Advertise with the Bulletin
December 2015/ January 2016 - Vol. 34, No. 11
Knowns, unknowns of 2016
As a very tumultuous 2015 comes to a close for otolaryngology and medicine in general, we are all asking, “What will 2016 bring?” There are a lot of unknowns across the spectrum of physician activities including quality measurement, reimbursement, continuing education and certification, and the overall configuration of the healthcare delivery system. As you can note in our Annual Report contained in this Bulletin, the Academy has been very proactive in trying to respond to these potential changes and provide our Members the means to offer the best patient care in the future.
Building on momentum
As we face the end of 2015 and the dawn of 2016, it is a good time to reflect on what we have done and what we aim to accomplish.
Sujana S. Chandrasekhar, MD AAO-HNS/F Past President
ENT PAC: your go-to resource for 2016 elections
ENT PAC, the political action committee of the AAO-HNS, financially supports Congressional candidates and incumbents who will advance the issues important to otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. Because your AAO-HNS annual dues cannot be used for political purposes, ENT PAC was established to accept voluntary contributions enabling our Members to speak with a collective voice.
Annual Meeting wrap-up
When I was a student planning to attend the AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPOSM for the first time, I thought it was primarily an educational meeting. After attending I was shocked at how many facets make up the AAO-HNS/F. As I became involved in the Section for Residents and Fellows-in-Training (SRF) and its Governing Council, I realized that the Academy is a community.
In Memoriam: Robert A. Sofferman, MD
Robert A. Sofferman, MD, passed away October 14, 2015, after fighting a valiant battle against multiple myeloma for nearly a decade. Most would have never known anything was wrong. He would always greet you with his contagious smile and direct the conversation to something other than himself.
2014-2015 committee highlights
Committees are the lifeblood of the AAO-HNS/F and a great way for members to contribute meaningfully to the organization and the specialty. At the AAO-HNSF 2015 Annual Meeting & OTO EXPOSM in Dallas, Academy and Foundation committees met and discussed achievements during the past year and planned for 2016. The following are brief summaries of actions taken by the committees over the 2014 to 2015 committee term.
AAO-HNS comments on PCAST hearing technologies report
Over the last several months, the AAO-HNS has been closely monitoring the efforts of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and other entities, such as the Institute of Medicine (IOM), to study, and hopefully mitigate, some of the ongoing issues faced by the nation’s senior population in regard to the access and affordability of hearing aids and their applicable services.
Is your state covered?
Many state legislatures will be reconvening in January, and some states still need legislative “Trackers.” We have yet to identify volunteer State Trackers in Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming—leaving these states vulnerable to ill-advised legislative proposals.
BOG will ‘bring home the Academy’ to you
By David Edelstein, MD, BOG Chair Hockey fans know that each year the winners of the Stanley Cup get a chance to touch the Cup when the winning team gets to “Bring Home the Cup.” This is an exciting moment for local fans, and I remember being taken by my dad many years ago to see the Cup firsthand when the Bruins won it. Seeing the Cup makes the win tangible and the moment memorable. Just as the Bruins brought home the Stanley Cup to the Boston of my youth, the Academy’s Board of Governors (BOG) can help “bring home the Academy” to you. Some people have the mistaken idea that the Academy’s and Foundation’s only function is to run the Annual Meeting once a year. Although the recent meeting in Dallas was a success, it represents only a small part of what the AAO-HNS/F does for you every day. A lot goes on at the Academy during the year about which you need to be informed. Hence, one of the major goals of the BOG this year is to “bring home the Academy” by helping Academy Members and local BOG governors stay up to date on what the Academy is doing by providing handouts and slide shows on a quarterly basis highlighting topics of interest to local societies. The BOG serves an important role in ensuring that the day-to-day issues you face in your practice remain front and center on the Academy’s agenda. For example, this past year the BOG’s Legislative Affairs Committee collated reports on issues of local concern from 110 otolaryngologists in 42 states and organized 40 local In-district Grassroots Outreach (I-GO) meetings with federal lawmakers. Similarly, the Socioeconomic and Grassroots (SEGR) Committee heard presentations on socioeconomic issues affecting our specialty from all 10 regions of the country. Appropriately, part of SEGR stands for “grassroots” (GR), and the Committee will be conducting two polls for 2015-2016 regarding feedback on the Affordable Care Act (polling in December 2015) and ICD-10 (polling in March 2016). The BOG’s Rules and Regulations committee was recently renamed Governance and Society Engagement in keeping with its new mission to help energize local societies and build a framework to develop new state societies where none exist. Did you know that there are five states with no local societies? The newly named committee will help to build virtual societies with Internet-based platforms for these states so that otolaryngologists can talk about local problems, especially in those geographic areas where in-person meetings are not easily accomplished. Spring Leadership Meeting The BOG also helps organize the Academy’s annual conference on leadership, scheduled for March 18-21, 2016, in Alexandria, VA. The AAO-HNS/F 2016 Leadership Forum & BOG Spring Meeting is open to any Academy Member, in addition to BOG governors and local society representatives. The conference program includes exciting luncheon speakers on such topics as where medicine is going, how to be a leader in medicine, and the current political environment on medical issues in Washington, DC. In addition, there will be many interesting panels on building leadership skills; on how to write a business plan; how to write a letter to insurance companies; RegentSM, the Academy’s new ENT clinical data registry; and how to set your career pathway. We hope that your local BOG governors help you to reconnect with the AAO-HNS and that the “bring home the Academy” project enables you to find ways in which the Academy can be useful to you every day. See you in March!
2015 journal Star Reviewers honored in Dallas
Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, the official journal of the AAO-HNSF, honored its 2015 Star Reviewers at the AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPOSM in Dallas. Since 2006, the Star Reviewer award has recognized excellence in peer reviewing.
During the year, through family members and other sources, the Academy is notified of Member and Associates’ deaths. The AAO-HNS acknowledged the following for their years of service to the profession of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. Our sympathies go out to their families.
2016 health policy scholarship open
The American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) are offering this annual scholarship to subsidize attendance and participation in the Executive Leadership Program in Health Policy & Management at Brandeis University.
Going global means embracing clinical care worldwide
The term “global” gets tossed around a lot these days. With the ease of intercontinental travel, a Starbucks and McDonalds in every corner of the world, and the power of the Internet, it does seem that the world is becoming an increasingly smaller place. But what exactly does it mean to be a global organization?