Published: April 28, 2022

Spring Effervescence and Promise

Time is a precious commodity for all of us, but one of the most worthwhile uses of our time is to help shape and direct our future directions within the Academy and our profession.

Ken Yanagisawa, MD AAO-HNS/F PresidentKen Yanagisawa, MD
AAO-HNS/F President
As winter yields to spring in the Northeast, the annual parade of colors is in dazzling display with the precocious crocuses, the harbinger forsythia and magnolia, and magnificent azaleas and rhododendrons sequentially blossoming in glory.

The Academy’s spring festivities are also in full bloom.

The recent April weekend with our AAO-HNSF 2022 Virtual Leadership Forum & Board of Governors (BOG) Spring Meeting, and AAO-HNS/F Boards of Directors (BODs) meeting embodied a time of rejuvenation and reflection.

The BOG Spring Meeting featured fabulous presentations and discussions about over-the-counter hearing aids, incorporation of advanced practice providers into practice, and the pros and cons of private equity. Inspiring messages about equity and diversity were highlighted by Kate Stewart from Stryker. An overview of ambulatory surgery center opportunities was delivered. A return of the Presidential Candidates Forum featured thoughtful insights and projections from our exceptional President-elect nominees, Dr. Douglas Backous and Dr. Lance Manning. Once attendees discover the BOG Spring meeting—which typically highlights business of medicine, advocacy, and leadership topics—most return annually due to the outstanding content and networking opportunities.

As we transitioned into the AAO-HNS/F BODs spring meeting, I was exhilarated by the energy and engagement exhibited by each of our Board members. The work of the Future of Meetings Task Force, chaired by current President-elect Dr. Kathleen Yaremchuk, is examining the needs, desires, and directions of our members and our meetings, which have shifted in this post-pandemic time period. The Board self-evaluation survey highlighted opportunities for our Social Media and ENT Connect Task Force, chaired by Dr. Erich Voigt, particularly as we revise and redirect our virtual presence. The Workforce and Socioeconomic Survey Task Force, chaired by Dr. Andrew Tompkins, will bring invaluable details and information about our cherished specialty and will help identify our current and future landscapes.

The 2022 AAO-HNS Virtual Congressional Advocacy Day brought great opportunities for members to educate and underscore our most pressing concerns to Washington, DC, legislators. These included prior authorization concerns, Medicare physician reimbursements, patient safety for hearing healthcare, and the reauthorization of the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention program. There was a palpable enthusiasm in our members who spoke on behalf of our specialty, our patients, and our membership's needs. Many thanks to all those who participated and helped to successfully deliver our messages.  

The most important current item on our radar is the No Surprises Act, which Dr. James Denneny repeatedly cautions is one of the most impactful and onerous pieces of healthcare legislation for physicians ever to be enacted. It is imperative that all providers understand the expectations and requirements of this act and recognize that the Academy is working on multiple fronts to protect our members.

The Private Practice Study Group (PPSG) continues to attract new members, and recently elected Dr. David Melon as Vice Chair and three new Members-at-Large, Dr. Dan Gold, Dr. Annette Pham, and Dr. Melanie Seybt. Many thanks to Dr. Mary Mitskavich for her leadership and instrumental contributions. Dr. Daniel Chelius, AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting Program Coordinator, has invited the PPSG to spearhead a new feature of the meeting called Business Solutions for Breakfast roundtable discussions, which will be held during the upcoming Annual Meeting in Philadelphia to discuss topics of interest including staff recruitment, contracting with commercial carriers, marketing and reputation management, and building a new practice out of residency.

This spring weekend truly highlighted the camaraderie and unity of our many members. Many thanks to all those who participated and those who serve our Academy so faithfully. For any members who wish to increase participation levels, there are many opportunities for involvement. 

There is no doubt that serving as a healthcare provider in 2022 poses remarkable challenges. We are responsible not only for excellent clinical care, but also tasked with grappling with and overcoming mounting regulatory and insurer demands. Time is a precious commodity for all of us, but one of the most worthwhile uses of our time is to help shape and direct our future directions within the Academy and our profession. 

The 126th Annual Meeting takes place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from September 10-14, 2022, with every hope and intention to proceed with a live meeting. Please register and plan to attend. 

Finally, voting opens for our elected officials including our President-elect, At-Large Board of Directors, Nominating Committee, and Audit Committee. Please cast your votes—your input will impact our future directions and leaders. 

I hope everyone enjoys fulfilling springtime festivities!  

More from May 2022 – Vol. 41, No. 4