Reflections on a Decade of Healthcare Policy/Politiques de Santé
Snow falls outside my window as I write this editorial. the end of the year fast approaches, as does the end of my tenure as Editor-in-Chief of Healthcare Policy/Politiques de Santé.
It has been a fantastic opportunity to be the editor for this journal over the last decade. I have very much enjoyed being exposed to the broad range of health services and policy research papers that have been submitted to the journal – more than 1,000 manuscripts that reflect a diverse set of questions, approaches, contributors and conclusions.
The articles in this issue exemplify that diversity. Some themes continue to resonate strongly: health human resources, primary healthcare, and healthcare financing have been important topics since the journal was founded, for instance. But there have been changes too. Some topics – such as medical assistance in dying – have emerged as central questions in healthcare policy. We now see more research being undertaken with patients and communities. And the ratio of qualitative and mixed-methods research to quantitative analysis has risen.
Bringing authors' insights to publication is the work of a team. I am very fortunate to have worked with a cadre of talented editors throughout my time with the journal. While some of the names on the masthead have changed, each editor brought or brings a range of skills, knowledge and perspectives to the team. All share a commitment to finding and publishing high quality, informative work. Together, they have also been key to driving the journal's editorial policies, including supporting the SAGER Sex and Gender Equity in Research Guidelines, established guidelines for reporting research results disseminated by the Equator Network and the journal's policy on honest and constructive reviews.
The journal's Managing Editor, Ania Bogacka, has worked with all of us and the team at Longwoods throughout my tenure. She has been the constant point of connection between authors, reviewers, editors and the production team. Her commitment to advancing the journal and the work that it publishes has been steadfast and has driven major initiatives, such as having the journal indexed by the National Library of Medicine. Ania, too, is moving on to new opportunities, and we wish her all the best in the endeavours that will be fortunate to benefit from her time and talents.
In addition to the journal's editorial team and Ania, I owe huge thanks to all the authors who submitted their work to the journal, to the hundreds of reviewers who provided advice on how to ensure the best work is published and to the many readers who used insights from the journal's pages to advance their thinking and actions on healthcare policy. Learning and exchange are two key foundations for making healthcare better.
While I will miss this role deeply, I am also a believer in the value of renewal, and I am delighted that Dr. Jason Sutherland will become Editor-in-Chief as of January 2020. Many of the journal's readers will know Jason from his roles as a Professor in the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research in the UBC Faculty of Medicine, School of Population and Public Health and as a Scholar of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research. His research interests are broad, as is his commitment to connecting research with policy and practice.
As an ongoing reader of the journal, I look forward to seeing the innovations that Jason brings to the journal and the work that it publishes.
In the meantime, if you're planning on submitting an abstract for a presentation or poster at the upcoming Canadian Association of Health Services and Policy Research (CAHSPR) conference, keep in mind that Healthcare Policy/Politiques de Santé is partnering with CAHSPR and the Canadian Journal of Public Health to feature work from the conference in upcoming issues of both journals since the Advancing Health Equity: Identifying Barriers and Solutions theme straddles our mandates. See the CAHSPR website for more information.
Jennifer Zelmer, PhD
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