Irecently had dinner with a group of my diabetes colleagues from across the country. We were celebrating Marti Funnell’s recent accomplishment of receiving the American Association of Diabetes Educators’ Lifetime Achievement Award. Marti shares this award with Bob Anderson, her long-time colleague at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Together, Marti and Bob taught us the importance of patient empowerment. I could not think of two professionals more deserving of this honor; their contributions to the world of diabetes have been so very significant. The women who attended the dinner to honor Marti for her success were all genuinely proud of her. As each of us succeeds, we all share in that joy.
I looked around the table at the group of women who had gathered and thought of them and of the other women who could not be with us that night but were all there in spirit. It struck me that I was extremely fortunate to have grown up professionally among so many truly amazing women (and a few men) who have given fully of their time and talents to the diabetes world. We gather on a regular basis, usually to share a meal, updates on our families, and lots of laughs. Through the years, we have developed our own support group. We talk often about the rapid changes in diabetes care and about our journey and our various contributions. This group has made many significant contributions. Mostly, though, we talk about how long we have known each other and how difficult our journey would have been without each other.
I am in awe of all of these women. I know that, no matter what, if I am in need, one of them (or more) will come to my aid. It might be something as simple as needing to locate a specific literature reference or wanting input on an upcoming presentation. Sometimes, it is just someone to talk to who knows my history so well that I don’t need to explain where I’m coming from. These women and I have shared not only our professional history, but also the personal joys and struggles that life often brings.
Five years ago, I became the first nurse practitioner to serve as editor-in-chief of Clinical Diabetes. Although that perhaps should not have been a big deal, it was. This cheering section of women have supported me throughout my tenure, serving as reviewers and authors, helping to keep things on schedule, and always ready to do more. I believe the successes we enjoyed during my years with the journal were certainly due in part to the strength of this support group. You know who you are, and I sincerely thank you all.
I also wish to thank my deputy editors Virginia Valentine and John White; associate editors Arti Bhan, John Brunner, Stephen Brunton, Robert Chilton, Ruth Hertzman-Miller, Gayle Lorenzi, Melinda Maryniuk, and Heather Remtema; and the current and former members of our editorial board. The members of this team never said no (OK, maybe a few times, but not often) and truly did an amazing job in ensuring the high quality of content and helping to keep the flow of issue production running smoothly. I have received many compliments throughout my tenure as editor on the quality of what we published as a team.
This final note would not be complete without a special callout to Shereen Mukhashen, who kept me on track and helped respond to editorial questions; Debbie Kendall, who is an amazing editor; and Chris Kohler for all of his support.
Stephen Brunton has taken the helm as the new editor-in-chief and is already planning for his first issue in 2017. I know he and his team will do an amazing job, and I congratulate them on their appointment. Enjoy every minute of your tenure; it will go by quickly. It truly has been an honor to serve as editor-in-chief of Clinical Diabetes. I thank you all.