medical school department chairmen stepping down to once again practice medicine because, in the last analysis, that is all they ever wanted to do. I used to think that was rather odd, giving up that power. Now you can count me among that odd bunch.

I do so in full confidence that my successor, Managing Editor Todd Hutlock, is more than up to the challenge. He has worked hard on this magazine since its inception and has created a substantial portion of its content, to the point that he grasps the criteria and techniques of this magazine completely. He is no doubt already well-known to some of you as a gregarious, engaging, and highly professional collaborator on the projects and articles you submit to us. If anyone is deserving, it is Todd, and his time is now.

As I have over the years, Todd will have the privilege of sounding off in this space in every issue. True, you’ll still hear from me elsewhere in the magazine—I’m not about to shut up! I hope, too, that you will see more of my work than ever, now that I have been allowed this gift of time. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any thoughts or ideas you may have for future publication. I will no longer be the final arbiter, but I’ll do my darnedest to give you and your presentation the best shot possible.

So, farewell—and hail. HD

Richard L. Peck, Editor-in-Chief


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Healthcare Design 2008 December;8(12):8