Road to Relevance
One of the greatest challenges facing the Academy is a fully functioning advocacy network of engaged members who the organization can rely on over the next three-to-five years as the push to reform healthcare at the federal and state levels intensifies.
James C. Denneny III, MD, AAO-HNS/F Executive Vice President and CEO
The Academy and its Foundation are the beneficiaries of the broad expertise and dedication to our specialty from countless members. This results in the selfless donation of their limited time as invaluable volunteers for otolaryngology and our organization. It is incumbent on the Academy to maximize the essential contribution these volunteers make on our behalf by maintaining a system with policies that allows them to be effective while limiting duplication of effort, which can effectively paralyze the progress of critical initiatives.
It is also incumbent on the leadership of the various committees, sections, and the Board of Governors (BOG) to establish coordinated, collaborative relationships that address areas of overlap, but maintain focus on the primary responsibilities they each are assigned. The leaders of these entities are responsible for managing the volunteers under their charge and knowing their capabilities. Discussions must lead to actions. When that doesn’t happen, relevance is lost, and additional pathways must be pursued to fill critical voids. The most cogent, recent examples of this are the partnership with the Administrator Support Community for ENT (ASCENT) and the formation of the Otolaryngology Private Practice Section (OPPS).
One of the greatest challenges facing the Academy is a fully functioning advocacy network of engaged members who the organization can rely on over the next three-to-five years as the push to reform healthcare at the federal and state levels intensifies further after the 2024 elections. The BOG can return to the relevance of yesteryear when they were known, and consistently relied upon, for the strength of their nationwide network through robust state and local societies. To do that, the Academy is consolidating all legislative support activities under the auspice of the BOG.
To meet this challenge, the Academy staff will work with the BOG and its constituent state and local societies to re-create and re-energize this powerful asset. With the help of a new additional staff member responsible for working with and supporting the goals of the OPPS and BOG, leadership of the BOG must:
- Work with Academy staff to update the contacts for all constituent otolaryngology societies. This includes an internal survey among BOG members to collect current contact information for all active state, local and specialty otolaryngology societies.
Once a comprehensive update is complete, staff will update the BOG State Society Contacts Map on the website, and the following streamlined efforts will be implemented:
- Communication to all BOG members, with the expectation they forward the information to the members they represent, reminding them of the different opportunities they can join and support the Academy’s advocacy efforts on their behalf.
- Promote the State Trackers Program, Project 535, I-GO, ENT PAC, the ENT Advocacy Network and identify “key contacts” for members of Congress, particularly those on health-related committees or in leadership positions.
- The importance of responding to action alerts needs to be recognized as well.
The communication strategy is paramount since many BOG members aren’t signed up for participation in the ENT Advocacy Network nor respond to Academy’s legislative action alerts. There are also states where we do not have State Trackers, and only 2% of Academy members contribute to the ENT PAC (25% of BOG committee membership).
This is an excellent opportunity for those interested in advocacy. Even though you might not consider yourself a member of the BOG, you are represented by the BOG and welcome to participate in any capacity you feel suits you the best. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to get involved.