The magazine of the UW School of Public Health

From the Editor

Workforce Development in the Northwest States

Aaron Katz

What's in a name? A lot, as it turns out. This issue is the first for Northwest Public Health (NPH), but I can tell you it was no easy matter to find a replacement name for Washington Public Health (WPH). Opinions on the subject have been varied, with advocates arguing for titles ranging from the erudite "Journal of Northwest Public Health" to the esoteric "Links."

The struggle was not merely to find a nifty title, but to find a name that conjured up an image of what we hope this journal will become—a vehicle for exchanging opinions, important ideas, and innovative initiatives among public health practitioners and scholars in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. So, after much deliberation (and some informal dream interpretations), we settled on—the obvious.

This issue emphasizes "Northwest" with articles on current activities in regional workforce development, by Betty Bekemeier, bioterrorism preparedness training, by Carl Osaki, public health infrastructure funding, by Mary Selecky, Montana asbestos mitigation, by Michael Spence, informatics in Washington State, by Jac Davies, and Alaska's Institute for Circumpolar Health Studies, by Brian Saylor. In addition, we have an energetic new Editorial Board comprising representatives from each of the six states; this group will be critical in guiding the evolution of NPH.

With this issue, we also want to highlight opportunities for you to participate in Northwest Public Health. In addition to submitting major articles or providing peer review, please consider contributing to the following sections:

  • Letters to the Editor—a forum for discussion and debate
  • Showcase—features a center, institute, or initiative somewhere in the region
  • Public Health Detective Stories—occasional case studies featuring public health professionals at work
  • Viewpoint—personal essays or editorials
  • Policy Watch—highlights current policy issues in the Northwest states
  • Resources and calendar of events

WPH served us well, annually bringing interesting, often cutting-edge articles about the state of public health. Many individuals made WPH a high-quality publication, but I especially want to express our gratitude to Sandy Marvinney, its long-time managing editor who has moved on to new adventures; Sandy was instrumental in creating the strong foundation upon which we are now building.

One last thought. Time is an endangered species in most of our lives. Judith Yarrow, our outstanding managing editor, and I promise to strive to make sure that what you read in Northwest Public Health will be interesting, useful, and to the point. Our guiding principle was well-stated some 85 years ago.

Brevity, the Soul of Wit

Have you had a thought that's happy?
  Boil it down.
Make it short and crisp and snappy
  Boil it down.
When your mind its gold has minted
Down the page your pen has sprinted,
If you want your effort printed,
  Boil it down.

American Journal of Public Health 1918; 8:236

Aaron Katz