Dear Members of the Reconstructive Head and Neck Surgery Section,
The July 2021 AHNS meeting marks the end of the term for me as the Section Chair and Dr. Derrick Lin as Vice-chair. We wanted to take this opportunity to update you on the various activities of the section, solicit interest and participation from you as section members, and welcome the incoming leadership of our section moving forward.
Two years ago, the AHNS leadership introduced the matrix initiative that reorganized the society and launched a number of Sections including ours. We created a Section Board that served as a governance body as we moved ahead with work in a variety of areas to accomplish our mission goals. The primary work of the section was accomplished through several committees, each with its own purpose, leadership and composition.
The Research Committee has been very active over the past 2 years under the guidance of Dr. Jeremy Richmon. We have brought over 5 multi-disciplinary studies to completion as they move on to presentation and publication. Study concepts come largely from the committee members, though ideas and participation are welcomed from the section at large. This has formed the backbone of collaboration and productivity of many of our members.
Dr. Lisa Shnayder has led our Mentorship Committee which has been a great resource for junior and senior members alike. The committee has been active with panel presentations related to career development and also research into the area of faculty burnout to which our section members are particularly vulnerable. We have engaged in use of real time social media to communicate which was especially helpful to many of our members as we dealt with the impact of the pandemic on our patients, our practice, and ourselves.
The Education Committee was very productive with Dr. Matt Old directing that group of members. The committee has been working on web-based content for our membership and also for patients. Much of the planned contribution for the AHNS 2020 meeting had to be put on hold, and was partially put in to place for 2021. Despite the impact of the pandemic, the committee adapted to create virtual content and educational activities that allowed us to make progress towards educational goals. The AHNS Fellows Bootcamp has been re-activated this year, which continues to serve as a maquis hands-on educational course for our current fellows.
The Quality and Value Committee has also been active under the guidance of Dr. Tamer Ghanem. The committee was initially focused on broad themes of defining quality and designing protocols to derive value in patient care. One of the main initiatives was to develop an ERAS protocol for patients undergoing free tissue transfer, and this is a nearly completed task. In the future, this group may turn its eyes to database creation and defining quality metrics in our field.
We welcome the new leadership of our section. Dr. Jeremy Richmon and Dr. Matt Old will assume the positions of Chair and Vice-chair respectively. They will be charged with developing the next iteration of structure for our section and its various committees.
On their behalf, I’d like to invite members of the section to nominate or self-nominate individuals to various committees of the section. We are seeking members who would like to participate and are also prepared to do the work that accompanies this participation. Committees generally convene on a monthly basis, with ongoing work in between. If you are interested, please respond by email to, [email protected], with a paragraph statement (100-150 words) describing your interests, attributes, and thoughts on your contribution to the section in the next 2 weeks.
Lastly, I’d like to thank our Section Board. This included the Committee chairs above as well as Drs. Kelly Malloy, Mark Wax, Matt Hanasono, and Rod Rezaee. They’ve done a great job helping to guide us through the formation of our section and assuring that we put our best foot forward. It’s been an honor and pleasure serving as Section Chair over this term and I look forward to future successes of the Section.
Urjeet A. Patel, MD FACS