Candidate Statements | At-Large Director: Private Practice
Select one from the two candidates for At-Large Director: Private Practice.
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Vote for One of Two Candidates Below
Questions Posed to the Candidates
- What do you see as the essential task of the Directors and in what ways are you well suited to that role?
- What do you think is the most important issue that our Academy is currently facing?
Jeffery J. Kuhn, MD, CAPT, MC, USN (Ret.)
The essential tasks of the Board of Directors are to assess the overall direction and strategic plan of the Academy, support the mission and vision of the Academy, and to establish new initiatives that forward the voice of the membership. The Board of Directors should identify and understand the most important issues facing the Academy. It is critical that the Directors have leadership experience and have demonstrated integrity, ingenuity, and commitment in those leadership positions. I have served in a number of leadership positions in various venues including military academic and nonacademic centers, a university academic center, and now in private practice for the past six years. I have served on six Academy Foundation Committees and recently completed a three-year term as a member of the Nominating Committee, AAO-HNS/F.
As a former collegiate athlete, physical and mental wellness were paramount in determining performance outcome. Performance outcomes in our professional lives are similarly influenced by these factors. As much as we attempt to maintain personal wellness in our professional career while establishing a health-life balance, there is great potential for physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. Physician burnout has become an important issue throughout the medical specialties and should be a focus of attention within our Academy. Frequent changes in clinical practice involving EMR system platforms, telehealth policies, workload expectations, and administrative burdens, in addition to loss of independence and authority, heightened patient expectations, and a culture that emphasizes perfection are several factors that contribute to the erosion of physician well-being. I would expand the current Wellness Team initiative in the form of a task force that would interface with other Foundation Committees including Media and Public Relations, Telehealth, Practice Management Education, and Diversity and Inclusion in order to identify factors unique to the otolaryngologist and to propose evidence-based solutions.
Angela M. Powell, MD
Being an active-duty U.S. Navy ENT for almost 14 years, juxtaposed with my current rural civilian practice, have together reinforced the true value and necessity of member involvement and service to the Academy. The tenet that collectively we can achieve inordinately more in advancing excellence in the delivery of care to our patients than any one of us could do individually has been aptly demonstrated in the Academy’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Allow me to represent private practitioners and be your voice on the BOD as we work to reduce healthcare disparities in underserved communities, to continue legislative advocacy, to educate and promote lifelong learning, to increase diversity within the specialty, to promote wellness, and to engage and mentor young leaders. I have been involved in each of these areas through my roles in the SRF, on BOG Committees, chairing the Barnes Society, and as the Immediate Past Chair of the WIO. Thank you for your vote of support.
The importance of wellness to the Academy’s primary initiatives cannot be overstated. Consider overcoming the financial impact to our practices by the pandemic; office closures; the death of colleagues, loved ones, and patients; exhaustion; and burnout while the guidepost to normalcy remains elusive and the stage is set. EHR inefficiencies, navigating telehealth services, the new E/M visit guidance from CMS and how these changes will affect reimbursements (anticipating a net positive but implementation will serve as the true measure), and the uncertainty of what ENT practice will become in the post-vaccine era further heighten stress and angst for many. Wellness is inextricably linked to the love that we all have for this amazing field and, therefore, must remain in the forefront for the Academy’s efforts to be meaningful and impactful as we educate, lobby, mentor, innovate, and lead.