Reflections and Ramblings of the Editor
Recently, as I was cleaning up my file cabinet I found a folder that contained several copies of the very first newsletter (NL) published by the International Hospice Institute and International College of Hospice/Palliative Care – the predecessor to the IAHPC. I have had the privilege to be the Editor of this newsletter since its inception; we now enter the tenth year of publication.
The NL first appeared in April of 1996 literally arising from our dining room table. It was printed in a local print shop in Taos , New Mexico where we lived at the time, labeled by locals and mailed to our membership. It has changed considerably over the years from an occasional printed offering to a quarterly and finally to a digital NL that is published monthly in both e-mail and Internet formats reaching several thousand readers.
Much has happened in the past nine years, but the purpose of the NL today is identical to that articulated in the first issue by Jo Magno, founder and president at the time. I fondly remember the continuous flow of phone calls and faxes that Jo and I exchanged covering all aspects of the Institute, ranging from the content of the NL to the planning of the next annual meeting.
Several people have helped me with the NL through the years. In the beginning several of our members volunteered to review content and provide feedback. Among them were Craig Caldwell and Wilbur Flannery to mention only two. When Bette Michael became our Executive Director she assisted me greatly to improve the content and grammatical base of the NL by providing me hard copy replete with helpful jottings in red ink. Publication moved from Taos to Ann Arbor , Michigan where Bette was able to work with the printer, proof read the NL and finally schlep the publication to a local post office. Since it was too expensive to continue to produce a paper copy of the NL, we entered the Internet era with the untiring support and assistance of Board Member Bob Child who produced and maintained our Web site, handled the mailing lists, uploaded the NL and sent it out by e-mail to our members and colleagues. This was not an easy task. As we all became more Internet savvy, contributors changed from phone and fax to e-mail communication. I learned to use Microsoft publisher and finally was trained by Bob to upload the NL to our server without endangering the integrity of the entire Web site. After Anne Laidlow, Alou Website Design, became our webmaster and distribution guru, the entire site and format of NL took on a fresh new dimension and the number of hits per month skyrocketed. Having a professional webmaster relieved me of many clerical hours that were required to produce the finished product both in a Web and e-mail format. Consequently, I am now able to spend time assisting my wife who raises black Angus cattle here on our Georgia farm.
Liliana De Lima in her role as NL coordinator screens material and provides me with much of the information that finds its way into these pages – thank you. I want to offer a special thanks to all of our regular contributors: our past and present Chairs and Executive Directors, Dr. Woodruff for his Book Reviews, Dr. Ripamonti for her Article of the Month segment, Dr. Taboada for the Ethics Page, our Board Members from around the globe who contribute Regional News, and the members who also contribute as well as volunteer as Traveling Fellows and Scholars. I am very grateful to you all!
This NL is just one small attempt to highlight what is happening in the world as we, and others, “Promote Hospice and Palliative Care Worldwide.”
William Farr, PhD, MD