Welcome to volume 12, issue 1 of JPRM 2019!
Thanks to our corresponding authors, their respective research teams, our peer reviewers and editorial board for their contributions which made 2018 a year of growth for our publication.
Since becoming Editor-in-Chief a year ago, much has transpired at the Journal and in the world. In February of 2018, I contacted Malcolm Gladwell about his account of Emil “Jay” Freireich’s unstoppable determination and successful cure of childhood leukemia. He responded with a resounding “yes” that I could share information from his book . Dr. Freireich was ridiculed and was threatened to lose his medical license for proposing that low platelet counts were responsible for bleeding and that multi-drug treatment was important to cure childhood leukemia, an almost uniformly fatal disease in the 1960’s. However, he prevailed! Today, we know the importance of an adequate platelet count, but do we know about the history behind this life-saving treatment?
In 2016, Dr. Jacob Neufeld, aka “Dr. J”, wrote about Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis who was committed to an insane asylum for proposing that those delivering babies wash their hands and medical instruments. Today, the Semmelweis School of Medicine in Budapest is named after him. Also, he is well-known for the Semmelweis Effect, the tendency to reject new evidence that contradicts established norms. Although both of these amazing healers were right, they were repeatedly told they were wrong!
Wrong doesn’t stop! Unfortunately, the grave issue impacting immigrant children separated from their parents in United States containment camps continues. This travesty, raised in the 11.3 editorial, continues. Furthermore, two children have died, and it is likely that numerous others from these camps will end up requiring our services. As members of the pediatric rehabilitation team, we promote health and wellbeing in those we serve. It is gut-wrenching and heartbreaking to see preventable situations unfold in this manner .
At the AACPDM annual Fall meeting, we were approached by a Fellow who is interested in gender identity and disability. Since we embrace diversity in our journal, we immediately added this important topic to our call for papers list.
In October, at the AAPM & R annual meeting, the Gabriella Molnar Lifetime Achievement award was given posthumously to “Dr. J”. The award presentation was hosted by the Foundation for PMR. Dr. Kevin Murphy, Wendy Neufeld, and Jay’s sister Rachel Neufeld Del Rossi spoke about the powerful contributions Dr. J made during his lifetime.
Another highlight of the AAPM & R meeting was the Residents’ and Fellowship director’s meeting. Following that meeting, we heard that there was strong interest to include the pediatric rehabilitation residents and fellows in the JPRM publishing process which will involve a senior member mentoring a resident or fellow.
In 2018, JPRM was nominated to be included in the Emerging Sources Citation Index. This index put the journal in line for impact factor, a statistic which reflects the yearly average proportion of citations to manuscripts that a journal receives. This is a major landmark! In addition, we have increased our journal content by approximately 40% starting with the last issue of 2018. So far in 2019, we have received many new submissions and at any given time have dozens of manuscripts going through the peer review process.
In 2008, 2017, and 2018, JPRM published a special spina bifida issue and will do so again in 2019. Also in 2019, Jonathan Castillo, JPRM guest editor launched the global health section. Starting with 12.1, we plan to feature at least one manuscript in this section in each issue. Mike Green and Deb Gaebler are guest editors for the upcoming special cerebral palsy issue which promises to have some new features. So stay tuned!
JPRM brings together research from around the world as a peer reviewed resource to improve care and treatments for our patients. I ask that you please support the Foundation for PM & R. By doing so, you can stipulate that your funds go to the Gabriella Molnar Fund specifically to help support and disseminate pediatric rehabilitation research.
Best wishes from JPRM for a healthy and rewarding 2019.
Elaine L Pico, MD, FAAP, FAAPM & R
Gladwell M. David and Goliath: a book about underdogs, misfits, and the art of battling giants. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company, 2013.
Jordan M. “Family Separation May Have Hit Thousands More Migrant Children Than Reported.” The New York Times [NY] 2019, Jan 17: A1.