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Opening Ceremony: Meeting the Challenges of Change

0918-OpeningTo meet the challenges of healthcare, the Academy is expanding its vision of people, places, and practice parameters. During Sunday’s Opening Ceremony, those challenges were seen as helping fuel the value they add to the specialty.

AAO-HNS/F leaders discussed the Academy’s focus on embracing the opportunities that come with expanded membership and learning from treatment data that will be collected under the RegentSM Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDR).

This Opening Ceremony was different from past years, with a keynote speaker and members of the San Diego Naval Base Color Guard presenting the U.S. flag to open the event. A surprise video featured AAO-HNS/F President Sujana Chandrasekhar, MD, turned roving reporter asking people on the sidewalk outside the AAO-HNS/F office, “How Do You Say Otolaryngology?” and the audience responded with knowing laughter. Other videos portrayed the theme of the AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting & OTO EXPOSM, “Value 4U: You Care for Patients. We Care for YOU.”

Dr. Chandrasekhar reflected on her term as president by talking about change she has seen and emphasized.

“There is always new information to synthesize and to make accessible to our members, both in the U.S. and abroad,” she said. “There are always—and I mean always—new regulations, new ways that others measure us. It is the job of the Academy to not only educate us scientifically, but to educate us as to how to properly respond to these new ways of assessment.

“My vision for this year was to expand diversity and inclusion at our Academy and Foundation. This applies not only to race, ethnicity, and gender, but to age, sexual orientation, practice type, and geographical location as well. We have already seen benefits such as increased adaptability to challenges, broader reach to diverse physicians and patients, and more effective execution of ideas incorporating a variety of viewpoints.”

Dr. Chandrasekhar reflected on her days as a resident, when she was an immigrant with an unusual last name, “never imagining that someone like me” would be standing here one day.

“Our Academy and Foundation is a place where if you show up, commit, work, and participate, well, every door is flung wide open for you. And I am standing here as proof of that,” she said.

That commitment to dealing with the challenges of change also is seen in the Academy’s development of Regent, said AAO-HNS/F Executive Vice President and CEO James C. Denneny III, MD. The registry’s pilot phase has ended and otolaryngology practices are now joining Regent to share their practice data.

Other steps by the Academy to better serve members include:

  • Helping prepare for the implementation of the Medicare Access & CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), which links reimbursement to treatment quality and value.
  • AcademyU® has expanded its content development and distribution, offering content from the Annual Meeting.
  • A new publication, OTO Open, an open-access journal is being launched to increase publication and education opportunities.

Dr. Chandrasekhar presented Presidential Citations to her father, Hosakere Chandrasekhar, MD; Karen Jo Doyle Enright, MD, PhD; Lauren Zaretsky, MD; and the House Ear Institute and House Clinic, represented by John House, MD.

Dr. Chandrasekhar also introduced the AAO-HNS/F incoming President Gregory Randolph, MD, and presented him with a medallion. Dr. Randolph thanked Dr. Chandrasekhar for her service and presented her with the Past President’s gavel and pin.

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