Oh great, now I’ll never find out what happens in Snow Village. How are town residents faring under Mayor Lazar’s austerity plan? Recall, that his campaign slogan last year was “Next to Nothing for Everybody.” Has Dr. Weinstock figured out what do with the meaningful moose? Has young Mr. Stempniak swayed the “old folks” to liven up?

For relative newcomers to H&HN, Snow Village is a magical place inside of Mary Grayson’s head. Nearly every December, she’d start hearing voices coming from the picturesque ceramic hamlet she set up for the holidays — complete with tiny houses, shops, streetlamps and even it’s own hospital — and write a column about the fictionalized avatars of the Health Forum staff debating health care’s pressing issues over coffee at the local diner.

Today marks Mary’s last day as executive editor at Health Forum. She’s retiring and heading into the next chapter of her life — which could mean that Snow Village will grow exponentially.

Seriously, though, Mary will be missed by all of us and by you, too, I’m sure. Her steady hand has helped guide this publication for more than two decades and, despite the many changes in health care and publishing, she’s stayed focused on a singular purpose: you, the reader. Her goal was to provide you with valuable, useful and insightful information.

Avid readers of her monthly column know that Mary had an uncanny ability to pare down the layers of complexity surrounding health care’s most pressing problems and put them into context. I’ve long admired that about her. As one reader responded to Mary’s last column in the October issue, “Thank you, Mary for always making it real.”

We compiled a Mary’s Best as well, and I think you’ll agree that she was always one step ahead of where the key trends were taking the field.

So with that, we bid adieu to our friend and mentor and wish her nothing but happiness in this next chapter of her life.