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Transforming Preventive Medicine Science, Practice, Education, and Policy

Looking Back at the Last 20 Years of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
      Editors’ Note: Following the creation of a mission statement for AJPM in 1995, we chose to select Associate Editors in each of the four main categories outlined in the statement: prevention science, policy, education, and practice, with the later addition of an Associate Editor to represent international preventive medicine.

      Associate Editor for Science: Steve Woolf

      Serving for 17 years as the Associate Editor for Science has given me a long-term vantage point on the evolution of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and on the skilled leadership of the talented editorial team headed by Dr. Patrick. Others will echo my observations of the important accomplishments during their tenure, an era in which AJPM rose from an obscure publication with a tiny circulation to the Journal of record for scientific research in health promotion and disease prevention. Major organizations and governmental agencies publish their scientific research, proceedings, and policy statements in AJPM, placing it in the company of a handful of key journals in public health.
      In my years with the Journal, I have seen AJPM act as a safe harbor for investigators in public health and preventive medicine. The brightest minds in this field were, too often, turned away by clinically-oriented journals that did not appreciate the prescience of such work and who found the wayside littered with obscure public health publications that struggled to maintain circulation and viability. In those most challenging times, Dr. Patrick and his team led the Journal’s rise in prominence and impact, with increasing visibility in professional audiences and lay media. For researchers interested in the intersection of primary care and public health, clinical preventive services, and the science of health promotion and disease prevention, AJPM began to replace mainstream journals in public health and primary care as the logical first choice for submissions, especially for new thinking, new science, and new ways of framing the issues.
      None of this occurred by accident: Drs. Patrick, Scutchfield, and their colleagues in San Diego are to be applauded for a management strategy that navigated difficult challenges to change the culture of the publication. In the early years, as they took the helm of a Journal that was still struggling to define itself, they were proactive in prioritizing manuscripts in core domains of health promotion and disease prevention, in adding features to enhance the relevance of the Journal to public health and preventive medicine, and in building expertise on the masthead, which soon listed the major thought leaders in the field. Over time, the best science on tobacco use, diet, physical activity, obesity, screening tests, and immunizations began to fill the pages of the Journal.
      When I began with the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, it was a publication that seemed intended for American authors; investigators from other countries had little presence in the Journal. In time, Drs. Patrick’s and Scutchfield’s progressive insights about global health attracted leading investigators from around the world, making the pages of the Journal a meeting place for the best ideas in preventive medicine from Europe, Asia, and elsewhere. Once the Journal established its core reputation for mainstream science in health promotion and disease prevention, the editors widened the topical breadth of the Journal to push the envelope, venturing into such domains as the social determinants of health, public policy, health services research, primary care, social science and anthropology, financing of health care, ethics, and human rights.
      Dr. Patrick’s tenure as editor of AJPM was marked particularly by his energetic embrace of information technology, both in featuring studies that introduced innovative applications of technology in the practice of public health and preventive medicine, and in harnessing the digital world as a platform for raising the prominence of the Journal. AJPM was one of the early journals to become available online and to offer electronic supplements as a means to deliver more information to readers at less cost and to provide the scientific documentation of methods and results that paper-based journals eschewed from the printed page. Associate editors were given iPads to replace the longstanding practice of shipping bulky Federal Express envelopes with hard copies of manuscripts. The Journal accepted papers on geospatial mapping, Google street view, genetic mapping, PhotoVoice journalism, and many other innovative new tools that were unimaginable a generation ago. Dr. Patrick cultivated the Journal for the information age it now occupies and made it no longer surprising to see its articles featured on television and online news feeds.
      As Associate Editor for Science, I was a firsthand witness to the editorial team’s commitment to scientific rigor. I will long cherish the memory of digesting 13–18 manuscripts in preparation for our monthly editorial meetings—those intellectually invigorating conversations in which we discussed the pros and cons of papers and how successfully authors had responded to reviewers’ criticisms. Drs. Patrick and Scutchfield and their team paid close attention to any concerns raised about the quality of the science and the documentation of methods and gave extra points to authors who demonstrated innovation and novelty in their scientific methods. They defended the autonomy of the Journal and did not excuse weak manuscripts, even when they were submitted by the specialty societies that financed AJPM. They were committed to evidence-based practice and policy and steered authors away from inferences, conclusions, or recommendations that reached beyond the evidence.
      The entire AJPM staff won my admiration years ago for their commitment to quality; they are the best example of a seasoned ensemble, and they have tirelessly safeguarded the scientific rigor and scholarship of AJPM. They screened manuscripts meticulously for plagiarism and duplicate publications and oversaw a complex system for manuscript review and preparation that grew dramatically difficult as recent years brought a steady surge in the number of submissions. These demands did not prevent the team from running an operation known for its businesslike proficiency, speed, and efficiency.
      The legacy of this effort is the stature of the Journal and the lofty reputation it enjoys as new editorial leadership takes the helm. As we all know, reputations are difficult to earn and easy to forfeit. The greatest postscript on the tenure of Kevin Patrick, Doug Scutchfield, and the editorial staff is the deep respect the profession holds for the Journal and for those who worked so tirelessly over 2 decades to make that vision a reality.

      Associate Editor for Policy: Tracy Orleans

      When they took the reins as editors in 1994, Kevin Patrick, Doug Scutchfield, and Charlotte Seidman set out to make the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM) a unique forum for prevention science, education, practice, and policy.
      • Patrick K.
      • Scutchfield F.D.
      • Seidman C.S.
      Stalking the perfect journal.
      I believe that they succeeded brilliantly in achieving this vision for the Journal, and, that in the process, they helped to build a vibrant new field of prevention policy research.
      To set the scene, 1995 was just 2 years after McGinnis and Foege
      • McGinnis J.M.
      • Foege W.H.
      Actual causes of death in the United States.
      identified behaviors as the actual nation’s leading causes of morbidity, mortality, and healthcare burden; the same year that McKinlay
      • McKinlay J.B.
      The new public health approach to improving physical activity and autonomy in older populations.
      argued for a multi-level “ecological” approach to health behavior change—one that shifted emphasis from “downstream” individually-oriented interventions to the more powerful “upstream” population-level policy and environmental drivers of healthy and unhealthy behavior.
      The IOM echoed this view and emphasized socio-ecologic models of disease prevention/ health promotion in its 2000 report Promoting Health:[it is] unreasonable to expect that people will change their behavior easily when so many forces in the social, cultural, and physical environment conspire against such change.
      • McKinlay J.B.
      The new public health approach to improving physical activity and autonomy in older populations.
      The IOM 2001 Crossing the Quality Chasm report

      Institute of Medicine. Promoting health: Intervention strategies from social and behavioral research. B.D. Smedley and S.L. Syme (eds.) Washington DC: National Academy Press, 2000

      concluded that similar systems- and policy-change approaches were essential for quality clinical care.
      These seminal papers and reports, as well as new managed care and chronic care models,
      • Schauffler H.H.
      Policy tools for building health education and preventive counseling into managed care.
      • Schauffler H.H.
      • Chapman S.A.
      Health promotion and managed care: surveys of California’s health plans and population.
      • Wagner E.H.
      • Austin B.T.
      • Von Korff M.
      Organizing care for patients with chronic illness.
      heralded a fundamental paradigm shift in our understanding of what the targets of preventive medicine and population health promotion needed to be—not individual behaviors and provider practices, but the powerful policies and environments that shape and maintain them. This shift moved policy and environmental interventions into the mainstream of clinical and population prevention. Yet, prevention policy research and environmental research were in their embryonic stages, in need of new methods and standards to achieve legitimacy and demonstrate their value in a field dominated by the randomized controlled trial.
      Over the 19 years of their tenure, AJPM’s editors have addressed these needs, transforming the Journal into a premier forum for prevention policy research. Indeed, AJPM’s contributions to the science of policy-focused prevention include many of the attributes for what Petrovich
      • Petrovich J.
      Building and supporting sustainable fields: Views from philanthropy—A study for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
      describes as field building—or building “a branch of knowledge, policy and practice composed of a multiplicity of actors in relationship with one another.” She describes that “actors in a field produce facts, problem solutions, models of good practice, and messages to help people grasp the dimensions of a social problem and promote desired changes” and that successful fields engage a “community of actors” (e.g., practitioners, program developers, researchers, policymakers, advocates, leaders, funders, communicators) who “play complementary roles in solving social problems.” These definitions and her list, below, of the key elements of a vibrant field provide a helpful frame for describing AJPM’s many contributions to building the field of prevention policy research.

      Shared identity and affiliations among diverse field actors around a common purpose

      The American Journal of Preventive Medicine has engaged diverse actors (researchers, practitioners, educators, advocates and policymakers) around the shared goal of finding and spreading effective policy and environmental solutions for population-level disease prevention/health promotion. Its multidisciplinary editors, editorial board, reviewers, authors, and readers represent traditional (e.g., medicine, public health, behavioral sciences) and nontraditional (e.g., agriculture, economics, land use, law, public policy, social justice, transportation) prevention disciplines. And from issue to issue, they have addressed policy changes at every level of the socioecologic model, in both the healthcare and public health arenas, and with an abiding focus on reducing disparities in health, disease prevalence, and inequities in access to health-promoting environments.

      Quality standards for accountability and to establish legitimacy

      Through countless methods- and measurement-focused articles and supplements, AJPM has helped to establish the quality standards and methodologic scaffolding needed to legitimize and advance prevention policy research. This includes publishing examples of rigorous study designs, methods, measurement, and analytic strategies needed to improve evidence of causality in prospective studies, natural experiments and novel mixed-methods studies of policy-based interventions. Stellar examples are the 2009 special issues on Active Living Research

      Sallis JF, Orleans CT, Buchner DM (eds). Active Living Research: a six-year report. Am J Prev Med 2009;36(Suppl 2):S1–S77

      and the NIH review of measurement and methods issues for policy-relevant research on food and physical activity environments.

      McKinnon RA, Reedy J, Handy SL, Rodgers AB (eds). Measurement of the food and physical activity environments: enhancing research relevant to policy on diet, physical activity, and weight. Am J Prev Med 2009;36(Suppl 4):S1–S188

      Rigorous reviews by AJPM’s dedicated editors, editorial board, and reviewers have improved the quality of AJPM prevention policy papers, and have raised the quality bar for the field as a whole.

      Proven programs and models that serve as examples of practice

      There is no better example here than the 15 AJPM supplements and numerous theme issues devoted to the systematic reviews and recommendations of the Community Preventive Services Task Force. These “gold standard” reviews and recommendations form the scientific bedrock for the nation’s clinical and public health prevention practice standards. They cover a wide range of policy-related interventions, including: alcohol and drug use; diet/nutrition; motor vehicle safety; physical activity and sedentary behavior; primary care preventive screening, immunization, and behavioral counseling; tobacco control; violence prevention; and worksite wellness.

      Research evidence that builds new knowledge, keeps the multiple actors in a field informed and current

      The Journal’s track record of publishing rigorous, cutting-edge prevention policy research has made it a premier journal, and go-to reference, for research that informs policy action as well as environmental and systems change—as reflected in the steady rise in its ISI impact factor, from 0.995 in 1997 to 4.110 in 2010.
      • Patrick K.
      • Waalen J.
      • Seidman C.S.
      • Lytton B.
      Evaluating our tenure: 2012.
      In addition to individual studies, AJPM has published the timely results of numerous national prevention policy research programs, including: the NIH state-of-the-science statement on tobacco use prevention, cessation, and control

      Backinger CL, O’Connell ME, Warner KE (eds). National Institutes of Health Sate-of-the-science statement on tobacco use: prevention, cessation and control. Am J Prev Med 2007;33(Suppl 6):S311–S422.

      ; the CDC’s Prevention Research Centers

      Davis SM, Anderson LA (eds.) The dissemination and utilization of prevention research: increasing our knowledge and understanding. Am J Prev Med 2007;33(Suppl 1):S1–S73

      and Nutrition and Prevention Policy Research and Evaluation Network

      Ascher WL, Blanck HM, Cradock AL (eds). Evaluating policies and processes for promoting healthy eating: findings from the Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network (NOPREN). Am J Prev Med 2013;43(3 Suppl 2):S85–S151

      ; Clearway Minnesota’s applied tobacco control research program

      Christiansen BA, Boyle RG, Schroeder SA, Fiore MC (eds). Minnesota’s investment in applied tobacco control research: findings to inform practice and policy. Am J Prev Med 2012;43(5 Suppl 3):S153–S265

      ; the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)’s childhood obesity prevention research programs, including Active Living Research,

      Sallis JF, Orleans CT, Buchner DM (eds). Active Living Research: a six-year report. Am J Prev Med 2009;36(Suppl 2):S1–S77

      Sallis JF, Moudon AV, Linton LS, Powell KE (eds). Active Living Research. Am J Prev Med 2005;28(2 Suppl 2):S93–S217

      Bridging the Gap,

      Chaloupka FJ, Johnston LD, Brownson RC, Yancey AK (eds). Bridging the Gap: research informing practice and policy for healthy youth behavior. Am J Prev Med 2007;33(Suppl 4):S147–S310

      and Salud America!

      Ramirez AG, Ayala GX (eds). Addressing Latino childhood obesity through research and policy: findings from the Salud America! experience. Am J Prev Med 2013;44(3 Suppl 3):S173–S295

      ; as well as the fast-growing new field of public health systems and services.

      Scutchfield FD, Howard AF, Perez JP, Monroe JA, Mays GP (eds). An agenda for public health services and systems research: charting the course. Am J Prev Med 2012;42(5 Suppl 1):S1–S86

      Indeed, one could create the entire syllabus for a course on the evolution of prevention policy research using AJPM articles and supplements alone.

      Effective leaders who articulate a field’s concerns and inspire an emotional response

      The field’s leading and rising-star prevention policy researchers, and its most articulate spokespersons, are well represented in the Journal’s regular articles and reviews, and its numerous editorials and commentaries. Among the most inspiring have been the articles and commentaries by passionate frontline health and healthcare leaders, policymakers, and community leaders—because they provide a moral compass for prevention policy and remind us of urgency of our work in the prevention policy arena. Commentaries by Angela Glover Blackwell on health equity,
      • Blackwell A.G.
      Active Living Research and the movement for healthy communities.
      by Richard Jackson on urban planning and urban renewal,
      • Jackson R.J.
      Commentary on Active Living Research.
      and Mayor Julian Castro
      • Castro J.
      San Antonio as a face of the future: a model city’s approach to health and wellness.
      on San Antonio’s efforts to instill and sustain “a local culture that embraces fitness and better nutrition” especially stand out for me.

      Structures for collaboration that facilitate and build relationships among the multiple actors

      The Journal’s policy-focused supplements and theme issues link researchers from varied policy backgrounds and disciplines with each other and with the end-users of their research (e.g., community members and leaders, advocates, and policymakers). AJPM has emerged as a leader in publishing high-quality prevention policy research and policy-relevant commentary that provide a roadmap for translation of research into action. Stellar examples of leading-edge empirical and policy recommendations in the area of behavioral risk factor modification that are accessible both to front-line practitioners and to policymakers can be found in special issues on addressing multiple behavioral risk factors in primary care,

      Goldstein MG, Curry SJ (eds). Addressing multiple risk factors in primary care. Am J Prev Med 2004;27(Suppl 2):1–108

      Green LA, Glasgow RE, Thompson RS (eds). Prescription for Health: reshaping practice to support health behavior change in primary care. Am J Prev Med 2008;35(Suppl 5):S347–S434

      the dissemination and utilization of prevention research,

      Buller DB, Bettinghaus EP (eds). Diffusion and dissemination: increasing physical activity in world populations. Am J Prev Med 2006;31(4 Suppl):1–96

      and eHealth research.

      Atienza A, Hesse B, Abrams D (eds). eHealth research. Am J Prev Med 2007;32(Suppl 4): S71–S136

      Similar examples in the public health arena—which focus on the community-participation and inter-sectoral collaboration required to implement local policy changes—include recent supplements on changing built environments to increase physical activity levels

      Brennan LK, Brownson RC, Leviton LC, Strunk SL, Schmid TL, Cohen DA (eds). Evaluation of Active Living by Design. Am J Prev Med 2012; 43(Suppl 5): S267–S412

      Brennan LK, Linton LS, Strunk SL, Schilling JM, Leviton LC (eds). Active Living by Design: best practices from the field. Am J Prev Med 2009;37(6 Suppl 2): S309–S460

      and on addressing Latino childhood obesity through community-based participatory research and policy.

      Ramirez AG, Ayala GX (eds). Addressing Latino childhood obesity through research and policy: findings from the Salud America! experience. Am J Prev Med 2013;44(3 Suppl 3):S173–S295

      Examples of policy advocacy to institutionalize change through laws and regulations

      Such examples appear frequently in AJPM, but recent supplements on RWJF’s Active Living by Design

      Brennan LK, Brownson RC, Leviton LC, Strunk SL, Schmid TL, Cohen DA (eds). Evaluation of Active Living by Design. Am J Prev Med 2012; 43(Suppl 5): S267–S412

      Brennan LK, Linton LS, Strunk SL, Schilling JM, Leviton LC (eds). Active Living by Design: best practices from the field. Am J Prev Med 2009;37(6 Suppl 2): S309–S460

      and Salud America!

      Ramirez AG, Ayala GX (eds). Addressing Latino childhood obesity through research and policy: findings from the Salud America! experience. Am J Prev Med 2013;44(3 Suppl 3):S173–S295

      national programs bring to light the barriers and challenges that arise in translating evidence-based prevention policies into local laws and regulations, and ways they can be overcome. They address a variety of policy changes (e.g., zoning, street design, bike and pedestrian infrastructure, transportation funding, restaurant menu labeling, healthy food marketing) with potential to institutionalize active living and healthy eating environments, and they highlight numerous advocacy and community-based participatory research strategies for engaging residents, local officials, coalitions, businesses, nonprofit groups, and youth advocates in concerted community action to introduce healthy policies. Special attention is given to the barriers faced by low-income and racial/ethnic populations, neighborhoods and communities, and to the challenge of evaluating action and advocacy to implement health-promoting laws and regulations.
      • Evenson K.R.
      • Sallis J.F.
      • Handy S.L.
      • Bell R.
      • Brennan L.K.
      Evaluation of physical projects and policies from the Active Living by Design partnerships.
      • Ottoson J.M.
      • Ramirez A.G.
      • Green L.W.
      • Gallion K.J.
      Exploring potential research contributions to policy: the Salud America! experience.
      • Ottoson J.M.
      • Green L.W.
      • Beery W.L.
      • et al.
      Policy-contribution assessment and field-building analysis of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Active Living Research program.

      Strategic communications that frame policy debates, generate public attention, and form public opinion

      The Journal has worked to achieve wider and more timely delivery of cutting-edge policy research results to researchers, practitioners, community leaders, policymakers, and policy influencers through more frequent publication, expanded online access, the posting of in-press articles online weeks before they appear in the print edition, videocasting through SciVee (“the You Tube” for science), and the AJPM iPad app.
      • Patrick K.
      • Waalen J.
      • Seidman C.S.
      • Lytton B.
      Evaluating our tenure: 2012.
      The editors’ work with Elsevier’s press relations service and the Health Behavior News Service of the Center for Advancing Health has increased coverage of AJPM papers in the national press (e.g., New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post) and other media channels (e.g., televised newscasts, NPR, the BBC). And AJPM has published guidelines that prevention policy researchers can use to assure that their own messages and policy briefs are communicated clearly and accurately to the public and key decision makers.

      Dodson EA, Eyler AA, Chalifour S, Wintrode CG. A review of obesity-themed policy briefs. Am J Prev Med 43(3 Suppl 2):S136–S142.

      Constituencies that can mobilize to take large-scale, concerted action

      Journals can’t take action, but they can effectively present the evidence base needed to inform and learn from that action. Through strategic collaboration with many of the nation’s leading scientific societies and professional organizations (e.g., American College of Preventive Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Society of Behavioral Medicine) and major research funders (e.g., Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, CDC, NIH, RWJF), AJPM has effectively communicated the evidence base for many large-scale national research, practice, and policy disease prevention and health promotion initiatives.

      Assessment of progress and a feedback loop to adjust tactics

      Readers can trace the growth of existing and new subfields of prevention policy research through the past 19 years of AJPM’s regular issues and supplements (e.g., tobacco control, active living, childhood obesity prevention), and observe priorities change as new evidence is accumulated and research shifts from the challenge of discovering effective policies,
      • Green L.W.
      • Orleans C.T.
      • Ottoson J.M.
      • Cameron R.
      • Pierce J.P.
      • Bettinghaus E.P.
      Inferring strategies for disseminating physical activity policies, programs, and practices from the successes of tobacco control.
      • Sallis J.F.
      • Story M.
      • Lou D.
      Study deigns and analytic strategies for environmental and policy research on obesity, physical activity and diet: recommendations from a meeting of experts.
      to the challenge of implementing and building demand for them.
      • Orleans C.T.
      • Abrams D.B.
      • Mabry P.L.
      Increasing tobacco cessation in America: a consumer demand perspective.
      • Glasgow R.E.
      • Green L.W.
      • Taylor M.V.
      • Stange K.C.
      An evidence integration triangle for aligning science with policy and practice.
      • Pronk N.P.
      The power of context: moving from information and knowledge to practical wisdom for improving physical activity and dietary behaviors.
      AJPM’s Community Preventive Services Task Force supplements and other reviews provide regular updates on progress in addressing key evidence needs and gaps across a wide range of policy targets. This is essential for any vibrant, growing field.
      I am honored to join my fellow Associate Editors in celebrating AJPM’s editors, Kevin Patrick, Doug Scutchfield, Jill Waalen, Charlotte Seidman, Bev Lytton, and their colleagues, for creating an invaluable “forum for the communication of information, knowledge and wisdom in prevention science, education, practice and policy,” and for their pivotal contributions to building the field of prevention policy research, from its earliest days to the present. The examples given above only begin to describe the many ways in which their efforts have helped to build and strengthen this new field and its key elements. And they do not even start to link these key elements and contributions to the major progress achieved during their tenure in improving the delivery of effective clinical preventive care, and creating environments that promote health and health equity—healthier schools and worksites, clinics and public health systems that deliver better preventive care, neighborhoods and communities that provide equitable access to safe places to walk, bike and play, and healthy affordable food—and a society in which children can grow up tobacco-free and anyone can quit. Through their leadership, AJPM has helped not only to build a strong foundation for prevention research, practice, and policy, but also to create what Petrovich defines as a hallmark of a vibrant field of research and practice—a connected “community of actors” who together “produce facts, problem solutions, models of good practice, and messages to help people grasp the dimensions of a social problem and promote desired changes.”
      • Petrovich J.
      Building and supporting sustainable fields: Views from philanthropy—A study for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
      We honor them for their vision, their leadership, and their extraordinary field-building accomplishments.

      Associate Editors for Practice (Past and Current): Beverly B. Green, MD, Sue Curry, MD, Robert S. Thompson, MD

      Under the leadership of Drs. Patrick and Scutchfield, AJPM broke new ground in prevention and clinical practice. This achievement emerged from an unfailing commitment to evidence-based science and systematic population-based approaches, from a deep appreciation of the synergies between clinical medicine and public health, and from the ability to showcase innovations in how prevention is delivered at multiple levels by providers, clinics, healthcare organizations, and in the broader community.
      In the realm of evidence-based science and population approaches, the Journal has published multiple U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) and Community Preventive Services Task Force guidelines and evidence reviews as well as other key national guidelines, consensus statements, and state-of-the-art reports. Examples include an early 1998 publication on broadening the evidence base for evidence-based guidelines
      • Atkins D.
      • DiGuiseppi C.G.
      Broadening the evidence base for evidence-based guidelines: a research agenda based on the work of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
      and the USPSTF review and guidelines for screening for high blood pressure
      • Sheridan S.
      • Pignone M.
      • Donahue K.
      Screening for high blood pressure: A review of the evidence for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
      ; the Community Task Force’s review of effective strategies for increasing cancer screening
      • Baron R.C.
      • Rimer B.K.
      • Breslow R.A.
      • et al.
      the Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Client-directed interventions to increase community demand for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening: a systematic review.
      • Sabatino S.A.
      • Lawrence B.
      • Elder R.
      • et al.
      the Community Preventive Services Task Force. Effectiveness of interventions to increase screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers: nine updated systematic reviews for the guide to Community Preventive Services.
      ; and the NIH State-of-the-Science Statement on Tobacco Use Prevention, Cessation, and Control.

      Backinger CL, O’Connell ME, Warner KE (eds). National Institutes of Health Sate-of-the-science statement on tobacco use: prevention, cessation and control. Am J Prev Med 2007;33(Suppl 6):S311–S422.

      But AJPM does not stop at guideline publication. It also provides guidance for moving knowledge into practice by publishing numerous studies evaluating strategies for dissemination and implementation. Among many examples are a comparative effectiveness trial to determine the minimal amount of intervention needed to promote adherence to breast cancer mammography screening
      • Gierisch J.M.
      • DeFrank J.T.
      • Bowling J.M.
      • et al.
      Finding the minimal intervention needed for sustained mammography adherence.
      ; the evaluation of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Health MOVE! Weight Management Program, which was implemented in over 150 hospitals and almost 1000 outpatient clinics, with over 100,000 patients enrolled in 2 years
      • Kahwati L.C.
      • Lewis M.A.
      • Kane H.
      • et al.
      Best practices in the Veterans Health Administration's MOVE! Weight management program.
      ; and a randomized trial of fax referrals and academic detailing to increase referrals to tobacco quitlines.
      • Sheffer M.A.
      • Baker T.B.
      • Fraser D.L.
      • Adsit R.T.
      • McAfee T.A.
      • Fiore M.C.
      Fax referrals, academic detailing, and tobacco quitline use: a randomized trial.
      Synergies between preventive care and grand challenges in public health come from publishing new evidence on emerging issues such as the detailed descriptive epidemiology of domestic violence and its impact on health. With over 90 citations on this topic, AJPM is one of the leading sources of new knowledge, such as the impact of domestic violence on healthcare utilization and costs, the prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence among men,
      • Reid R.J.
      • Bonomi A.E.
      • Rivara F.P.
      • et al.
      Intimate partner violence among men prevalence, chronicity, and health effects.
      and resources for addressing human trafficking.
      • Ahn R.
      • Alpert E.J.
      • Purcell G.
      • et al.
      Human trafficking: Review of educational resoureces for health professionals.
      Other “firsts” that bridge public health and preventive medicine include articles on systems approaches for the development and implementation of clinical prevention services electronic nicotine delivery systems
      • Thompson R.S.
      • McAfee T.A.
      • Stuart M.E.
      • Smith A.E.
      • Wilson J.
      • Handley M.R.
      A review of clinical prevention services at Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound.
      and hookahs, and cancer screening in women with mental illness.
      • Koroukian S.M.
      • Bakaki P.M.
      • Golchin N.
      • Tyler C.
      • Loue S.
      Mental illness and use of screening mammography among Medicaid beneficiaries.
      • Assarwal A.
      • Pandurangi A.
      • Smith W.
      Disparities in breast and cervical cancer screening in women with mental illness.
      Dr. Patrick’s own expertise in health informatics and telecommunications has led to cutting edge articles in this field. Computer-based population registries for tracking of immunization, cancer screening, and injuries have revolutionized the monitoring, tracking, and delivery of evidence-based preventive care. Numerous articles have been published on the impact of electronic health records (EHRs), point-of-care electronic decision support and reminds, and quality metrics on the delivery of prevention services. There has been a profusion of articles on electronic monitoring devices and their effect on behavior change and preventive outcomes.
      Under the editors’ leadership, the Journal has published a remarkable number of supplements that provide in-depth review of topics critical to the intersection of public health and preventive medicine. Examples include ground-breaking articles on barriers and potential strategies for implementing oral anti-retroviral pre-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV in high risk individuals

      Smith DK, Dearing JW, Goldschmidt RH, Sanchez T (eds). Implementing Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in the U.S.: moving from evidence to practice. Am J Prev Med 2013;44(1 Suppl 2):S59–S172

      and a series of studies that harnessed 211 emergency phone services including an intervention to decrease disparities in access to primary care and preventive services.

      Kreuter MW, Eddens KS, Hall KL, Linnan LA (eds). Research collaboration with 2-1-1 to eliminate health disparities. Am J Prev Med. 2012;43(6 Sppl 5): S415–S530.

      In June of 2012, an entire supplement was devoted to Integration of Primary Care and Public Health.

      Felix K, Koo D, Dankwa-Mullan I, Miller T, Waalen J (eds). Integration of primary care and public health. Am J Prev Med 2012;42(6 Suppl 2):S89–S204.

      The Journal also has been a key forum regarding the education and training of future doctors and preventive medicine specialists, with two articles in 2004 from the Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine (now the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research) and the Association of Academic Health Centers.
      • Carey T.S.
      • Roper W.L.
      Clinical prevention and population health: getting there from here.
      • Allan J.
      • Barwick T.A.
      • Cashman S.
      • et al.
      Clinical prevention and population health: curriculum framework for health professions.
      In 2011, an entire supplement focused on strengthening collaborations between academic medicine and public health based on a conference held by the CDC and the Association of American Medical Colleges.

      Maeshiro R, Koo D, Keck CW (eds). Integration of public health into medical education. Am J Prev Med 2011; 41(4S3):S145–S316

      In summary, the leadership of Drs. Patrick and Scutchfield has resulted in a Journal focused on fostering and reporting on the emerging scientific evidence for the integration of “prevention” and “medicine.” We are honored to be part of the development of AJPM into a world-class peer reviewed Journal, we are deeply grateful to the editors for their tireless leadership, and excited about the continued growth and impact of AJPM in the years to come.

      International Associate Editor: Adrian Bauman

      It is always difficult being the token “alien.” Thus the invitation to take on the international editorial advisory role in an American professional society Journal was one I accepted with some trepidation in 2003. As an “overseas” Associate Editor, my task was to provide an independent and international perspective on the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. But mostly, the task was to carry out regular associate editor reviews and work, and to interact with the outstanding San Diego team, whose broad public health perspectives, creative vision for a Journal and capacity to move it forward kept me willingly engaged for well over a decade.
      Much of the wondrous nature of AJPM and its editorial team has been extolled by the other Associate Editors. I will give a personal perspective, both on the international needs of AJPM, and on some of the strengths of the Journal not covered elsewhere. First, the international perspective was always difficult given the “American” primary audience for the Journal. Nonetheless, international publications, as a proportion of the total number, increased between 1998 and 2012, from less than 5% to just over 10% in a typical AJPM issue. Many of these were from Latin America, and a sizeable number from Australia and the Netherlands, indicating the quality prevention research in those locations. In Latin America, research has proliferated in Brazil, has been nurtured (especially by CDC) in other countries, and is making a major contribution to chronic disease prevention research globally, especially through supportive vehicles such as AJPM.
      A major set of methodologic innovations has occurred in the papers published in AJPM. Although the primacy of the RCT remains evident in many clinical journals, public health methods have evolved beyond the RCT, and into time series designs or careful quasi-experiments, especially for evaluating community-level interventions, policy implementation, or multi-faceted environmental changes influencing health (behavior) outcomes. AJPM has been an “early adopter” in these methods, and in publishing mixed-methods of program evaluation, including implementation and process evaluation and understanding the pragmatic realities of public health program appraisal and outcome measurement.
      Still, AJPM remained “American” in its nomenclature, not adopting the “complex (or systems) program evaluation” language of Europe,
      • Craig P.
      • Dieppe P.
      • Macintyre S.
      • Michie S.
      • Nazareth I.
      • Petticrew M.
      Developing and evaluating complex interventions: the new Medical Research Council guidance.
      but managing uniquely among North American journals to do similar work from a U.S. context. This has provided a vehicle for new frameworks for public health evidence generation and synthesis, and not only is useful to prevention and public health practice, but moves the field, policymakers, and funders forward through influencing their understanding of public health research. For me, this early adoption of public health evaluation methods set AJPM apart from its competitors, and ahead of the curve in influencing policy and practice.
      Finally, AJPM moved in new content areas at an early stage. The early adopter title also applied in the move from traditional chronic disease risk factors to new ones, and AJPM adopted physical activity, active living, active transport, and environmental approaches to food and physical activity at an early stage, compared to a similar journal, the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH). Data in Figure 1 show 3-year smoothed rolling average number of papers that used the terms physical activity, active travel, active transport, or active living, and as a comparator, “tobacco or smoking.” Any use in the title, keyword, or abstract was allowed (Scopus database), and this allowed more uses to be monitored; but the trends were very similar to just “title occurrence” (which for physical activity, correlated r =0.96 with the data shown in the table).
      Figure thumbnail gr1
      Figure 1AJPM compared with AJPH on papers published in physical activity (PA), active transport/active living (TR), or tobacco/smoking (Tob), 3-year smoothed averages, 1981–2012
      AJPM, American Journal of Preventive Medicine; AJPH, American Journal of Public Health
      Tobacco-related research was prevalent early in AJPH, and increased in AJPM after 2001. Physical activity research increased dramatically in AJPM after 2000, but with only small increases in AJPH, and similarly, active travel and environmental research in chronic disease prevention showed higher numbers of papers in AJPM than AJPH. These are raw papers compared, but the denominator of total numbers of papers published was nearly twice as many per issue in AJPH, making these trends even more marked. The innovation of physical activity was fueled by the quantity of submissions, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funding of the Active Living Research program, and the Journal’s being seen as a more prestigious location for this research than the elite exercise and sport journals. This confluence of factors led to a bit of a unique “reputation” for AJPM, as the leading Journal in public health approaches to reducing inactivity.
      Each journal has a cycle, defined by its time in history and the issues of the day, and then prioritized by a particular editorial group. In this past decade, AJPM focused on innovation and on greater global relevance, and embraced a diverse set of issues and population research methods. The Journal may flourish in different ways in future iterations, but one hopes it will espouse these key underpinning values; for me, service to them has been always a pleasure and a privilege.

      Associate Editors for Education: Bob Wallace

      For the past many years, I have been the “Education” Associate Editor of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Even though I do spend a substantial amount of time in instructing and mentoring, my role, like that of the others at AJPM, has been more general. We all took part in editorial evaluation of all the content areas of documents that spontaneously came to the Journal as well as the “encouraged” contributions. This general approach to editing was a good thing, because educational content, methods, and values permeate nearly all of the themes and topics addressed by the Journal. There were in fact hundreds of papers with education themes, and in my view it is not possible to select the “best” or the “classics” because I believe that is fundamentally impossible, if for no other reason than many of the education-related reports still have important and useful lives and applications.
      However, I want to mention four papers that were particularly meaningful to me as they came to publication, in part because they deeply interested me and also because I was facing issues at the time for which these reports were immediately helpful in my academic preventive activities:
      • A paper by Richard Riegelman described the issues in establishing formal undergraduate education in public health.
        • Riegelman R.
        Undergraduate public health education. Past present and future.
      • Work on the competencies of population-based prevention in medical education, introduced by Lynn Cleary,
        • Cleary L.M.
        Population-based prevention: a core competency in medical education.
        was of special importance to me, as I had contributed to this discussion earlier in my career.
      • A paper by Cordasco et al.
        • Cordasco K.M.
        • Asch S.M.
        • Bell D.S.
        • et al.
        A low-literacy medication education tool for safety-net hospital patients.
        on the development of a medication tool for low-literacy clinical populations was equally important.
      • And, close to home, a report by DeRoo and Rautiainen reviewed the value of educational programs to improve farm safety.
        • DeRoo L.A.
        • Rautiainen R.
        A systematic review of farm safety interventions.
      These articles are important exemplars of the continuing work presented in the Journal, and the extremely useful approaches to educational matters in preventive medicine that continue to guide the field. And this must continue. In a sense, everyone must be a teacher—health administrators, policymakers, academics, health professionals and patients—because everyone continues to learn by teaching. An old academic adage: “Teaching teaches the teacher.”
      Many people are responsible for judging and presenting high-quality educational research in the Journal. I wish to congratulate and celebrate the skillful staff of the Journal for all of their work and stewardship, particularly the guiding hands of editors Kevin Patrick, Douglas Scutchfield, and Jill Waalen. They are masters of their trade and have educated me in many ways. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from them about producing a high-quality medical journal, and I can only hope my debating the cosmic issues in prevention didn’t get in the way.

      Acknowledgments

      No financial disclosures were reported by the authors of this paper.

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