MDS Website Co-Editor steps down

Hubert FernandezIt's a bittersweet feeling writing my “farewell letter” as a Medical Co-Editor of our international Society’s website. What a journey!

I remember meeting Marcelo Merello for the first time after we were both selected as the inaugural Co-Medical Directors of the website nine years ago. His enthusiasm and big ideas were infectious and inspiring. Quickly we both agreed that our main mission was to make the website the central hub of all activities and communications of our great international Society. We then embarked on the first major redesign of the web, which later earned us the WMA Standard of Excellence Award! We added new features to enhance our members’ experience, and soon enough we hit over 1 million page views each year from members and non-members.

With Marcelo’s new assignment as the Co-Editor of Movement Disorders Clinical Practice, I was then partnered with Susan Fox who added her own unique style and practical viewpoints with the second redesign of the website. Last year, we again won the WMA Standard of Excellence Award! We are most proud of the clean design, intuitive layout, and user-friendly functions of our web. Most recently, we have incorporated a one-stop-shop Learning Management System (LMS) for all e-learning and online courses; we started a scientific blog on the most controversial topics in our subspecialty; and we reorganized our video library, scale training materials and evidence-based and task force position papers.

It has been an amazing partnership, first with Marcelo Merello and then with Susan Fox. I could not have selected better partners in this wonderful endeavor. Through the website, I have found two of my most trusted and respected friends and colleagues. Thank you, Marcello and Susan! I would like to also thank all our previous and current Web Editorial Board members who have given us their time and talent through the years: the Officers, the Publications Oversight Committee, and the five Presidents of our Society who served during my tenure:  (Anthony Lang for selecting and partnering me with Marcelo as the first pair to head this mission; Philip Thompson for his unwavering support and under whose term we won the first WMA Standard of Excellence Award; Günther Deuschl for recognizing our efforts and for selecting us for the President’s Service Award; Matthew Stern for finding Susan as my new partner and investing in us and supporting our proposal for a new web redesign; and finally Oscar Gershanik for his continued support under whose term we won our second WMA Standard of Excellence Award).

And, finally, throughout all the years that I have served in this role, after nine years, three terms, under five Presidents, two Co-Medical Editors, and two major website redesigns, there has only been one Web Manager who has been with me, through thick or thin, Heidi Friedrichs. She served with utmost dedication, tireless energy, but most importantly with humility, grace and poise.  Thank you, Heidi for putting up with me for almost a decade! You have made me look much better than I deserved and you have made working with you on the web one of the greatest highlights of my career.

I have never been good at saying goodbye…but it is time for fresh ideas and new energy.  What an amazing journey this has been, indeed!  It truly has been an honor, and I cannot thank everyone enough.
 

Hubert Fernandez, MD

 

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