Clayton Raker Hasser is about to embark on a new path after her imminent retirement from a career in the medical publishing industry, which culminated in her role as vice president for publications and communications/group publisher for the AAFP. You might notice that this issue's masthead already lists a different name in the VP slot: by the time this journal reaches you, Michael D. Springer, whose previous experience included work for the AMA archives journals, will have arrived at the Academy as Ms. Hasser's replacement.
Ms. Hasser first joined the Academy in 1987 as director of the AAFP publications division and managing publisher for AFP, after a 10-year affiliation with Patient Care, one of AFP's peer publications. Her first “Publisher's Memo” in AFP promised that she would undertake her work “with as much missionary zeal as businesslike objectivity” and, indeed, her passion for family medicine and her business savvy propelled her career at the Academy. She held the title of division director until 1993, when she became vice president for publications and, in 1995, she took on the additional responsibility of vice president for communications.
Ms. Hasser also became publisher for Family Practice Management, the sister publication of AFP, on its debut in 1994. Ms. Hasser was instrumental in developing the business proposal for FPM and launching the practice management journal, as well as encouraging diversification of materials produced by the publications division. And, as she tended to the AFP garden, the journal doubled in size and climbed to the top tier of medical journals. In 1997, Ms. Hasser's title was expanded to group publisher, encompassing three editorial departments in the publications division. Ms. Hasser's success in the area of communications is evidenced by the greater presence of the AAFP in the national media. She also renewed the FP Report and enhanced the Director's Newsletter, a publication for Academy leaders.
Although Ms. Hasser has received many honors and awards for her professional achievements in the publications industry, we also want to remember her personal achievements as a photographer and a humanist. In 1995, she volunteered with the Academy's Physicians with Heart program, traveling to Armenia with the goal of distributing pharmaceuticals and back issues of AFP. A sabbatical in 1997 took her to Zimbabwe, where she combined her interests in photography and medicine, working with the Organization of Rural Associations for Progress (see top left and right photos). A photographic vacation led Ms. Hasser to China in 1999 (see top center photo). The call of remote lands and people has finally enticed Ms. Hasser to lay down the publisher's pen and pursue her interests as a photographer and a humanitarian. She'll also have more time to be a grandmother of two delightful girls (see left and right photos in column).
Armed with her camera, Ms. Hasser will explore the mystical connection between the photographer and the subject, seeking to unveil the human spirit. Whether it is the warm passion of a sub-Saharan African, the wary intellect of a Chinese physician or the innocence of a radiant granddaughter, one thing is certain: if anyone can capture the human spirit, it's Clayton Raker Hasser.
Photos taken by Clayton Raker Hasser in Zimbabwe (top left, Mtunzi, and top right, a boy at the Lupane clinic) and in China (top center, Dr. Ho, a Chinese physician).