Presidential Citations 2020

July 2020 – Vol. 39, No. 6

The Presidential Citations are given to individuals who have had a profound influence on the AAO-HNS/F President’s life and otolaryngology. President Duane J. Taylor, MD, has selected these individuals for their outstanding contributions.

Mirion P. Bowers, MD

Dr. Bowers is currently retired but served as a clinical professor at the University of Southern California, assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, chair of otolaryngology at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Residency Program, and president and CEO of PIH Health Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles. I had the pleasure of first meeting him the week before I was to start my residency at a casual gathering through mutual friends and was excited to tell him about the start of my training and specialty at this hospital in South Central Los Angeles, CA. I think by the end of that initial conversation I gleaned from this kind, humble pillar of the community that he was excited and supportive of the fact that I was not only training in the same specialty that he had been practicing for many years, but the program I would enter was one that he started and chaired prior to Gus Gill, MD, who was my chair during residency.

Over the years I crossed paths with Dr. Bowers many times and looked to him as a mentor in my involvement in the Academy. He was responsible for the Harry Barnes Society, having a seat on our Academy’s Board of Governors and serving as its first representative, a position that I would hold for many years to follow. He encouraged and supported my participation in the Academy, which led to my many levels of engagement in the years that followed.

Dr. Bowers, a well-respected clinician in the Los Angeles area, is always someone whose leadership, accomplishments, and commitment to the diversity of our specialty, the community, and his family I always admire. He will always be considered a role model. Thank you, Dr. Bowers.


Lorenzo S. Brown, MD

Dr. Brown attended medical school at the University of Michigan, received training in general surgery at King Drew Medical Center and the California Hospital Center, and did his otolaryngology residency at Northwestern University. He has been in private practice in Los Angeles for over 35 years and trained countless residents and medical students as an assistant professor of surgery at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Brown served as one of the most influential teachers during my training and his medical knowledge, skill as a surgeon, and the compassionate way he interacted with his patients left an indelible impression, which I strive to replicate.

Over the years he has helped to serve an underserved community at King Drew Medical Center and has given back in so many ways to the community; the depth and breadth of his impact is immeasurable. Finally, his love for teaching young residents and medical students, whether it was on rounds, in a didactic lecture, or in the operating room, were contributions that certainly were a critical part of my foundation and certainly appreciated. Certainly Dr. Brown was another positive role model, who I could only hope to emulate. Thank you, Dr. Brown.


Howard W. Francis, MD, MBA

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I first met Dr. Francis at an Academy meeting when he was doing a poster presentation while a medical student at Harvard University. At that initial meeting I knew he had a propensity for making a difference in the area of academic medicine within our specialty, which proved to be true. Dr. Francis went on to do his surgery internship, residency, and neurotology training at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, followed later by obtaining an MBA. Following his training, Dr. Francis stayed on at Johns Hopkins as faculty, becoming a full professor. During that time he had numerous publications, book chapters, and international presentations and was the recipient of numerous awards. Dr. Francis moved to Duke University in 2017 as chief and professor of the Division of Head and Neck Surgery, which subsequently, under his leadership, became a department. He is now the Richard Hall Chaney, Sr. Distinguished Professor of Otolaryngology and chair of the Department of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences.

In addition to the many academic accomplishments and teaching of numerous residents, I have admired the poise and professionalism with which Dr. Francis has approached his activities in organized medicine (including our Academy and his service as president of the Society of University Otolaryngologists Head & Neck Surgeons). Dr. Francis has also played an active role in attempting to improve the diversity of our specialty, especially in the academic arena. Dr. Francis, you have been a supportive colleague, and all that you have done through your leadership, the many patients you have cared for (especially ones that I referred), the students you have trained, and the research you have done set you apart to be deserving of this citation. Thank you, Dr. Francis.


Ronald B. Kuppersmith, MD, MBA

Dr. Kuppersmith is in practice in Bryan-College Station and Huntsville, TX, and holds an academic appointment as professor of surgery at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. Dr. Kuppersmith is also Past President of the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery and the Texas Association of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. He currently serves on the board of directors of the American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and as the deputy editor of ENTtoday.

When I first met Dr. Kuppersmith, I knew he was a visionary and trailblazer setting the stage to become the youngest president of our Academy. He was attentive and listened to concerns I brought up to him after a meeting with the sister societies related to the lack of diversity in our Academy membership and its leadership. He followed this up with not only supporting the cascade of progress in this area, which would follow, but actively participated in the first-ever mini-seminars on cultural competence, health disparities, and health literacy. Dr. Kuppersmith’s tenacity to “walk the walk” for what he believes in has contributed to our Academy in countless ways. He wrote the original draft of the Academy U® vision statement just barely out of training, received the Helen F. Krause Trailblazer award in 2011, and gave the John Conley, MD Lecture on Medical Ethics on Surgical Innovation in 2018. Dr. Kuppersmith is another person whose concern and commitment to our Academy, his patients, and his family I have admired. The discussions we have had and his advice and friendship have all been an integral part of my development and are all sincerely appreciated. Thank you, Dr. Kuppersmith.