Industry Round Table

The landscape of corporate support has become a minefield difficult to navigate, at best. Both public scrutiny and increased federal oversight have put a strain on relationships between private corporations and organizations like the Academy. In response, the Academy set out to find a better way to foster relationships with corporate partners, to assist with unrestricted funding needed to continue core initiatives like research and education, while ensuring we adhere to regulations and maintain our values. We believe that by forming substantive relationships with industry companies who align with our mission of empowering our members to provide the best patient care, each of us can leverage the important work of the other. We each benefit by working together to better serve, and communicate with, the otolaryngology—head and neck surgery specialty, its practitioners, and patients.

To that end, we are excited to announce the AAO-HNS Industry Round Table (IRT) program. With the IRT program, we have assembled an unprecedented package that allows the Academy to foster corporate partnerships to further key initiatives of the Academy.

Development of the IRT program began more than a year ago with an external audit of the Academy, evaluating how we can best align with our corporate partners to maximize key relationships for both sides. With the information gather from this audit, our IRT program was designed and publicly launched April 15, 2009. The response from industry has been tremendous. Within the first month, the Academy was able to announce several launch partners including Acclarent, Entellus, Lifestyle Lift, Stryker and Starkey, and more are expected soon.

The benefits of unrestricted money

The key element of the IRT program is that the money coming in is unrestricted. Such funds are vital because they meet all of the federal regulations for financial support, and most importantly, allow the Academy to channel the money to the programs, initiatives, and research that best benefits you the member and the patients that you treat.

With unrestricted funds, the AAO-HNS/F is able to maintain control of the future of its programs, be more responsive to the ever-changing landscape of healthcare delivery, and in turn, provide the best resources for our members to respond and be prepared for those changes. With a financial future that is increasingly secure, the Academy will be able to ensure that key programs vital to serving our members remain strong.

Defining the program

There are two levels of support within the IRT program, the Leadership Circle and the Member. Both levels require a two-year commitment. The Leadership Circle is the premiere level of support and is limited to no more than eight companies. The Member level is open to all companies who wish to participate in supporting the Academy’s mission.

While you the member, your patients, and the Academy are the main benefactors of this program, there is also benefit to the companies that are part of the IRT program. While in the past, the Academy offered an a la carte menu of support opportunities through the annual meeting and other programs, the IRT program provides an organized package that affords the companies involved recognition for their dedication to the specialty. The most visible recognition will be in special thank-you ads in the Bulletin, Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, and The News. You will see signage at the annual meeting and links on our website calling attention to companies involved in the IRT.

The AAO-HNS is one of the first medical specialty societies to launch a unique corporate partnership initiative like the IRT program, and we are excited that our efforts are leading to better financial stability. In the next few weeks, additional partners will be announced, and the Academy will begin planning for the rest of 2009 and beyond.

If you have any questions about the IRT program, or know of companies who share our vision of empowering physicians to provide the patient care, please contact:

Megan Schagrin, Senior Director, Development
American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
1650 Diagonal Road, Alexandria, VA 22314-2857
Phone: 1-703-535-3775 

If you are a company and would like to join the IRT Program, please visit our IRT website