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Am Fam Physician. 2001;64(6):907

Michael D. Springer has many goals as AAFP's new vice president for publishing and communications. Mr. Springer, who has been at the AAFP since April, is the replacement for previous vice president Clayton Hasser and the newest face in AFP's album. If you happen to be attending AAFP's Annual Scientific Assembly in Atlanta next month, you might meet Mr. Springer at AAFP's publishing booth on the exhibit hall floor. However, Mr. Springer will be covering a lot of ground, and you're liable to spot him in any number of places.

Mr. Springer oversees the publishing and communications divisions of the AAFP and has already helped bring into reality a new division that he'll also oversee—an online content management division. Managing three busy communications divisions is no small challenge, but Mr. Springer brings to the position an impressive range of experience. More than 20 years ago, Mr. Springer started his career in medical publishing as a copy editor for the Journal of the American Medical Association. He then switched over to editing for the American Medical Association (AMA) Archives Journals, where he quickly rose through the ranks to become managing editor and then publisher for the Archives Journals. His last roles at the AMA were publisher for new media and director of the content marketing division, leaving him with more than 10 years of experience as a publisher in the association setting.

Mr. Springer later accepted the position of president and CEO for American Hospital Publishing, Inc., a subsidiary of the American Hospital Association. His last role before joining the AAFP was as senior vice president for Internet strategy for TLCONTACT.COM Inc., a health care communications company.

Comparing his experience as an association publisher with his experience in the commercial Internet world, Mr. Springer decided that he most enjoys being associated with a “dot-org.” His new role at the AAFP is a natural fit, and he says he already feels right at home working for this organization of family physicians. It helps, he admits, to start off with the solid publishing and communications foundation already in place at the AAFP, with such outstanding publications as AFP. And we're betting that Mr. Springer's career in health care communications has provided him with a strong foundation to get started here.

For AFP, Mr. Springer's main objective is to help the journal stay on the cutting edge. His first goal, of course, is to keep the journal strong financially and editorially. Second is to position the journal for the future. What will medical journals look like in the 21st century? Mr. Springer posited “AFP is in a position to help lead the transformation.” AFP will continue to strive to offer readers the freshest, most practical information they need to keep their patients healthy, and readers should help out by actively keeping in touch—and that's a good reason to stop by to fill out a survey at AAFP's publishing booth during the upcoming Assembly.

Mr. Springer is also looking forward to helping the AAFP build a stronger Internet presence that will offer family physicians and their patients a safe harbor of health information. AFP will continue to deliver its best in print, while expanding its online version to include enhancements that aren't feasible in print, offering readers the best of two publishing worlds. We're looking forward to working with Mr. Springer as AFP delves farther into the electronic communications age to deliver the information that family physicians need the most.

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Copyright © 2001 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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