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Opening Ceremony: Dealing with a World of Change

AAO-HNS/F President Gayle E. Woodson, MD, (right) receives the Past President's Gavel from the Incoming President, Sujana Chandrasekhar, MD, during Sunday's Opening Ceremony.

AAO-HNS/F President Gayle E. Woodson, MD, (right) receives the Past President’s Gavel from the Incoming President, Sujana S. Chandrasekhar, MD, during Sunday’s Opening Ceremony.

The world of healthcare is changing with the advent of new attitudes, new regulations, and new technology, which is reflected throughout the AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO℠  and Sunday’s Opening Ceremony.

AAO-HNS/F President Gayle E. Woodson, MD, told members that the Academy has listened to their calls to make the Annual Meeting more user-friendly. The Academy itself also is changing, with development of Regent℠ , the ENT clinical data registry, the launching of the New AcademyU learning  platform, and with a new Executive Vice President and CEO, James C. Denneny III, MD.

“The Program Advisory Committee and Instruction Course Advisory Committee have designed a completely new format for the meeting this year, so you’ll experience more of what you’ve come to expect at the world’s premier event for otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons,” she said.

Regent is a reaction to the changing demands of healthcare regulation and economics. Reimbursement is increasingly driven by improved outcomes backed by data, Dr. Woodson said.

“The problem is that we cannot provide objective and statistically significant data to prove that all the good things we do actually make our patients better—even when ‘everyone knows’ and all experts agree,” she said, adding that the answer for otolaryngology is Regent.

“Collectively, we have a wealth of experience,” Dr. Woodson said. “If we could just keep consistent and comprehensive records of what we do and how our patients fare, then we could mine that data to determine what works. Our ENT clinical data registry is designed to do just that.”

Dr. Denneny said the changes and new initiatives were brought about by “listening to what you, our members, have told us is important to you.

“The common theme running through these changes is providing you with the most value for your membership and providing the tools you will need to participate in the evolution of the healthcare delivery system.”

In the area of international collaboration, Dr. Woodson said medical knowledge knows no borders and the Academy is already an international entity.

“This is what motivated me to appoint a Task Force to ponder our global presence and systematically assess our programs, so that we can fully engage our international colleagues in fulfilling the Academy’s vision.”

But just as things change, they stay the same. The Opening Ceremony featured a video of multiple generations of Academy members talking about the family ties of the specialty, and then traditional awards were presented.

H. Dennis Snyder, MD, received the Distinguished Award for Humanitarian Service. Charles E. Moore, MD, received the Jerome C. Goldstein, MD Public Service Award. Nikhila P. Raol, MD, MPH, received the Holt Leadership Award. Susan R. Cordes, MD, received the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award. Receiving Presidential Citations were Bobby R. Alford, MD, Roger L. Crumley, MD, MBA, Robert H. Miller, MD, MBA, and K. Thomas Robbins, MD.

Finally, Dr. Woodson introduced the AAO-HNS/F Incoming President, Sujana S. Chandrasekhar, MD, and presented her with a medallion, while Dr. Chandrasekhar thanked Dr. Woodson for her service and presented her with the Past President’s gavel and pin. The exchange was historic because it marks the first time in AAO-HNS/F history that one female president has succeeded another female president.