For the past seven years, you have seen Janis Wright’s name as the byline for this page. That it’s not there now is one of the few on-stage signs of major changes going on behind the scenes of AFP in the editorial staff. Janis, who recently used this space to talk about her background and her 20 years with the American Academy of Family Physicians,1 has now left the Academy to pursue other opportunities.
Janis started with AFP in 1982 as an associate editor, became senior editor in 1991, and finally managing editor in 1997. In her career at AFP, she edited countless thousands of pages of content for hundreds of issues of AFP and, as she grew in seniority, Janis hired, trained and managed editors and editorial assistants for AFP’s large and always-busy staff. Her efforts have contributed, directly or indirectly, to the accuracy and readability of every page of AFP you have read for many years. She started in the age of the pencil edit and left well into the age of the computer edit. In her time with the journal, she built up an invaluable inner store of AFP lore, procedural knowledge, and style sense. Her kindness and quiet humor earned her many friends, and her calm demeanor helped those around her keep their cool in months where issue sizes and the need for edited articles grew to crisis proportions. AFP will not be the same without her.
And There Is More ...
Janis is not the only long-time AFP staffer to leave recently. Unfortunately, her departure came at almost the same time as the retirements of AFP’s two senior editors, Linnea Korinek and Verna Rose. Much like Janis, Verna had just celebrated her 20th anniversary at the point of her retirement, and Linnea was nearing 20 years with AFP herself. Each had supervised half the editors on staff, each had done a good deal to lighten Janis’s load as managing editor, each had her own store of AFP knowledge built up over the years, and each had worked hard enough to deserve two retirements.
The result for the AFP staff has, of course, been unsettling, but the results for the readers of AFP should be virtually imperceptible. Why? Because AFP is blessed with a resilient, talented, energetic, committed, and knowledgeable staff and because the Academy has had the good fortune to recruit Joyce Merriman as executive editor of AFP. While I will have to wait until the March 15th issue to introduce Joyce at more length, it’s important to say right now that Joyce is a clinical editor and manager with 15 years of experience, most recently as editorial director of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) in Denver. In the short time she has been with AFP, she has gained the trust and support of the editorial staff and of her coworkers, she has started recruiting to replace Linnea and Verna, and she has worked ceaselessly with the rest of the editorial staff to ensure that AFP will continue producing an unbroken stream of authoritative, practical articles.