Published: August 26, 2022

An Appreciative Farewell

I am deeply humbled and touched to have served as President and will forever cherish and use my new bonds, friendships, and insights to continue to advance our great organization.

Ken Yanagisawa, MD AAO-HNS/F PresidentKen Yanagisawa, MD
AAO-HNS/F President
Serving as President of the AAO-HNS/F has been the highest honor and privilege in my otolaryngological career. I recall my full awe as a resident at the vast activities and offerings that the Academy afforded, and I stand in equal awe as a senior attending as the Academy deftly moves nimbly, responsively, and respectfully to the ever-changing needs and demands of our membership.

Thank you to the hard work of numerous task forces and committees over the past year, including the Future of Meetings Task Force—appointed by Immediate Past President Dr. Carol Bradford and led by incoming President Dr. Kathleen Yaremchuk—that is studying the needs for future meetings and planning modifications. The Socioeconomic and Workforce Task Force, under the guidance of Dr. Andrew Tompkins, has been working to gain a current and accurate understanding of our members’ demographics, training needs, and practice models and concerns. They have recently distributed a Workforce and Socioeconomic survey that I encourage everyone to complete.

The Private Practice Study Group (PPSG) has created a home for all private practitioners, particularly those who felt increasingly isolated from the Academy. A critical component of the Strategic Plan’s Business of Medicine pillar, the PPSG has triggered an explosion of enthusiasm and energy and should soon attain section status. This group is working alongside 3P (Physician Payment Policy) Workgroup, our Advocacy team, ASCENT (Administrator Support Community for ENT), and the Board of Governors to tackle mounting provider concerns. Thanks to the Chair, Dr. Marc Dubin, and Vice Chair, Dr. David Melon, as well as to Drs. Eugene Brown, Bill Blythe, and Mary Mitskavich who were instrumental in initially forming this group.

Dr. James Denneny is a truly remarkable EVP/CEO whose vision, foresight, and wholehearted dedication to identifying, understanding, and problem solving the numerous issues that face our members is fierce and pointed. Thanks to Dr. Denneny, the AAO-HNS/F is highly regarded as an organization that successfully advocates for governmental and private payer regulation reform and that provides leadership and vision in the broader houses of surgery and medicine at home and internationally. Thank you, Jim, for your leadership and your unyielding commitment and support.

Please thank our amazing Academy staff. They are the engine that propels our organization forward and often goes beyond their call of duty as witnessed during our hybrid 2021 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. Special kudos to Christina Maggio, Carrie Hanlon, Elise Swinehart, and Maura Farrell who have extended me incredible assistance during this past year.

I am fortunate to have the full support of my current practice partners while serving this past year—Drs. Ron Hirokawa, Eaton Chen, Paul Fortgang, Maria Byrne, Michael Willett, Mark D’Agostino, Howard Boey, Tiffany Chen, and Jeff Cranford. Thanks also to my former practice partner, Dr. K.J. Lee, who provides innovative and thought-provoking reflections. All our recent Academy presidents have provided me sage advice, particularly Dr. Greg Randolph and Dr. Gavin Setzen.

Medicine faces a plethora of challenges. Comprehending and tackling the ongoing parade of governmental and private payer regulatory obstacles will remain a top priority, with the -25 modifier issue currently in the spotlight. Physicians’ emotional, physical, and mental health needs continue to escalate, especially during this peri-COVID-19 period, with a genuine need for solutions and strategies to equilibrate the burnout versus wellness cycle. Inclusive diversity and equity remain a key pillar of our Strategic Plan and our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Committee continues to identify and address opportunities for improvements. Our international team, under the helm of Coordinator Dr. Mark Zafereo and Joint Meetings Liaison Dr. Pablo Stolovitzky, has done a remarkable job attracting new members and fostering international collaboration and friendships.

Our future is bright as Dr. Kathleen Yaremchuk assumes the Presidency, and Dr. Douglas Backous rises to President-elect. Thank you to the many committed physicians and providers who contribute their incredible talents, skills, and energy to the Academy.

On a final note, please do plan to join us at the 126th Annual Meeting of the AAO-HNSF in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Tremendous educational offerings have been planned, vendors at the OTO Experience are eager to share new technologies and products, and social gatherings including the Presidents’ Reception at The Filmore on Saturday, September 10, 2022, will be magical and memorable.

I am deeply humbled and touched to have served as President and will forever cherish and use my new bonds, friendships, and insights to continue to advance our great organization.    

More from September 2022 - Vol. 41, No. 8