The Annual Meeting and beyond

November 2019 – Vol. 38, No. 10

I recently attended my 38th Annual Meeting of the AAO-HNSF. There was a great deal of energy and excitement at our meeting in New Orleans as well as the specialty society meetings taking place in conjunction with the Annual Meeting. It was encouraging to see the collaboration and camaraderie displayed across the breadth of attendees as they interacted in the hallways, throughout the lectures, and at the recreational activities. There was a measurable increase in attendance over our last two meetings in Atlanta and Chicago, which added to the buzz around the convention center. Domestic and international attendees benefited from enhanced networking time and took full advantage of the opportunity. This year’s attendees represented all 50 states and 94 countries worldwide.

James C. Denneny III, MD AAO-HNS/F EVP/CEO

The diversity of our specialty was on full display in the subject matter and experts presenting the comprehensive education program, which was crafted by Mark K. Wax, MD; the Annual Meeting Program Committee; the many committee and section meetings that convened; and the ancillary alumni and society gatherings in the evening across the city. While each of these groups has specific interests, it is encouraging to see them all move together in the true “We Are One” mission of our specialty. The large number of residents, fellows, and young physicians, both domestic and international, bodes well for the future of our Academy and our specialty. It is incumbent on us to maintain the momentum created at this meeting as our committees and task forces work with our staff to move the specialty forward in the direction we want to go, always striving to improve patient care. A special shout-out goes to all our volunteer leaders, participants, and dedicated staff who made this exhilarating meeting possible.

“It is incumbent on us to maintain the momentum created at this meeting as our committees and task forces work with our staff to move the specialty forward in the direction we want to go, always striving to improve patient care.”

At the Foundation Board of Directors meeting, our clinical data registry, Reg-entSM, reached another milestone. The directors approved a Letter of Agreement with OM1 to become our partner in moving Reg-ent forward to Phase II and beyond. This agreement will help us optimize our data through normalization, curation, and validation using the OM1 process that will make the data suitable to drive a number of advanced functions beyond the public MIPS reporting currently taking place. This gives us the opportunity to define “best care” for diseases otolaryngologists treat, participate in academic clinical research to the degree not previously possible, conduct pre- and post-market device and pharmaceutical trials meeting FDA standards, and begin the journey toward individualized patient care. If you are not currently a member, now is the time for both academic and private practices to join and become part of this vehicle that will drive improved patient care for all.

Our global program continues to expand in breadth, volume, and quality. This year in New Orleans, there were over 1,700 international attendees from around the globe. The International Symposium covered three days and had over 50 presentations that were attended by both domestic and international physicians. The International Advisory Board (IAB) held its second election for Chair of the IAB. I would like to congratulate, Karl Hoermann, MD, on his election. He will take office in 2020, following current Chair, Sady de Costa, MD. It is exciting to see the accelerating degree of scientific exchange around the globe as we all try to optimize patient care. An equal part of this equation revolves around our joint meetings with international societies in which we send faculty to participate and exchange clinical expertise with their colleagues. The AAO-HNSF will participate in 15 joint meetings this year and already has 10 scheduled for 2020, and I, along with J. Pablo Stolovitsky, MD, AAO-HNSF Coordinator for International Affairs, attended the annual meeting of the Chinese Society of Otolaryngology in October to explore ways we can collaborate on a variety of educational initiatives. I encourage you to join the team and become an international volunteer faculty member.

We welcome Duane J. Taylor, MD, as our new President for 2019-2020. Dr. Taylor is the first African American President of the AAO-HNS/F. He is a fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeon who practices general otolaryngology in the Washington, DC, area. He brings considerable experience in physician wellness and was the inaugural Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee that I formed when I was President in 2008. The Boards of Directors, the entire staff, and I look forward to working with Dr. Taylor throughout the upcoming year.