Published: October 7, 2021

WIOE: Supporting Research and Professional Development

Kelly Michele Malloy, MD, Chair, WIO Endowment Committee, asks grant awardees to share their experiences.

Kelly Michele Malloy, MD Chair, WIO Endowment CommitteeKelly Michele Malloy, MD
Chair, WIO Endowment Committee
Kelly Michele Malloy, MD, Chair, WIO Endowment Committee

Founded in 2010, the Women in Otolaryngology Endowment (WIOE) has become an increasingly important support source for actionable research and professional development of women otolaryngologists. Our grants have funded critical scholarship in gender disparities in our field—from gendered differences in resident evaluations and operative experience to the complex work-life wellness issues that women surgeons face. The WIOE grants have also supported projects aimed to develop leadership skills and celebrate our rich history, including the WIO documentary “Four Days in Boston: A History of the AAO-HNS Section for Women in Otolaryngology (WIO),” available to view at

To demonstrate the impact of WIOE grants on career development, scholarship, and the mission and vision of the WIO, we asked several grant awardees to share their experiences.

Katherine Kavanagh, MDKatherine Kavanagh, MD

“The WIO endowment grant allowed us to host our first Local Women in Otolaryngology (LWIO) event featuring Dr. Sujana Chandrasekhar and develop a tool kit for other local groups to follow. By partnering with the state society, the LWIO expanded networking opportunities for women in our state and increased visibility of local women by including more female speakers. From a personal standpoint, the WIO endowment grant fostered my development of leadership skills, allowed for networking and mentorship, and led to additional opportunities within our local institutions, our state society, and the Academy.” 

— Katherine Kavanagh, MD

Debbie Aviva Aizenberg, MDDebbie Aviva Aizenberg, MD“I was able to survey female otolaryngologists identified through AAO-HNS membership to bring to light the unique challenges women in otolaryngology face with fertility and pregnancy. Key findings include women otolaryngologists have children later in life, a substantial proportion have faced infertility, and most women otolaryngologists have regrets about family-planning decisions and career decision making. These challenges are more pronounced than those for female physicians in other fields.” 

—Debbie Aviva Aizenberg, MD

Jennifer A. Villwock, MDJennifer A. Villwock, MD“The Rx: Fierce podcast that the WIOE funded is alive and well! The WIOE grants support wonderfully creative and impactful ideas that may not find a home in more traditional spaces. It also serves as a launchpad and funding trail for those in academics with surgeon-scientist aspirations.” 

— Jennifer A. Villwock, MD

WIOE has awarded 20 grants since 2016, and this past year we were able to increase our available grant funds from $15,000 to $20,000. This was possible due to growth of the WIOE via the WIO2.0 campaign and the performance of the WIOE’s investment portfolio. Ongoing support of such work requires continued cultivation of WIOE donors. If you would like to provide a high-impact gift this year, please consider the WIOE. Learn more at 

More from October 2021 — Vol. 40, No. 9