It is with deep sorrow that the rural health academic community in Australia acknowledges the sudden and untimely passing of Dr Erica Bell. A celebration of Erica's extraordinary life and achievements was held in Hobart, Tasmania on 1 August 2014. Members of the large gathering were welcomed by Erica's husband, Dr Bastian Seidal.
Erica was Deputy Director of the University Department of Rural Health at the University of Tasmania and had recently moved to research leadership role with the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre. She contributed enormously to debate, research and scholarship around the broader social determinants of health. Her work included a focus on climate change, health policy, oral health and translational research. This is reflected in her work published in this journal1-3, where she was a valued and respected author and reviewer.
Erica had an immense capacity for work. As a highly active and long-term member of the rural health academic community, she touched many with her energy and enthusiasm. Through the gentle exercise of her considerable intellect and charm, she was always ready, willing and able to provide help and guidance to anyone who wished to draw upon her wisdom and experience.
Erica was a great advocate who made a difference. She will be sadly missed.
Director, Centre for Rural Health
University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
1. Bell EJ, MacCarrick G, Parker L, Allen R. 'Lost in translation'?: Developing assessment criteria that value rural practice. Rural and Remote Health 5: 420. (Online) 2005. Available: http://www.rrh.org.au/articles/showarticlenew.asp?ArticleID=420
2. Bell EJ. Climate change and health research: has it served rural communities? Rural and Remote Health 13: 2343. (Online) 2013. Available: http://www.rrh.org.au/articles/showarticlenew.asp?ArticleID=2343
3. Godwin DM, Hoang H, Crocombe LA, Bell E. Dental practitioner rural work movements: a systematic review. Rural and Remote Health 14: 2825. (Online) 2014. Available: http://www.rrh.org.au/articles/showarticlenew.asp?ArticleID=2825