Participation, planning enable success

April 2017 - Vol. 36, No. 3

James C. Denneny III, MD

Leaders representing the wide breadth of specialty practices, settings, geographic locations, and demographics assembled at the AAO-HNS/F Leadership Forum & BOG Spring Meeting in Alexandria, VA, last month. They included national otolaryngology society officers, state otolaryngology society representatives, AAO-HNS/F Boards of Directors and AAO-HNS Board of Governors members, American Board of Otolaryngology officers, section society leaders, and members.

Discussion and planning centered on identifying evolving trends in the business/economic climate, national and specialty demographics, political and social values, the legislative and regulatory 2017 arena, and science/technology innovations that will affect the practice of medicine and the needs of our members. The greater the agreement and willingness to collaborate on these issues, both within otolaryngology and the house of medicine in general, the better the chance of effecting change that will benefit society, members of the contributing organizations, and their patients.

The collective intelligence and commitment in the group was apparent as critical issues were discussed and solutions offered. The Specialty Unity Conference once again featured valuable dialogue and frank discourse of specialty-specific needs within the house of otolaryngology. I thank the attendees from the specialty societies and the American Board of Otolaryngology for contributing to the depth of success of the meeting. Ideas from this meeting as well as others happening during the weekend were taken to the Boards of Directors strategic planning portion of their meeting. Through the leadership of President Gregory W. Randolph, MD, and the Executive Committee, the Boards of Directors prioritized strategic directions for the Academy/Foundation to pursue. Key initiatives coming from this meeting include a program for physician wellness and resiliency, continued improvement and expansion of the international program, and advancement of our Clinical Data Registry, Reg-entSM, to the next phase of development and operations. The Boards of Directors also voted to have an additional meeting every year, which would be a strategic planning meeting every third year.

I recently read an article about America’s 25 fastest dying industries. The three major causes for the decline in these industries were cost reduction, technology changes, and macroeconomic conditions. These industries, which included manufacturing and service industries such as garment workers, mortgage brokers, newspaper workers, photofinishing, and librarians, experienced a failure to recognize and/or the lack of ability to alter the above-mentioned three factors.

Identifying and delivering a “value proposition” relevant to the personal and professional lives of our members will require our leadership to accurately assess the current state of affairs and the restraining and driving factors propelling the ongoing change. We need to provide the knowledge and insight that help our members be successful at things that matter to them, while enjoying a community experience facilitated by the Academy. We will be measured by our member’s actual experience as to what we provide, and equally as important, how we provide it.

Strength in volunteers

Gavin Setzen, MD, president-elect, and Susan D. McCammon, MD, chair, Ethics Committee, have recently completed appointments to the 72 Academy/Foundation committees. I thank them and our staff for the tremendous job they did finalizing this task. I would also like to thank the more than 2,000 volunteers who allow our many programs to be successful. These include committee members, participants in our component sections (SRF, WIO, YPS), the Board of Governors, and a host of other volunteers. Your dedication and selfless donation of time and resources make it possible for the Academy to exist and produce the quality products for which our members and patients have become accustomed.

Get informed and vote

I congratulate the Nominating Committee, chaired by Sujana S. Chandrasekhar, MD, for the excellent slate of candidates they identified for our upcoming elections. I would ask the membership to do your part to reverse a recent trend of declining voter participation in Academy elections and make sure you go online and vote for your preferred candidates and bylaws changes. Candidate statements are available online and in this Bulletin. The process is quick and will help direct the future of the organization.