Previous Presidential Citations Awardees

AAO-HNSF 2023 Annual Meeting & OTO Experience: Presidential Citations 2023

 

The Presidential Citations are given to individuals who have had a profound influence on the AAO-HNS/F President’s life and otolaryngology career. President Kathleen L. Yaremchuk, MD, MSA, has selected these individuals for their outstanding contributions.

Sujana S. Chandrasekhar, MD

Dr. Sujana Chandrasekhar is a force of nature and has been an inspiration to women in otolaryngology. As a graduate of the House Ear Institute and a premier neurotologist, she is a prolific clinician, author, and researcher. Dr. Chandrasekhar has served as a mentor and sponsor for women in academics. As chair of the Women in Otolaryngology Section and President of the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery and American Otologic Society, she has furthered gender equity within our specialty in many ways.

A landmark moment occurred in 2017, during a Panel Presentation where eight men served as speakers. Dr. Chandrasekhar went to the microphone to ask why there were no women on the panel? The term, “manel,” became a common term for professional presentations where only men were included. Since that time, gender equity is taken into consideration when education programs are being developed and accepted. Every scientific presentation, panel discussion, or award ceremony is evaluated based on equitable representation of women on the dais.

Dr. Chandrasekhar, who was inducted in the AAO-HNS Hall of Distinction in 2022, is charismatic, has a smile that will light up a room, and communicates with style and grace. As a mentor and sponsor, she exemplifies the best in our field and will continue to be a trailblazer for our specialty.

 

Mark A. Kelley, MD

Dr. Mark Kelley served as executive vice president and chief medical officer for the Henry Ford Health System and chief executive Officer of the Henry Ford Medical Group. In that role, he was responsible for selecting the departmental chairs, and in 2008, he chose me to serve as the chair of the Department of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery. At the time there were only five women chairs of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery programs nationally, and I was the only woman chair within the Henry Ford Medical Group. During Dr. Kelley’s tenure, I was given leadership opportunities and learned the importance of mentorship and sponsorship in opening the doors to equality.

The leadership position of chair allowed me to serve as a role model for others within Henry Ford Health and elsewhere nationally.  Whether it was the opportunity of breaking the glass ceiling, clearing the sludgy pipeline, or mending the broken rungs of the leadership ladder, I am extremely grateful for Dr. Kelley’s support, mentorship, and sponsorship during my career. His humor was a constant reminder not to “sweat the small stuff, and it is all small stuff.”

Dr. Kelley recognized the importance of physician leadership within academic healthcare and endowed a Physician Leadership Institute at Henry Ford Health to continue the tradition and grow the necessary investment into future leaders. He continues to pay it forward by recently serving as a visiting scholar at the Harvard Business School. He is also a physician educator at Massachusetts General Hospital and a faculty member at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Kelley served as chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine and its Foundation and has been a director of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the American Board of Medical Specialties, and the American Medical Group Association.

Pell Ann Wardrop, MD

Dr. Pell Ann Wardrop is a longtime colleague and friend who practices in Lexington, Kentucky. Neither of us can remember the first time we met, but our paths crossed during our involvement in organizing and charting the path of the Women in Otolaryngology (WIO) Section, sleep medicine, and the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery.

Dr. Wardrop was one of the founders of the WIO Endowment and served as WIO’s financial officer. It should be recognized that when Dr. Wardrop and I completed residency, women were less than 2% of the otolaryngology workforce. We have come a long way.

Dr. Wardrop succeeded me as the Chair of the AAO-HNS Sleep Disorders Committee. When it was possible to become board certified in the subspecialty of sleep medicine in 2008, she formed a study group of other otolaryngologists, and we shared notes and attended review courses together where otolaryngologists were a small minority.

We were co-editors of the multidisciplinary book, Sleep Medicine that was favorably reviewed by the Journal of the American Medical Association and recommended as a go-to resource for primary care physicians as well as specialists for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders.

Besides being professional colleagues, we have been roomies at professional meetings and vacationed together, and she and her husband Mike have been members of our family during weddings and mutual times of need.

Yaremchuk Family

We all know the importance of our family who support us during our professional careers. My love and appreciation for my children knows no bounds. My daughters, Laura and Marcy (and husband Christopher), and son, Garet (and wife Dayna), grew up knowing that a phone call from the hospital could change whatever we were doing at a moment’s notice. They experienced being in the car to go shopping and ended up in the break room in the operating room when a call came in and an emergency case at the hospital needed my presence.

Laura, Marcy, and Garet grew up thinking the MD after my name or on my white coat meant “Mommy Doctor” and always thought women were meant to be surgeons or whatever they aspired to achieve and become. It was also common for them to believe their mother could take care of their medical problems as well as those of all their friends. They had the opportunity to attend many AAO-HNS/F Annual Meetings since my time at work meant time away from family, and Annual Meetings could be considered a vacation and time together while being away from home.

I want to thank them for their understanding and patience with me when I dropped them off at school on days they didn’t have school and waited patiently outside of swim practice at the wrong pool. Hopefully, they learned resilience and flexibility when plans changed despite the best laid plans.

My love and thanks to my husband, Paul Nielsen, who often greets me at the door after a long day with, “What can I do to make your day better?” He somehow has learned that weekends are much like weekdays and that 14-hour days can be the norm. Paul has learned to accept schedules that change by the minute, and he understands that medicine is a career that is 24/7, unlike other professional positions. When I ask Paul, “How are you?” He unfailingly answers, “I am in love.”

There’s not much else I can say to the individuals who have always supported me in my career and personal life. I appreciate you all so much.

The Presidential Citations are given to individuals who have had a profound influence on the AAO-HNS/F President’s life and otolaryngology career. President Ken Yanagisawa, MD, selected these individuals for their outstanding contributions.

Debbie Osborn

Ms. Osborn is a true trailblazer who initiated and then spearheaded my avid interest in advocacy. As Executive Director of the Connecticut ENT Society, Connecticut Society of Eye Physicians, Connecticut Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery Society, and Connecticut Urology Society, she had the vision many years ago to bring a coalition of over 1,000 doctors in the state of Connecticut together to speak with one unified voice to our legislature and to our payers. She initially arranged for me to meet with many of our key state senate and house leaders during our annual legislative and Doctors Days, and then sharpened my abilities to draft, edit, and deliver testimony to our legislature. Our teamwork continues to yield many successes and advances.

Her fierce drive and dynamic energy backed by her unyielding perseverance to support and assist all physicians in our state has strengthened our voice and brought recognition and attention by Capitol legislators and private payers alike. She is the heartbeat of the Connecticut ENT Society—the force organizing medical, legal, and regulatory education; establishing and fostering relationships with key legislative contacts to enlighten them and garner their support for our issues and concerns; and advancing public relationship projects and campaigns.

Ms. Osborn has enriched my skills as a physician on many fronts well beyond my clinical skills, and I am delighted to recognize her with a 2022 AAO-HNS Presidential Citation.

 

Betty Sullivan

Ms. Sullivan is the most remarkable administrator who I have ever had the privilege to work with. She has served as the Practice Manager for Southern New England Ear, Nose, Throat and Facial Plastic Surgery Group, LLP, for over 30 years and epitomizes the consummate manager who builds and maintains practice efficiency and success.

Her indefatigable work ethic, exceptional business acumen, and resolute loyalty have been invaluable in helping me to navigate our practice through the challenges of payer reimbursement issues, mounting human resource concerns, including the plethora of COVID-19 problems over the past few years, and managing our staff of 80 employees. The fact that we have over 20 employees who have worked for our company for over 30 years is directly attributable to her management style and communication skills. She provides leadership with utmost professionalism and kindness to all members of our organization incorporating fair-mindedness and foresight to foster harmony and unity. She is the proverbial “glue” of our practice.

As we embark on ever-evolving practice challenges, Ms. Sullivan and I will continue to work closely together to guide our organization forward, forging ahead with innovative solutions and implementations. It is an honor to recognize Ms. Sullivan with a 2022 AAO-HNS Presidential Citation.

Eiji Yanagisawa, MD

My father, Dr. Eiji Yanagisawa, Clinical Professor of Surgery at Yale University School of Medicine, has served as my role model and my inspirational mentor from childhood to the present time. He founded our practice, Southern New England Ear, Nose, Throat and Facial Plastic Surgery Group, in the 1960s with Dr. Howard Smith, and the practice has grown and flourished for over 60 years.

He graduated from Nihon University School of Medicine and came from Japan to Yale otolaryngology residency on a Fulbright Scholarship. He worked in private practice for his entire career. He profoundly influenced the training and development of over 100 Yale residents, encouraging their participation in clinical research as they spent countless hours working in his legendary basement video studio.

His numerous leadership roles included President of the American Broncho-Esophagological Association (ABEA) and Vice President of the Eastern Section of the Triological Society; he also received Presidential Citations from the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS), American Otological Society, American Laryngological Association (twice), and Triological Society; he also received the Chevalier Jackson Award from the ABEA and lifetime achievement awards from AAO-HNS and the Politzer Society. As he gained international recognition for his work in photographic and video documentation in otolaryngology, Dr. Eugene Myers affectionately called him the “photo-laryngologist!”

My father initiated my interest in otolaryngology and cultivated this interest throughout my training. His absolute dedication, expectation of attainable perfection, and Herculean work ethic toward his patients and profession were admirable and contagious.

He taught me the secrets of optimal patient care, including a warm greeting, the power of careful empathetic listening, and treating all with honesty, compassion, and respect. He, along with my (deceased) mother, June, have been my steadfast champions. It is my greatest honor to present a 2022 AAO-HNS Presidential Citation to Dr. Eiji Yanagisawa.

Yanagisawa Family

My wife, Julia Shi, MD, is the singular reason I have attained the successes and achievements of my personal and professional career. Her unwavering support and understanding through college, medical school, residency, and throughout my 30 years of private practice have allowed me to challenge and develop my expanding horizons and directions. Her multiple roles include serving as the medical director for the CMU/APT Foundation, which treats substance abuse patients.

Julia’s common sense, calm and reassuring demeanor sprinkled with humor, and consistent principles of fairness and honesty have always steered me in the right direction. Whenever challenging times arise, Julia always provides the understanding, balance, and thoughtfulness to fashion logical and effective options and resolutions.

Our most precious gift is our five children— Katie (and husband Ben and daughter Fallon), Michael, Mark (and fiancée Shauna), Jon, and Kevin. Throughout my career, I have always focused my priorities on family, nurturing their growth, successes, and blossoming careers. Without my children, I would never have pioneered and run our girls softball little league, coached so many sports and officiated so many swimming meets, sharpened my sports photography skills, or attended so many musical recitals. Thanks to them, I expanded my participatory and leadership roles in a wide variety of nonmedical venues.

The joys and bonding that all of these endeavors brought and all of my family’s accommodations and understanding when work obligations pulled me away are immensely cherished and appreciated. It is with great joy and adoration that I present a 2022 AAO-HNS Presidential Citation to the Yanagisawa Family.

The Presidential Citations are given to individuals who have had a profound influence on the AAO-HNS/F President’s life and otolaryngology career. President Carol R. Bradford, MD, MS, selected these individuals for their outstanding contributions.

Gregory T. Wolf, MD

Gregory T. Wolf, MD

Gregory T. Wolf, MD, serves as professor emeritus in the Department of Otolaryngology-

Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Michigan Medical School. A dedicated academician, he has served the tripartite mission throughout his career. He served as chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Michigan from 1992 until January 1, 2009, when I had the privilege and honor of succeeding him as chair.I have always felt that I stand on the shoulders of the giants who led before me, and Greg was definitely the embodiment of this. Greg served as chair of the department from my first day as a faculty member until I took over as chair 17 years later. I have fond memories of the annual departmental Fourth of July picnics held at his home where we welcomed new faculty and residents. It is a tradition that I continued when I became chair.

Greg was deeply committed to my success and served as an inspiration as well as a mentor for my career as a surgeon–scientist. When the going got tough regarding garnering extramural funding, Greg continued to support me and my research. Shortly thereafter I received my R01 grant and was fortunate to benefit from grant funding throughout my time at Michigan. Greg built a legacy of caring deeply for patients, families, learners, and colleagues. Always a gentleman and a scholar, I would not be standing before you today as President of the AAO-HNS/F were it not for the support, sponsorship, and mentorship of Dr. Greg Wolf.

 

James C. Denneny III, MD James C. Denneny III, MD

James C. Denneny III, MD, serves as the Executive Vice President and CEO of the AAO-HNS/F, a role he has held since December 2014. In addition, he served as the President of the AAO-HNS/F for the 2007-2008 term. Jim’s work ethic and commitment to the Academy is unmatched.

As we begin to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, I felt it was critically important for me, on behalf of all our members, to show our gratitude for Jim’s ongoing efforts to bring the global otolaryngology community together. The role that the Academy has played during these turbulent times is truly remarkable and demonstrates the fortitude of our specialty.

Jim led the way in providing timely guidance on safety of our workforce, offering practices information on how to apply for payroll protection program loans, articulating vaccine prioritization for otolaryngologists to state governors, endorsing the importance of inclusive diversity, equity, and wellness for our entire society, planning a celebration of our 125th anniversary and honoring our rich history, and leading the renewed strategic plan.

He did all of this while also engaging the AAO-HNS/F in the virtual meeting space so that the crucial work continued, including our first-ever AAO-HNSF Virtual Annual Meeting in 2020. Not only were the programs and services maintained under his leadership, but they thrived with innovation and collaboration, a standard in the way Jim has approached his role as EVP/CEO throughout his tenure.

We are so lucky to have a leader who has our backs and works tirelessly to secure our future as a specialty society.

David Bradford

David Bradford

Dave and I have been married since June 12, 1982, which was just before I entered medical school. I would not be standing before you as your President were it not for the amazing support of my husband of 39 years. We met my freshman year of college at the University of Michigan. Dave is an engineer who worked for an Ann Arbor-based heating and cooling company.

We are blessed to be the parents of two amazing children: Taylor (28), a computer science engineer who worked in Information Technology for Boyne Resorts and lives with his wife, Katy, in Big Sky, Montana; and Morgan (25), a second-year medical student at the University of Michigan.

Dave held down the fort during years of long hours in medical school, residency, faculty, and my many leadership roles. His unwavering support and encouragement for me and our family in this way has allowed all of us to shine, propel, and achieve our personal aspirations.

Dave shares much of what the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg shared of her late husband, “I have had the great good fortune to share life with a partner truly extraordinary for his generation, a man who believed at age 18 when we met, and who believes today, that a woman’s work, whether at home or on the job, is as important as a man’s.”

Thank you, Dave, for your calm leadership and somehow figuring out how to make our household a home.

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