By noon tomorrow, September 30, another chapter in AFP history will have ended: we're closing the doors on our Kansas City residence at 8880 Ward Parkway and moving across the Missouri state line to our new location in Leawood, Kan., where we'll reappear on October 5. At 5:00 p.m. this evening, a hush will fall as we unplug our telephones, fax lines and e-mail, and essentially vanish—with production coming to a complete halt.
When AFP reemerges next week, the quiet transformation that has been taking place over the span of more than a year will come to reality. While the smells of fresh paint and carpeting and the sight of sparkling cubicle binder bins and sleek new computer equipment bespeak change, they merely herald the outward signs of a greater metamorphosis for AFP.
Earlier this year, we came to a conclusion: AFP 's rapid growth over the past decade, leading a monthly journal to increase its frequency to 16 times per year, then 20 times per year, is not just happenstance. Although we've looked for signs of a plateau in our growth, we just haven't found any. The tremendous popularity of AFP and the continued growth of family practice have kept pushing AFP toward the top of the list among U.S. medical journals—and it is there that we plan on staying.
Having come to that conclusion (a nice one, at that), we threw out old assumptions about how we do business and started recreating ourselves from the ground up. In our annual editors' meeting held in Kansas City, Mo., in late July, we restructured the medical editorial staff, slicing editorial responsibilities in innovative ways and reorganizing editorial processes. At the same time, the Washington, D.C., and home editorial offices added reinforcements to staff and overhauled existing processes.
What's going to come of these changes? While many of these changes won't be visible on the surface, the end result is a fortified foundation that can support continued growth and encourage diversity of this very favorite journal among family physicians. The visible changes—apart from the fresh paint at AFP 's new editorial office—include some additions to the masthead:
When AFP 's doors open next week, the door to AFP's future will open as well.