The recently concluded AAO-HNS/F Leadership Forum & BOG Spring Meeting, hosted in Alexandria, VA, was one of the most comprehensive gatherings I’ve attended in some time. The meeting was highlighted by the Specialty Unity Summit, the Boards of Directors planning meeting, the Board of Governors assembly, and the unveiling of the recently renovated Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery History exhibit at Academy headquarters.
The recently concluded AAO-HNS/F Leadership Forum & BOG Spring Meeting, hosted in Alexandria, VA, was one of the most comprehensive gatherings I’ve attended in some time. The meeting was highlighted by the Specialty Unity Summit, the Boards of Directors planning meeting, the Board of Governors assembly, and the unveiling of the recently renovated Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery History exhibit at Academy headquarters. The Program Advisory Committee, the Specialty Society Advisory Committee (SSAC), and Section leaders (SRF, YPS, WIO) all met. The weekend concluded with Capitol Hill visits by our leaders on Monday.
The Specialty Unity Summit featured a review of collaborative initiatives undertaken since last year’s inaugural meeting including common advocacy issues, CPT/RUC matters, shared educational materials, resident work hour regulations, USP 797 concerns, Maintenance of Certification, and registry implementation. Further conversations occurred in the subsequent SSAC meeting that followed. It is quite clear that intentional efforts to work together benefits the members and patients of all involved organizations.
Kudos to David R. Edelstein, MD, chair of the Board of Governors, the Board of Governors Executive Committee, and our staff for planning an exceptional series of topics germane to the ever evolving changes in healthcare. The Board of Governors also hosted the “Candidates Forum,” where the president-elect candidates James A. Hadley, MD, and Gavin Setzen, MD, fielded numerous questions from Members. Last year on the recommendation of the Election Review Task Force, chaired by Richard W. Waguespack, MD, we moved the election to spring. This turned out to be very successful and has allowed earlier integration of incoming leaders into their new positions. Please review the candidates’ statements in this month’s Bulletin and the video of the candidates’ presentations at www.entnet.org/content/annual-election and then exercise your right to vote for your leaders!
I would like to thank the Boards of Directors, led by President Sujana S. Chandrasekhar, MD, for their participation in a highly productive and educational board meeting in which they reviewed and prioritized our current Strategic Plan prior to the adoption of a final budget. As the Academy navigates the waters of change currently flowing through society, particularly healthcare, it is mandatory that leadership and staff adopt the “duty of foresight” to thrive in the conditions that will emerge over the next three to five years. This societal transformation will end up affecting our specialty, association, and stakeholders including Members and patients. We will need to continue to “strategically learn” about transforming factors, particularly those we may be unfamiliar with. How well we do may well be the differentiating factor in success for our Members.
We must have the courage to pursue opportunities created by the massive disruption that the healthcare industry is experiencing. A tangible example of acting on opportunity is the decision and commitment of our Board of Directors to proceed with RegentSM, our clinical data registry, which is now well under way in its pilot phase. Once fully operational this fall we anticipate it will allow you, our Members, to meaningfully and successfully participate in the quality-based patient care world.
Another sea change that will affect you and your patients involves the delivery of hearing healthcare. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) along with the public have expressed great interest in improving access to hearing healthcare services, particularly rehabilitation services and adjunctive hearing devices. The Academy has been working with the American Neurotology Society and the American Otological Society to comment constructively on proposed changes that maintain the principle of medical evaluation for hearing problems, while expanding access and controlling costs so that a greater percentage of patients in need of both services and devices are able to get the help they need. This month I will be testifying on this subject before the FDA panel on Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs).
Additionally, the International Task Force presented a comprehensive report after almost a year of study that identifies a number of opportunities to increase international involvement in collaboration with the global otolaryngology community. The 2016 AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPOSM in San Diego, September 18-21, will feature our inaugural International Symposium, which will consist of outstanding international scientific presentations. We have the highest confidence that this will represent an excellent opportunity for our domestic and international attendees to expand their knowledge base.
I encourage any Members with insight into transformative disruption that affects our specialty to contact me directly so we can work on this together.