No. 2, April 2004
SPECIAL TOPICS IN PUBLIC HEALTH
A Glimpse of Things to
Come: Featured Abstracts from the 18th National Conference on Chronic
Disease Prevention and Control
David L. Katz, MD, MPH
Suggested citation for this article: Katz DL.
A glimpse of things to come: featured abstracts from the 18th National Conference on Chronic Disease
Prevention and Control. Prev Chronic Dis [serial online] 2004
April [date cited]. Available from: URL: http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2004/
Great ventures are invariably a blend of tradition and innovation.
Tradition is a cornerstone of identity, and without it, there is no
clearly defined role, no unique character, no reliability. But in a
constantly changing world, tradition without innovation is a cumbrous
burden. Innovation allows a great venture to keep pace with the currents of
change, to remain great and timely.
The annual Chronic Disease Conference is such a venture. Spanning
18 years, the conference has given rise to an array of traditions. It is
tradition for the conference to address timely, compelling public health
issues. It is tradition for the conference to encompass the breadth and
depth of matters relating to preventing chronic disease. It is tradition for
content to be shaped by the thoughtful reflection of invited luminaries and
the insightful advances conveyed within abstracts submitted for competitive
Conference traditions are now to be enhanced by a well-timed innovation:
the launch of Preventing Chronic Disease: Public Health Research,
Practice, and Policy has created a unique capacity to publish
select conference abstracts concurrently with the conference. The efficiencies of electronic publication
allow for identifying, selecting, and editing these submissions as the
conference itself undergoes final preparation. The 21 most meritorious
abstracts from this year's conference appear within this issue of Preventing
Chronic Disease. This innovation will itself count among the traditions
that define the character, content, and excellence of the Chronic Disease
Conference for years to come.
Advantages of this effort are considerable. E-journal readers unable to
attend the February conference may nonetheless gain an appreciation for the
work of their colleagues. Virtual networking will enhance conference
networking, and individuals not accustomed to attending the meeting may be
enticed to do so.
Publication is the ultimate "carrot and stick" of academic advancement.
Those among us who must be calculating in our use of time now have an added
incentive to submit our best work to the Chronic Disease Conference for
consideration. The caliber of abstracts the conference planners are
privileged to review has always been excellent, and the promise of
publication is motivation to ever greater excellence.
With topics ranging from nutrition in schoolchildren to stroke in the
elderly, from secondhand smoke to homelessness, the abstracts that follow
provide a window to the dynamic work, rigorous science, dedicated effort,
and passion for public welfare that so richly furnish the Chronic Disease
Conference. They provide, as well, a glimpse of things to come. Preventing
Chronic Disease will from now on reward the most laudable of our
submissions with online publication. The content of the abstracts directs
our efforts and imaginations to the best of innovations in public health
practice and to advances in our collective capacity to prevent chronic
Corresponding Author: David L. Katz, MD, MPH, Director, Yale-Griffin
Prevention Research Center, 130 Division St, Derby, CT 06418. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org with copy to email@example.com.
Editor's note: Dr Katz serves as co-chair of the 18th National
Conference on Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, held February 18–20,
2004, in Washington, DC.
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