With publication of the January 2019 issue of the Journal of Public Health Management & Practice (JPHMP), we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the journal. Our first issue in 1995 promised timely, relevant information about population-based programs and support of scientifically based innovation and reform. The first editorial announced “JPHMP is positioned to provide a forum where developments and innovations in practice can be described and assessed, providing direction for the important role of public health in the future.”1 Contributions were sought from public health practitioners, academics, and others. We have kept our commitment to sharing new initiatives to improve community health and look forward to continuing fulfillment of our initial promise.
The beginning section of this issue features commentaries by members of our editorial board on themes that our publication has emphasized in advancing public health. Twelve of these themes include:
- Academic health departments
- Dissemination & implementation
- Environmental health surveillance
- Infectious disease
- Local health departments
- Physical activity
- Public health accreditation
- Public health informatics
- State health departments
The practice orientation of our journal is enhanced by columns from our sponsors, the “State of Public Health” column sponsored by ASTHO (Association of State and Territorial Health Officials), “News From NACCHO” sponsored by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), and more recently “Getting Practical,” a new column from the de Beaumont Foundation. A “Management Moment” column edited by Edward Baker, long-standing editorial board member, offers unparalleled guidance to health officials and other practitioners.
Sponsorship from the de Beaumont Foundation has enhanced our social media presence including JPHMP Direct (www.JPHMPDirect.com). In addition to interviews with authors, podcasts, and ongoing public health posts, each month of our anniversary year, Direct will feature collections of articles on our priority themes. These article collections can also be found on the journal Web site (www.JPHMP.com).
Integral to the success of our publication is an active supplement program concentrating on and illuminating our priority themes. For example, in 2017, one of these was our third Environmental Public Health Tracking supplement sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and in 2018, an Impact of Public Health Accreditation supplement was sponsored by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). The vitality of our supplement program is shown by our plans for 2019: supplements will include Lead Toxicity; Native American Health; Legal Epidemiology; and a second Workforce Interests and Needs Survey (WINS).
As JPHMP has matured over the last decade, we have added a range of formats for our publication, including brief and full practice and research reports, systematic reviews, and case studies. Case studies describe real public health situations using the names of the protagonists and are ideal for teaching purposes. In 2015, a case study on public health in the Bloomberg Administration in New York City authored by Kim Isett and colleagues won the gold award for best government/legislative case from the Association of Healthcare Publishers and Editors (ASHPE). In 2017, an article on adoption of sugar-sweetened beverages in Philadelphia by Jonathan Purtle and colleagues won the silver award.
Our expanded activities in the last 5 years can be attributed to a strategic planning meeting sponsored by the de Beaumont Foundation in 2014 and the ongoing support of our publisher Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins (Wolters Kluwer). Another strategic planning meeting is now being discussed. Our subscribers include all members of ASTHO and now all 30 members of the Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) of NACCHO. This coalition is a forum for the leaders of America's largest metropolitan health departments to exchange strategies and jointly address issues that affect the health of the 55 million people they serve. LaQuandra Nesbitt, Director of the District of Columbia Department of Health, and Julie Morita, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, author an editorial on the latter in this issue.
As a publication centering on the practice of public health, JPHMP reaches practitioners at local, state, and federal public health agencies. Our authors are also from these sectors and academic institutions. With tools on our website to encourage and facilitate scientific writing and an array of case studies published in JPHMP and JPHMP Direct, we are reaching students who will be the future leaders in public health. Clearly, our future will be as a resource for practitioners, students, academics, and policy makers with an interest in relevant and timely information about population-based programs. We will continue to emphasize commentaries that advocate for public health practice and highlight the critical importance of population-based measures to policy makers and the public.
1. Novick LF. Fulfilling a need: a focus on public health practice [editorial]. J Public Health Manag Pract. 1995;1(1):vi–vii.