Message from the Chair

Fall 2021

Several superlative adjectives describe the members of the University of Washington Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, but this year, “resilience” emerges near the top. We continue to operate in an environment dominated by the Covid 19 pandemic, but that does not deter us from pursuing all aspects of our tripartite mission of research, education, and exemplary clinical care. Staff, trainees, faculty, and our allied health care colleagues go above and beyond to provide a safe environment for our patients and for each other. I see amazing examples of flexibility, and a willingness to work together and to foster new collaborations across the department.  We see impressive growth in rhinology and skull base surgery, laryngology, head and neck surgery, and facial plastic surgery with the addition of diverse new faculty members.  Our work in pediatric otolaryngology, otology/neuro-otology, and sleep surgery/medicine remains robust, and clinical care in general otolaryngology is increasing at our Northwest campus.  We continue to look for new opportunities as our footprint expands at all UW sites.

Our research portfolio is blossoming. With our new cohort of assistant professors, our established faculty, and the appointment of Dr. David Raible as Professor of Otolaryngology-HNS and the Bloedel Chair in Basic Hearing Research, our research mission has unlimited potential. We are experiencing a marked upsurge in grants submitted and awarded in all areas under the research directorship of Dr. Jenny Stone.

The UW OTO-HNS cultural commitment effort continues to be central to all our activities. We have seen tangible progress, but there is much work to be done. Our current efforts are focused on developing interpersonal communication skills that reinforce our commitment to mutual respect across our diverse community.
The fall season also brings the resident recruitment process to the fore. Our residency program director, Dr. Tanya Meyer, our program coordinator, Ms. Dominique Calhoun, and our resident application czar, Dr. Henry Ou, are preparing the faculty and residents for a comprehensive virtual interview experience that ensures a fair and thorough evaluation process for our applicants. New this year, in accordance with our GME office, we are inviting applicants to provide a “distance travelled” statement that will offer us greater insight into their individual paths to Otolaryngology-HNS.

As we continue to emerge from the Covid 19 pandemic, our hearts go out to all who have suffered illness and loss. We are thankful to have a remarkable group of faculty, staff, and trainees, who are passionate about the work we do and the people we serve. I thank each and every one of them for being a part of this team.

Sincerely, Neal