I spent a little time over the past week or two looking back on the last five years of The Hematologist. Part of that was prompted by the death of an old mentor. In my first column as Editor-in-Chief published in January of 2018, I referred to the now late Paul Zimbrakos — a Chicago journalist and editor who had been my boss at the City News Bureau in the late 1980s. In that article, I wrote about how much I had learned from him about the obligations of accuracy and reporting, as he sat at his editor’s desk, growling over a room full of immature, overly ambitious reporters, barking out professional standards and expectations: “Get back there and find out,” “Double-check,” and “Nope, this isn’t enough to know for sure; get another source on this.”

There is little argument that Zimbrakos’ professional lessons and standards for accuracy — to ensure that every fact you print is verifiable — have gained relevance in our current environment. In a time of disinformation campaigns from both within our borders and outside of them (not to mention virtually), it seems to me that the best counsel is still the most basic. 1) Understand what it takes to prove something true, 2) approach most information dispassionately, and 3) critically evaluate the origins of the data and any filters that may have been applied. Trusted sources of information are, in my opinion, essential for a healthy community, citizenry, and, in the context of this publication, medical profession.

So, it is with pride that I reflect on my role on the team that produces The Hematologist. Over the course of our history (not just the past five years) this publication has published nearly 850 Diffusion articles, taking select scientific and/or clinical publications and providing context and insights on their findings. In some cases, that has meant pointing out flaws in study designs; in others, the commentary has been more personal, describing how a new study might change personal practice. We have published almost 90 Ask the Hematologist columns — pithy, informed guidance on how to tackle common clinical conundrums. There have been more than 100 articles on trials in progress, highlighting studies that are yet to result but that will impact the standards of care or provide answers where there was previously doubt. All of that has required the efforts of ASH staff, led by our phenomenal Senior Managing Editor, Juana Llorens, and an editorial board that, since this birth of this publication, has included 76 international experts in all fields of hematology.

One of the biggest surprises, and, frankly, honors of the past five years, was the opportunity to work with former ASH President Dr. Stephanie Lee. Dr. Lee led the team, which included myself, ASH Secretary Dr. Cindy Dunbar, Chair of the ASH Committee on Practice, Dr. Chancellor Donald, and a humbling number of staff members and physician colleagues to assemble the ASH COVID-19 Resources page in early 2020. Now streamlined to a far more simplified page, during the height of the pandemic, this was a multiple-page, regularly updated website with guidance for physicians dealing with everything from managing infected patients, to enrolling patients in disease registries, to mitigating the effects of widespread coagulopathy, and more. At its peak, this website garnered more than 21,000 daily pageviews and served as a warehouse of consensus on how best to keep our patients safe. It its first year, the page and its FAQs were viewed more than 3 million times. We broadcast some of those recommendations and other opinions and updates on the pandemic in an accompanying podcast series, which were played between 2,000 and 4,000 times each. The collaboration required of this effort was remarkable and illustrated once again the sense of mission and volunteerism that imbues our membership, and that is evident in so much of what they undertake.

With this issue, I am handing over the editorship of The Hematologist to my esteemed colleague, Dr. Shaji Kumar, the Mark and Judy Mullins Professor of Hematologic Malignancies at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Perhaps you, like I, have benefited from his many publications on the management of multiple myeloma. I have seen him speak on myeloma therapies and have always come away with a new understanding of the disease and nuances of treatment. It’s only recently that I have had the pleasure of getting to know him personally, and I am thrilled that he wants to take the helm of this publication. I look forward to reading it and seeing what new features and innovations he will implement.

I will end by saying thank you to all those editorial board members, ASH staff, and others who have worked so hard, with such devotion, for The Hematologist. Thank you to all who said yes to invitations to write, to serve, and to contribute. I feel so lucky to be a part of this community and honored to welcome others to join us.

Editor’s Note: Paul Zimbrakos died in June of this year at age 86.