Unprecedented Times, Unprecedented Service

October 2020 – Vol. 39, No. 9

Lance A. Manning, MD, BOG Chair

Lance A. Manning, MD

As we face professional and personal challenges during these uncertain times, I salute the hard work, devotion, and skill of those within the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) who selflessly sacrifice time, income, and resources to serve their fellow otolaryngologists. As the Board of Governors (BOG) Chair-Elect from September 2019-September 2020, it has been my privilege to learn from scores of incredible people within our organization over the past year. By virtue of my position, I have a seat on the AAO-HNS/F Boards of Directors, and I am granted access as a standing guest to all AAO-HNS/F Executive Committee meetings and communications. From this vantage point, I have observed our leaders, committees, and staff bravely respond to the unprecedented challenges that we currently face. Within days of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, our ranks organized and came together to disperse critical information and to make new tools available to our members, which have assisted them in navigating this unique and difficult landscape—ranging from direction regarding safety, telemedicine, wellness, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and getting back to practice. The collective response of otolaryngologists has been nimble, creative, and wise.

As I now have the honor of serving as the 38th Chair of our BOG, I am inspired by the collective talents and resolve within our organization evident in our joint response to this hardship. I look forward to the upcoming year as the BOG continues its pivotal role as a two-way conduit between our Academy and our local and state society members. I foresee this role expanding as we now have an even greater need to facilitate bidirectional communication and to maintain unity. The individual BOG Committees will likewise have many opportunities to contribute as partners in this effort.

The Legislative Affairs Committee, along with a very talented Advocacy team in the Academy, is continually monitoring federal and state legislative priorities and informing our BOG members. There has been a great deal of new legislation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is crucial that the members of our local and state societies are not only kept apprised of this legislation but also have an opportunity to give feedback to each other regarding the ways that they are leveraging new legislation to keep their respective practices viable, safe, and effective.

The Governance and Society Engagement Committee (GOSE) will continue to promote involvement in the BOG community by sharing the ways that individual societies have found to best maintain kinship in an era of virtual meetings and social distancing. In the upcoming year, the GOSE will be charged with creating and sharing a compendium of the most useful resources to optimize the inevitable upcoming remote state society meetings.

The Socioeconomic and Grassroots Committee will play a key role this year not only by creating tools to aid the business of medicine, but also by working closely with ASCENT, the Administrator Support Community for ENT. Further, there will be collaborative work toward the creation of a stepwise framework of practical physician business education, including an organized curation of available resources to help us flourish in this “new financial norm.”

With all of this in mind, I look forward to joining you in boldly overcoming the challenges that we will face together in the coming year as I believe they will unify us and make us stronger. In the words of Mother Teresa, “None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.”