Happy New Year from the American Head and Neck Society (AHNS)! It continues to be tremendously challenging times navigating the Global Pandemic and its significant pressures on our professional and personal lives. Despite these challenges, our AHNS has demonstrated strength and resilience. I would like to thank my fellow leaders and members of the society who have continued to guide this great organization and further its mission to advance education, research, quality, and equity of care for head and neck oncology patients.
Throughout the ongoing pandemic, our society maintained a high level of educational offerings through virtual education for our members, for our colleagues nationally and internationally, and for our fellows. Thank you to our sections and services who dedicated their time and expertise on webinars and virtual tumor boards. These efforts and programs were critical to advancing knowledge within our field, which in turn enables us to provide the highest quality of patient care. I look forward to these learning opportunities in 2022.
As you know, we established a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Division over this past year. Congratulations to Dr. Amy Chen, who is serving as the Interim Chair, and Dr. Melonie Nance, who is the Interim Vice-Chair. In addition, Dr. Rene Leemans is serving as the new Interim International Representative to the Executive Committee and we are grateful for all of their wisdom and guidance within our leadership team.
The leadership continues to work hard on making sure the society is relevant and meets the needs of its members. The Executive Committee will be convening at the conclusion of the Multi-Disciplinary Meeting in Phoenix this February to examine key areas of desired evolution and strategic growth. I look forward to sharing what we develop and conclude after this important strategic planning leadership meeting.
In addition to working internally on strengthening the AHNS, we have continued to expand our reputation publicly through our partnership with Stand Up to Cancer. AHNS, along with the Fanconi Anemia Research Fund, the Farrah Fawcett Foundation and the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance are working with Stand Up to Cancer to help fund a research team to concentrate on new approaches to address head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, with an emphasis on cancers related to the human papillomavirus (HPV) and Fanconi anemia. Thank you to Past President Dr. Cherie-Ann Nathan on beginning this important initiative.
We are pushing forward on having our first in-person scientific meeting since the Global Pandemic began. Please save the dates for this year’s Annual Meeting during COSM, which will occur April 27-28, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. Drs. Jim Rocco and Jeff Liu are finalizing an engaging conference and I am excited to welcome all of you for two days of enlightening education, camaraderie, and the ability to connect with each other, which has been well overdue.
Thank you all for your commitment to the AHNS. It is a real privilege and honor to serve as your President. If you have any suggestions or comments for our society, please do not hesitate to reach out to me through our AHNS headquarters office ([email protected]). My very best wishes for a safe, healthy, and happy 2022!
Bert W. O’Malley, Jr, MD