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From the Editor’s Desk

Image of Logo800x480MSMR. From the editor's desk.

With humility and pride, this month I begin my tenure as the new Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Surveillance Monthly Report. Since the launch of the MSMR in 1995, there have been three prior editors-in-chief. For the past five months, MSMR has continued to thrive with an outstanding interim leader, Dr. Angelia Eick-Cost, who stepped up to take the lead editor role during the search for a permanent editor-in-chief. Dr. Cost has my sincere appreciation for her superb work in maintaining the high professional standards of MSMR. I know that I share the sentiments of the MSMR staff and co-workers when I share our heartfelt thanks to Dr. Cost.

In the most recent Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division Annual Report, MSMR is referred to as the “premiere medical peer-reviewed journal published by the AFHSD and Defense Health Agency,” which provides “evidence-based estimates of the incidence, distribution, impact and trends of illness and injury among U.S. military service members and associated populations.” MSMR has a distinguished legacy of excellence and professional rigor. I am honored to pick up and carry that standard further.

I come to this position after a 30-year military career followed by academic, research, and executive roles at the University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine, the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (a FAA Federal Laboratory), and as a physician executive with a national managed care support contractor administering the TRICARE East Region for the DHA. My military experience spans operational medical support in five continents, operational epidemiology, longitudinal research that included the role of principal investigator for two long-term military cohort studies, directing the U.S. Air Force Preventive Medicine Residency Program, and numerous teaching and leadership positions. My medical specialty training and certifications include Preventive Medicine and Aerospace Medicine along with academic training in epidemiology. I am excited to bring together my training and experience in the operational medicine, research, and leadership domains in the role of MSMR editor-in-chief.

Military Public Health continues its steadfast contribution to the health and readiness of the Force. Public Health develops policies and practices to maintain our national defense, informed by timely, operationally relevant, and practical health and safety information that supports leading Armed Forces health professionals and individual service members.

MSMR focuses on data-driven, health-related information and analysis, embedded in the Epidemiology and Analysis Branch of AFHSD. We are well-positioned within the health and medical surveillance infrastructure of DHA to engage these significant resources and function as its medical journal publishing arm.

As we build on the well-earned accolades of the legacy of MSMR, we continue the excellence and operational relevance of the published product. I look forward to maintaining the excellent relationships with the leaders and staff of AFHSD and the Public Health Directorate of DHA. We will focus on expanding the involvement of our editorial advisory board partners and actively engage with them to draw upon their expertise and recommendations. We plan to continue to expand our academic affiliations and professional outreach to DOD clinical and operational leaders within the public health domain to assure we address their identified health challenges where we can.

The role of the MSMR, within and supporting the overall mission of AFHSD, the Public Health Directorate, and DHA, remains vital. The application of appropriate database utilization, information review, and methodologically-valid analysis remains the “gold standard” of epidemiologic surveillance and medical knowledge development. At MSMR, we continue to strive for timeliness with careful deliberation, relevance with objectivity, and scientific validity focused on readiness and force health protection.

Very Respectfully,

Robert Johnson
Col (ret) USAF, MC, CFS
Medical Surveillance Monthly Report

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Last Updated: February 15, 2024
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