2018 Board of Governors candidate statements

August 2018 – Vol. 37, No. 7

Spencer C. Payne, MD

The positions of Chair-Elect and Secretary will be elected by the voting members of the BOG (i.e., Governors or Alternate Governors) present at the BOG General Assembly held Saturday, October 6, from 4:30 to 5:30 pm (ET), in Atlanta, Georgia. It is scheduled to take place in room A313-A314, Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC). BOG meeting participants are encouraged to exercise this opportunity, however, no proxy votes are permitted.

On what strategies would you focus to both identify issues affecting the specialty and advocate for action and member engagement?

The Academy has embarked upon a number of initiatives over the past few years to drive member engagement and to place cultivated information in the hands of the “local” otolaryngologist. We need to remain highly adaptable, and instead of creating broad new strategies, I would rather capitalize on the tremendous resources we already have. ENTConnect has been a fantastic tool for sharing information among colleagues, but as I have utilized it to interact with otolaryngologists around the country, it is clear that it must continue to evolve into a mechanism to provide fast, targeted communications between the members and leadership. I would work to streamline the workflow that would bring issues raised through this forum to the attention of those who can work to fix them. Engagement will follow by implementing a more dynamic system of interaction with our Regional Representatives, BOG members, and our Physician Payment and Policy (3P) Workgroup so that our members can trust that actions will follow.

What initiatives would you recommend for strengthening the relationship and engagement opportunities between AAO-HNS state, local, and specialty BOG societies?

This past year, through the Governance and Society Engagement Committee, we created and implemented a process for member societies to email potential members through the Academy. As this process develops, I would continue to work with societies to provide them with the resources they need. Additionally, I have organized the State Oto Society Roundtable at the AAO-HNS/F Leadership Forum & BOG Spring Meeting the past two years. The goal of this meeting is to provide a truly interactive, face-to-face meeting where we can discuss the solutions to issues that affect all of us, regardless of subspecialty or practice setting. I would advocate that we continue these efforts as we continue to hone the agenda and expand the footprint of this initiative in order to provide the means for leaders from across the country to engage Academy leadership and each other in person, as one specialty, united.

Daniel L. Wohl, MD

On what strategies would you focus to both identify issues affecting the specialty and advocate for action and member engagement?

Medicine remains in ongoing transition and our specialty is no exception. While change is necessary to evolve, the uncertainty of any change from the status quo can result in a measure of angst about the future. Being a part of shaping that future is at the core of the BOG mission. Physicians have been shouting loud and clear about how challenging it has become to practice patient-centered, compassionate care within a system that increasingly demands conformity and uniformity. Just as patients do not all neatly fit into one box, neither do physicians all fit into one box.

The BOG, with its three-committee structure and expanding Regional Representative network, is uniquely qualified to reach out, listen, and communicate back to all segments of our diverse Academy membership. In my personal experience, when you feel that your voice is heard, you become more inclined to become engaged with others who listen to and share your concerns. With a united voice, meaningful, actionable progress can be made. As BOG Chair, I would utilize our networking and advocacy strengths to promote the benefits of engaging in BOG initiatives and member activities. The goal would be to further develop a welcoming environment that encourages and enables others to stand up and participate with us.

What initiatives would you recommend for strengthening the relationship and engagement opportunities between AAO-HNS state, local, and specialty BOG societies?

The BOG has made excellent strides in engaging our state, local, and specialty societies, and we will continue to develop and learn from those relationships. We are an incubator of ideas for our Academy, and the more opinions we hear and can analyze, the better positioned our recommendations will become. Our local and state societies have both common and unique perspectives that they have addressed with a wide range of successful programs and initiatives. Each subspecialty society has specific knowledge and expertise worth sharing, and they will be encouraged to listen and respond to general Academy membership questions and concerns. Our Regional Representative program is designed to extend beyond any one election cycle and has already begun ably developing more personal relationships with all our member societies in support of our three BOG Committee initiatives and the respective skill sets they can offer.

As BOG Chair, I would continue to nurture the sustainable growth and development of the Regional Representative grassroots BOG nationwide outreach network. Specifically, as a member of our BOG leadership, I would encourage that we identify and catalog the Academy committee participation of all BOG local, state, and subspecialty society representatives. We would then be able to utilize this database to enhance and further promote interactive membership engagement directly with our BOG proceedings. Cross-pollination of ideas and mutual support throughout our Academy will benefit all of us as we navigate through an uncertain future.