Cotton-Fitton Endowed Lecture in Pediatric Otolaryngology

About the Cotton-Fitton Endowed Lecture in Pediatric Otolaryngology

Funded by Robin T. Cotton, MD and Cynthia M. Fitton, this award was established to educate otolaryngologists about considerations and care of children with diseases or disorders of the ears, nose, throat, head, and neck.

2023 Honorary Lecturer

Stepping Out of the OR: Observations from a Surgical Social Scientist

Presented during the Annual Meeting on Tuesday, October 3, 10:45 – 11:45 am (CT).

Dana L. Suskind, MD, is a professor of surgery, pediatrics, and public policy (affiliated) at the University of Chicago. She is also the founder of the University’s Pediatric Cochlear Implantation Program and cofounder and codirector of the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health. Her work and research include pediatric cochlear implantation, optimizing children’s foundational brain development, and preventing early cognitive disparities and their lifelong impact.

At the TMW Center, Dr. Suskind and her team develop evidence-based interventions that enable parents, caregivers, practitioners, and researchers to use the power of language interactions to address early cognitive disparities at their onset. Specifically, her research optimizes adult-child interactions to influence foundational brain development and positively affect educational outcomes in preschool children, particularly among low socioeconomic households. Dr. Suskind and her team have developed and tested a suite of evidence-based behavioral interventions that have reached over 5,000 families in Chicago, Illinois, and beyond.

Dr. Suskind is the author of Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain, and the New York Times bestselling book, Parent Nation: Unlocking Every Child’s Potential, Fulfilling Society’s Promise, which empowers parents to use developmental neuroscience to build a society that works for families.

For her work in advancing a public health approach to foundational brain development, Dr. Suskind was awarded the Nautilus Books for a Better World Award in 2023, the University of Chicago Distinguished Community Service and Advocacy Award in 2022, and the Weizmann Women for Science Vision and Impact Award in 2017, among many others. She also serves as a member on the Advisory Council of Too Small to Fail.

About the Lecture

Dr. Suskind will highlight the unique role that pediatric otolaryngologists play in helping patients thrive physically, intellectually, and emotionally, with a focus on the ways in which that power—and responsibility—extends beyond the clinic and the operating room.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand how a physician’s training and experience in otolaryngology makes them uniquely equipped to make a difference for patients outside the OR/clinic.
  2. Recognize the value of considering and addressing the social and environmental factors that impact patients’ health and wellbeing.
  3. Be empowered to help to improve overall health outcomes and reduce health disparities across patient populations.

Previous Honorary Lecturers:

  • 2021: Ellen M. Friedman, MD
  • 2019: Rahul K. Shah, MD, MBA
  • 2017: Jennifer Shin, MD, SM
  • 2015: Marci M. Lesperance, MD
  • 2013: Joseph P. Kerschner, MD
  • 2011: Lauren D. Holinger, MD
  • 2009: Jonathan Klein, MD, MPH
  • 2007: Marshall E. Smith, MD
  • 2005: Patrick Froehlich, MD
  • 2003: Richard J. H. Smith, MD
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