Published: April 23, 2021

Honoring Our Past and Forging Ahead: Celebrating our 125th Annual Meeting & OTO Experience with Innovative Program Enhancements

This year marks the 125th anniversary of our organization that was founded in 1896.

James C. Denneny III, MD AAO-HNS/F EVP/CEOJames C. Denneny III, MD
This year marks the 125th anniversary of our organization that was founded in 1896. For several years, we have been planning a number of celebratory events culminating in our 125th Annual Meeting & OTO Experience, October 3-6, in Los Angeles, California. 

We remain optimistic that we will be able to hold the scheduled meeting in Los Angeles in-person as planned. As the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccination becomes more widespread, conditions that would allow that to take place appear to be falling into place. Last year’s sudden shift from an in-person meeting in Boston to a virtual meeting following the June pandemic-related cancellation by Boston gave us valuable experience in putting together a virtual meeting. This year, we are planning a hybrid meeting that will include an outstanding in-person component as well as a virtual component that will offer both live streaming and on-demand programming. We have selected an experienced vendor with an outstanding platform that we think will be a significant upgrade from last year’s virtual meeting.

The Annual Meeting Program Committee (AMPC), led by Annual Meeting Program Coordinator Daniel C. Chelius, Jr., MD, constructed a fabulous scientific program with several additional innovative program enhancements for this year’s meeting, including nine “Great Debate” format panels addressing critical issues across the breadth of the specialty, an expanded simulation program including a visit to a local simulation center, the new “ENTrepreneur Face-off,” and a great blend of speakers delivering our “named lectures.” 

Additionally, the AMPC introduces the “Personal and Professional Development Track” that will include topics on finance, leadership, diversity, wellness, and others. Our President, Carol R. Bradford, MD, MS, has chosen a nationally known speaker, Neha Sangwan, MD, who will be speaking on leadership and wellness. Her innovative program, the i-Five Experience, uses scientifically proven techniques to reduce stress, build resilience, and foster individual and team accountability. 

125 Book CoverDr. Bradford will host the Presidents' 125th Anniversary reception Saturday, October 2, which will celebrate current and past presidents of the Academy as well as those of all specialty societies participating in our meeting footprint this year. The Los Angeles Convention Center lobby will be the site of our history of the Academy exhibit featuring historical artifacts and an illustrated timeline dating back to 1896. We also will be giving out the sequel to the Century of Excellence book describing our first hundred years, Legacy of Excellence, at the meeting with signing opportunities with past and current leaders of the organization.

We are delaying opening the registration for the upcoming meeting until June, hoping for more clarity on what the in-person October meeting will look like in terms of convention center spacing requirements and social opportunities. Los Angeles offers a very attractive portfolio of hotel accommodations that meet the needs for all attendees. We have also recently been able to obtain significant reductions in room rates from many hotels in our block. I hope you will plan on joining us for the landmark 125th Anniversary Annual Meeting & OTO Experience.

Our annual election that will choose the future leaders who will take us forward over the next three to five years is now open through June 3. The Nominating Committee, chaired by Immediate Past President Duane J. Taylor, MD, has identified an exceptional group of candidates this year who deserve your consideration. Over the last five years, we have averaged a voting rate of only 11.5%. The current voting process should take less than three minutes, so I challenge us to reach the 20% mark or more in this our 125th anniversary year.

Recently, Dr. Bradford appointed three separate search committees to select our next Editor in Chief-elect of the AAO-HNSF journals, Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery and OTO Open, Coordinator-elect for Research & Quality, and the Chair-elect of the Ethics Committee. I want to thank and congratulate the chairs of each committee and their respective committee members for the great job they did identifying the three individuals who will fill these positions. 

Ken Yanagisawa, MD, chaired the search for the Editor in Chief-elect of the journals that selected Cecelia E. Schmalbach, MD, MSc. Valerie A. Flanary, MD, chaired the search for the Coordinator-elect for Research & Quality that selected Vikas Mehta, MD. Susan D. McCammon, MD, chaired the search for the Chair-elect of the Ethics Committee that selected Andrew G. Shuman, MD. I would like to congratulate all three and offer my profound thanks for their willingness to serve our organization and specialty in these critical positions. 

More from May 2021 – Vol. 40, No. 4