The journal’s mission, from its initiation until today, has always been “to promote intensive intellectual interactions among scholars and practitioners from Israel and other countries regarding all aspects of health policy… The ultimate aim of these intellectual interactions is to contribute to the development of health policy in Israel and around the world” . A decade on, I am deeply gratified that we have remained true to that mission, and that, to a substantial degree, we have turned it into a reality.
I am particularly proud that over time we have succeeded in attracting high-quality manuscripts from a very high percentage of the Israeli researchers, universities, and research centers and others active in the health policy field. Moreover, I believe that by establishing a journal focused on Israeli health policy, and by being supportive of our authors, we have been able to widen the circle of Israeli professionals who are submitting manuscripts to journals. Many of these new authors hold analytic and managerial positions in government agencies and some of their articles have been among the journal’s most innovative and influential. No less importantly, the journal has helped many established and well-published Israeli academics expand their repertoires to include articles with strong policy components.
I am also proud that we have been extremely successful in recruiting scores of leading scholars from outside of Israel to write commentaries about the original research articles written by our Israeli authors . These scholars, many of them from world-class institutions, have contributed greatly to the realization of one of the journal’s core aims: helping Israel learn from other countries and helping other countries learn from Israel.
Some of the key landmarks on the way have included getting the approval of the National Institute to develop concrete plans for the journal (2010), contracting with BioMed Central to serve as our publisher (2011), publishing our first set of articles (2012), being accepted into the Web of Science after just one year of publication (2013), launching our first article collection (2013), the 2015 publication of our first article by a Nobel Prize laureates , the publication in 2016 of our first articles by authors from both India  and China  (both of which are among our most highly cited articles to date), achieving the status of a Q2 journal (2017), and the 2019 publication of our first conference proceedings .
Other sources of gratification are not tied to particular dates. One of the most significant of these has been the opportunity to identify numerous submissions which constituted “diamonds in the rough” and then working closely with their authors to develop them into clear, insightful, and often important, articles. Another major source of gratification is that more and more leading Israeli researchers have become regular contributors to the journal—apparently due a mix of a satisfactory author experience and recognition of the journal’s growing stature and influence.
I’ve also greatly enjoyed working with my fellow editors on soliciting, editing, and publishing clusters of articles on a common theme. These have included the cluster of articles that the IJHPR published in 2018 about the relationship between research and policymaking [7,8,9] and the 2021 cluster on Israel’s rollout of COVID-19 vaccines [10,11,12,13,14,15,16].
Along with these achievements, it is important for me to also note two of the areas in which we have not yet done as well as I had expected. I do so, in part, because I hope that that they will get a boost when I step down from the co-EIC role.
The first area in which we could do better is that, despite the recruitment of several very fine assistant editors, we have not yet done enough to expand the journal’s core editorial team. I know that Avi Israeli, who is continuing on as editor-in-chief, has some concrete ideas on how to do so, and I expect that he will succeed in this, as he has in so many of his leadership roles over the years.
Another area in which we could be doing more is in connecting research and policy and strengthening ties between scholars in Israel and abroad. To that end, I have proposed to Avi, the Israel National Institute for Health Policy Research, and BioMed Central that I will transition to a new role as the IJHPR’s special projects editor. I am delighted that they have graciously agreed. In that new role I hope to launch several initiatives to strengthen the IJHPR’s policy and international linkages, and I hope that many of you will have opportunities to take part in them. Details to follow in the months ahead, so please stay tuned in.