Message from the Chair

December, 2018

Our academic year is in full swing and the department is rocking in all areas of clinical activity, research and education. Dr. Jake Dahl in our pediatric otolaryngology division, and Dr. Brittany Barber in our head and neck oncology and reconstruction division, are already making indelible marks caring for our growing patient population and innovative academic activity. In addition, Dr. J.P. Giliberto will be joining our laryngology division in February, and Dr. Gavi Kohlberg will arrive in the summer to specialize in otology and neuro-otology. Several additional faculty recruitment efforts are underway to address department growth in multiple divisions.

We recently concluded our didactic and cadaver-based resident courses in Rhinology and Endoscopic Sinus Surgery led by Drs. Greg Davis and Ian Humphreys, and the Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Course led by Drs. Amit Bhrany, Maya Sardesai, and Kris Moe. In addition to our own trainees, otolaryngology residents from both the Madigan and OHSU programs joined us as well as UW residents from Ophthalmology and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

We also attracted over 80 participants to our 8th annual Pacific Northwest Head and Neck Surgery Course, this year focusing on “HPV and Oral Pharyngeal Cancer: What Every Provider Needs to Know.” This comprehensive multi-disciplinary effort was led by Drs. Jeff Houlton, Tina Rodriguez, myself and our colleagues at Swedish Hospital. Renowned local and national faculty together with engaged participants made all these courses tremendously successful. In addition to his duties as the current president of the AAO-HNS, Dr. Al Merati hosted this year’s Fall Voice Conference in Seattle. Not only were there a record number of scientific abstracts, but nearly 500 attendees took part, shattering both marks by over 30% from prior highs.

Research excellence is core to our department, and Drs. Ed Weaver and Jenny Stone, with the assistance of multiple faculty and staff, created a brilliant proposal to renew our T32 research training grant. There is wonderful department engagement among the faculty and residents to innovate, create and modify pathways to strengthen the program and residency.

Once again, I am truly humbled and appreciative of the incredibly hard work and dedication of our faculty and trainees to excel in all aspects of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery and to advance our field. In addition to addressing the many practical matters necessary for our department to thrive, we focus on maintaining and growing our leadership within UW Medicine. We have clear goals in research, education and clinical work which will guide our work over the next several years. 

Neal