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From the Editor's Desk

Image of From the Editor's Desk. From the Editor's Desk

I am honored to be named the third editor-in-chief for the Medical Surveillance Monthly Report. While the MSMR has gone through many changes over the past 27 years, the core intent remains the same: to provide valuable tools, data, and information related to the public health of the population served by the Military Health System (MHS). The MSMR directly supports the mission of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Division (AFHSD), the Public Health Directorate (PHD), and the Defense Health Agency (DHA) by disseminating  timely, relevant, comprehensive, and actionable health information. As many of the MSMR readers are aware, the editor-in-chief and editorial staff of the journal provide their support to the DHA and DOD through a contractual agreement that is critical for maintaining this journal’s editorial independence. This independence allows the MSMR to maintain its peer-reviewed status and indexing in PubMed.

The MSMR was created to offer situational awareness about public health issues relevant to military populations. Such information was unable to be gleaned from similar periodicals based on the U.S. population, such as the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). In August 1995, the MSMR summarized multiple years of hospital utilization for active duty Army soldiers at DOD facilities, representing the first time such military-specific morbidity information became widely available. The expansion of routine public health surveillance reporting, along with access to growing electronic health record capabilities, have led to significant improvements in MSMR’s information dissemination. Reports of numbers, rates, and trends of hospitalizations, ambulatory visits, and morbidity burdens have been published by the MSMR each year since 2001, and the MSMR has been indexed in PubMed since 2011. 

As a peer-reviewed journal, the scope of the MSMR now reaches beyond the AFHSD, DHA, and DOD. The changing face of public health within the military has led to positive changes within the MSMR, including the creation of an editorial board of leaders from all military services. This board is a key part of the MSMR’s continuous quality improvement efforts, and will enhance key stakeholder involvement and input.

I hope to measure up to the high standards set by my immediate predecessor, Dr. Frank O’Donnell, and the founding editor, Dr. John Brundage. I carry on the tradition of these previous editors as a retired Army preventive medicine physician. Dr. (then COL) O’Donnell was the preventive medicine consultant to the Army Surgeon General when I graduated from the Madigan Preventive Medicine residency program in 1998. Dr. Brundage was well known to me as talented researcher and valuable resource when I started my career as a preventive medicine physician. After 30 years of service at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels of the Army and DOD, and 24 months of deployments in 4 different theaters (Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Honduras), I retired from active duty in 2021. Following 15 months in the private sector, I now proudly return to the service of the DOD. 

My vision for the MSMR is to become an indispensable resource for military epidemiologists and public health professionals. Pathways to success include soliciting and publishing high quality and relevant original research; seeking input from our key stakeholders, most importantly our readership, on how we can improve; and expanding on our current regular updates on disease morbidity by providing timely access to other data critical for assessing the health of our population, including mortality, natality, and demographic information.

I look forward to hearing from you as we work together to enhance the readiness, and improve the public health, of our military family.

Andrew R. Wiesen, MD, MPH 
Colonel (retired), United States Army
Editor-in-Chief

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Last Updated: July 11, 2023
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