Delivering value to Members

August 2016 - Vol. 35, No. 7

Sujana S. Chandrasekhar, MD AAO-HNS/F President

How do things get done at the Academy and Foundation? Our tag line—You care for patients; we care for you—isn’t just advertising; it reflects the work done by incredible AAO-HNS staff for every otolaryngologist from training through retirement.

A suggested initiative is considered only if it is in line with the Mission and Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan has been hammered out by the Boards of Directors and breathed into life by our  70 staff members working with physician leaders.

They dedicate their time, energy, and expertise so that we can focus on patient care, research, teaching, and our personal interests. It has taken me a few years to grasp much of the intricacy of what goes on at the Academy and Foundation, and I thought I would distill a recent week, by no means representing all of the functions that are a necessary and integral part of the infrastructure, but conveying a calendar of value.

Monday: Your needs come first each week.

Key Member communications are developed and disseminated as well as communications for the public, including the media. Media inquiries often result in immediate outreach to Member otolaryngologists for interviews that ultimately are reported back in the weekly news digest. Working with committees, headquarter specialists also conduct our public service campaigns.

Tuesday: Education is a cornerstone for value and this is a busy time of year.

AcademyU® offerings have grown exponentially and are much sought-after. Education activities will be the focus of my next month’s Bulletin column. Don’t miss reading about the most recent programs. As you and 6,000 other expected attendees experience the AAO-HNSF 2016 Annual Meeting & OTO EXPOSM in San Diego September 18-21, know that it has taken staff months of detailed preparation to make it all go smoothly.

This year’s Annual Meeting will host the first ever International Symposium, where presenters from around the world will share their knowledge.

Along similar lines, the AAO-HNSF helps Members coordinate international representation at meetings across the globe. A particular success was the 35th Pan-American Congress on OHNS in Havana, Cuba, in June.

Wednesday: Getting your needs met relies on the expertise of technology.

Being anticipatory of, and responsive to, rapid changes in this arena keeps our Academy and Foundation at the cutting edge. Headquarters folks work with all other staff functions and with the Member database to improve, develop, and/or upgrade programs. Member services rely on these databases and additional technological resources to facilitate inquiries and registrations for the Home Study Course, Annual Meeting, patient information leaflet and licensing orders, and so much more.

Thursday: Member networks and legislative advocacy activities keep you connected.

Often the week’s actions include Capitol Hill and state-level meetings and outreach programs, coordinating Members’ meetings with legislators in the I-GO program, and working for ongoing clinical otolaryngology legislation and appropriations. Staff support of the Board of Governors, Women in Otolaryngology Section, Young Physicians Section, and Section for Residents and Fellows-in-Training is crucial in supporting their programs.

Friday: Research, quality, and health policy endeavors continue non-stop to identify and influence, when possible, outcomes for patients and regulatory issues that affect our practices.

AAO-HNS/F actions dealing with measures reporting and payment under MACRA and its work with the AMA CPT and RUC on coding are of paramount importance to Members and patients. Clinical Practice Guidelines and Consensus Statements require constant management to keep current.

And last but not least, sustaining firm footing and AAO-HNS/F longevity includes financial management, portfolio strategy, coupled with governance and human resources.

Governance of the organization—human resources, committees, Board and Executive Committee meetings, and annual elections—plays a key role in our future footing. Daily vigilance adds up to overall value delivered. This particular week dealt with performance appraisals systems and strategic work plans as well as finalizing committee appointees lists.

So when you pass or see a staff member in a red shirt or sweater in San Diego, you may have a better sense of the value they represent and recall the work done and benefits received.