Presidential Citations

July 2017 – Vol. 36, 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 Gregory W. Randolph, MD, has selected the following individuals for their outstanding contributions and dedication to the Academy and Foundation.

 D. Bradley Welling, MD, PhD

D. Bradley Welling, MD, PhD

Dr. Welling is the quintessential academic role model and leader. He came to Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Harvard three years ago as chair. To take over from Joe Nadol is no small feat, but he has really moved us forward. His core value, which he declares, not only through his words, but also through his actions, is striving toward always higher levels of excellence in all areas. This resonates tremendously with me. This extends most importantly to patient care and surgery and to research, striving toward cures for otolaryngologic disease but also to administrative leadership through collaborative bridges inside and outside of otolaryngology. In all of these activities, there is one constant element—fairness. He blends with this a humbleness and strong dynamic toward the importance of family life and religion. He is the optimal chairman and leader of our department and has been for me a personal inspiration.

He faces challenges straight on that on their face seem insurmountable, and through dedication, intelligence, and hard work addresses these problems one by one. In all of his successes, he humbly denotes the work of others and de-emphasizes his own personal role, though he is typically the backbone of these initiatives.

He has mentored and provided support for my thyroid clinical and research program and for my career. As a neuro-otologist, he has taken time to move beyond his clinical area of expertise to develop a textured understanding of the issues—both successes and challenges—that relate to the emerging field of neck endocrine surgery with the great generosity of spirit. The time and effort he has taken to acknowledge this and to move into this space and learn it so thoroughly has impressed me deeply. I am grateful for his tutelage, guidance, and friendship.

David J. Terris, MD

David J. Terris, MD

David has an impressive background initially at Stanford and then chair at Augusta University. During this time, he has been in the forefront of the development of neck endocrine surgery, and now holds the highest position within this field in otolaryngology as the chair of the Endocrine Section of the American Head and Neck Society. I have been fortunate to have worked with him closely in research, academics, and educational programming, as well as administration. In all of these, I have never had a better partner than David. He is intelligent, hard-working, selfless, and always at the cutting-edge of innovations in terms of robotic surgery, cosmetic aspects of surgery, and technical aspects of endocrine surgery, like no one else in the field. He has authored numerous important research papers, which have changed the face of our field, and numerous textbooks, which have done the same. I have been honored to work with him in these initiatives. In our administrative work, David has always impressed me with his wisdom and, most importantly, his fairness. He is balanced, collaborative, hard-working, and fair. In our discussions with others in some of these administrative matters, David always represents a strong moral presence and anchoring to the discussions. I look to him for his advice in the past and will in the future. On a personal note, I enjoy spending time with David and have been fortunate to do so in many meetings in the U.S. and around the world. When I look at my career, it is relationships such as this one with David that really are what our work is all about. The honor of working with someone of his caliber and talent is a tremendous gift and one of the highlights of my career. For his intelligent pioneering spirit, for his moral presence, for his kind friendship, and for his graciousness, I can think of no better recipient of the Presidential Citation than David Terris.

KJ Lee, MD

KJ Lee, MD

KJ Lee epitomizes many things. As a single individual, he really represents all that is good in otolaryngology, and he does that as an ambassador to the entire world. Through his book Essential Otolaryngology, he has basically taught this specialty to generations of otolaryngologists. In addition, he founded, and for many years led, one of the largest premier otolaryngology groups in the country at New Haven. As an educator through his book and other venues, he is known throughout the world. I have been fortunate to travel with KJ to many congresses in the U.S. and abroad. He is approached by many and always takes time with all, especially young otolaryngologists, who wish to come up and shake his hand and thank him for his role in their education and career.

KJ is ever-energetic, ever-thinking, always moving, always striving, always expansive in his thoughts. He in this way is an inspiration to me and has been for many years. He has been a mentor to me in my Academy career and academic career. It was KJ Lee who gave me my first AAO-HNS job, a spot on the then Subcommittee of Endocrine Surgery. I can think of no one individual person who has meant more to me as a mentor than KJ. He is thoughtful, kind, and always eager to help out in any way possible. Also, he answers his phone. He answers his phone when he is at home, he answers his phone when he is at the office, he answers his phone at midnight, he answers his phone when he is in Beijing, Singapore, or Hong Kong—I can always speak with KJ.

KJ and I have been especially close  when it relates to global otolaryngologic outreach, and in this, he has no equal. All members of the Academy owe KJ a great debt of gratitude because of his energetic and expansive global initiatives. He has carried the Academy on his back around the world, and our current very robust global program is in large part due to his energetic activity and wonderful positive personality and wisdom.

Lorraine M. Randolph

Lorraine M. Randolph

There are few people that I have known longer than my wife of 34 years, Lorraine. I met her initially very soon after high school through high school friends (on a handball court in Queens), fell in love at first sight, and have been in love with her ever since. We have had a long journey in our life and some challenges that I would not have been able to face if she were not by my side—that is clear. I have never met a stronger and more intelligent person than Lorraine. Her morality has been a beacon for me through the years. When I am unsure of something, regardless of what area it is in, I ask Lorraine. This has been a long road—the children, family, work, and in all this, I could not have asked for a better partner. None of this would have been worthwhile if it were not for Lorraine. In fact, when there is some challenge or disappointment, she is the first one I call, and also, when there is some success, she is the first one that I call. I think that says it all.

She is kind, intelligent, and always puts the good of others before herself. She is a woman of deep religious convictions, blended with an unbreakable commitment to her children and family. Also, she has her head screwed on straight and has a common sense backbone that is incredibly unique. She has shaped who I am and without her I would not be standing before you. This citation is a small token of all that I owe to Lorraine.