A fond farewell from HMGSG Webmaster-Emeritus Bob Earickson

The following note currently appears the HMGSG legacy site left by Bob Earickson:

I became interested in Medical Geography for the first time in 1966 when I worked on a hospital use research project in Chicago for a year. I wrote my dissertation, The Spatial Behavior of Hospital Patients at the University of Washington. At the University of Maryland (Baltimore County campus), I started teaching a course called The Geography of Disease and Health on a semi-regular basis in the 1980s. In the mid-1980s, I became aware that some medical geographers in the United States and Britain had started a symposium in 1984, which convened in the two countries on a biennial basis. I was invited to participate at the 1986 meeting at Rutgers University, New Jersey. It was at this event that I took on the mantle of medical geographer and became actively involved in the Association of American Geographers Medical Geography Specialty Group (MGSG). Not long after that, I became aware that this group had a web site on the emerging internet. Professor Stephen Matthews of the Pennsylvania State University had been maintaining the web site. He was about to leave that task and I volunteered to take it on.ince that time, it has been a labor of love. I was unwilling to settle for posting only notices of meetings, jobs, and graduate programs in the discipline. Among other things, I decided to build a library of profiles of health geographers worldwide.

A few years into this project, I realized that it was going to take an ongoing effort to not only discover the new professionals as they emerged from health geography programs in academia, but to keep the profiles somewhat up to date. Sadly, I have finally had to admit that I can no longer keep up with it. I am gratified to learn that the Health and Medical Geography Group (HMGSG) has selected Kevin Matthews (University of Iowa) to assume the role of webmaster from this date into the foreseeable future. Kevin is active and involved in the developments taking place in health geography and web software. I am confident that you will be pleased with what you see on the new website. I will miss both the human and the electronic connection I have had with health geography for more than a decade.

Respectfully yours, Robert Earickson, 12 April 2013