Be a BOG All-Star Advocate

July 2016 - Vol. 35, No. 6

Susan R. Cordes, MD, Chair, BOG Legislative Affairs Committee

CordesAh, summer! There is everything to love about summer: warm weather, long days, vacations, and baseball. This month, top-notch major league baseball players will convene for the mid-season All-Star game in beautiful San Diego, CA. So what does it mean to be an “all-star?” Simply, it means to be the best.

Otolaryngologists know what it means to be the best. We have worked and trained hard, and we constantly seek to improve our knowledge and skills. We want to be the best for our patients and our profession. Part of doing our best for patients is being their voice when important legislative decisions are being made that will affect their healthcare. As physicians, we can step up to the plate and advocate on our patients’ behalf. Fortunately, the AAO-HNS makes advocacy easy, including a new program to recognize the all-stars of advocacy. At the Leadership Forum & BOG Spring Meeting, the “All-Star Advocate” initiative was rolled out, and I hope every eligible Academy Member will join this exciting program. It’s easy, just email

There are four components to being an All-Star Advocate:

  • Sign up to receive The ENT Advocate e-newsletter
  • Agree to be a PROJECT 535 “key contact”
  • Sign up for an In-district Grassroots Outreach (I-GO) activity
  • Donate to ENT PAC*

The ENT Advocate

The ENT Advocate is a monthly email. It is designed to be easy to read and to keep recipients informed of the status of important legislative and political issues affecting otolaryngology and medicine. Most of us get a lot of emails, but this one is concise and packed with valuable information.


PROJECT 535, a BOG-sponsored initiative, links an otolaryngologist to each member of Congress (hence the “535”), so that when important legislation arises, the Academy can call upon the PROJECT 535 participants and know that every member of Congress has heard our message.

In-District Grassroots Outreach

Signing up for an I-GO event allows AAO-HNS Legislative Advocacy staff to facilitate contact between you and your legislators in your home district. The local activity can take many forms, tailored to your situation (e.g., one-on-one meeting, visit to your practice). An I-GO activity is a great opportunity to establish yourself as a resource for your members of Congress, so that when you need to advocate, they will already know you—and you do not have to travel to Capitol Hill in Washington, DC!


Last, but certainly not least, is donating to ENT PAC.* The PAC is non-partisan and issue-driven, so it doesn’t matter which political party you identify with. The monies are used to support candidates who represent our specialty’s interests. Please note that while the amount donated is important, it is also important to have as many otolaryngologists donate as possible. Our message on Capitol Hill is much stronger if we can proudly state  that the majority of our Members donate to the PAC.

Send an email to today. The all-stars of baseball will be in San Diego, CA, in July; but look out, San Diego, the All-Stars of ENT are headed your way in September! I look forward to seeing you there, proudly wearing your All-Star Advocate ribbon.


*Contributions to ENT PAC are not deductible as  charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Contributions are voluntary, and all members of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery have the right to refuse to contribute without reprisal. Federal law prohibits ENT PAC from accepting contributions from foreign nationals. By law, if your contributions are made using a personal check or credit card, ENT PAC may use your contribution only to support candidates in federal elections. All corporate contributions to ENT PAC will be used for educational and administrative fees of AAO-HNS, and other activities permissible under federal law. Federal law requires ENT PAC to use its best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation, and the name of the employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 in a calendar year. ENT PAC is a program of the AAO-HNS, which is exempt from the federal income tax under section 501 (c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code.