This is a very unique issue. It is a collaboration between the electronic journal Rural and Remote Health (RRH) and the print journal Education for Health (EfH). Both journals, by the way, are of the highest quality as indicated by both being indexed in Index Medicus. As many of you know there was a widespread 'Call for Papers' - the result being the reviewed articles that you will find in this issue. The best ones in our opinion are printed in this issue and put on the Web as well. As you would expect they all have a different slant but all are on the theme of education for primary healthcare for people who live in rural and remote areas. Arthur Kaufman, the Secretary General of The Network: TUFH and a member of the Editorial Boards of both journals has written the Editorial for us. As the Editorial suggests The Network: TUFH is oriented toward collaboration for it recognizes that the problems faced are so big and important that no one organization can handle them alone. That is the orientation of its journal (EfH) and the orientation of RRH.
The logistics of this collaboration between an entirely electronic journal Rural and Remote Health and that of Education for Health which is mainly a print journal are daunting indeed. The advantage of having an article published in both electronic form and standard print form far outweigh these problems, however. To us, of course, it also means that more readers will learn of the many important things that are going on around the world.
In this issue you will not find any of the other regular EfH features (interviews, book reviews, further reading etc), keeping in mind the joint readership of this issue. For the Editor of Education for Health this is his last issue before an important transition. Ron Richards has retired from his editorship in August of this year because he wants some freedom in his general retirement and the deadlines of the journal don't make that possible. Also, he has a new granddaughter that takes up much of his free time.
Fortunately, he will be succeeded by two very distinguished persons. They are Drs Margaret Gadon, an internist, and Michael Glasser, a sociologist. Both come from organizations that are very supportive of their added responsibilities, the American Medical Association and the Rockford School of Medicine respectively. In the case of Rockford, they are willing to put in additional resources. Both have longstanding interests in the issues that are of concern to the journal and to The Network: TUFH.
Two Co-Editors for one Editor! That will be very good for the journal. As planned, they will take over the reins for the first issue of Volume 19, 2006. Because this transition has been very carefully orchestrated the reader will see very little change as a result.
Ron Richards has been helped in his responsibilities by many people. He would like to express his appreciation to several of them.
In my brief (4 year) tenure as Editor I have been very gratified by the skill and dedication of many individuals. First, I would like to thank the Associate Editors, Drs Jane Westberg, Jan van Dalen, and Pertti Kekki. Their review of articles and advice on many policy issues has been extraordinary. Also, there has been the regular assistance of Marie-Louise Panis. There is little I can say to communicate what an important role she plays. Technically, she is only supposed to work on the journal 2.5 days a week but she has worked many more hours than that dealing with manuscripts, arranging for the agendas of our conference calls, communicating with authors and much more. The journal is another of her children and she treats it accordingly. Perhaps the trait that I have most appreciated is that she not only calls problems to my attention, she also comes up with several solutions. Her formal title is 'Managing Editor' and indeed she is! Many thanks, Marie-Louise. Fortunately for the next Editors she will be around to assist them as well for she is the journal's memory.
I would also like to thank those without whose help there would be no peer reviewed journal, Education for Health. I speak of the members of the Editorial Board, the many reviewers who gave their thoughtful opinions about the articles, and of course, the authors that were kind enough to send us manuscripts. And they did all of this without any remuneration what so ever. Good luck in this next important phase.
Most importantly we hope you find this joint issue very interesting and enjoyable to read!
Education for Health
Remote and Rural Health