Message from the President

Daniel Kuriloff

Daniel Kuriloff, MD
President, NYHNS

Dear Members of the New York Head & Neck Society:

I wish to extend a warm welcome to our current, and especially to new members of the society. I am honored and humbled to serve as your President this year, following many esteemed colleagues. As most of you are aware, the New York Head and Neck Society is one of the largest multidisciplinary non-profit organizations of its kind in North America; an arena to exchange and enhance our knowledge and practice concerning the management of head and neck tumors. The society was initially founded in 1979, with an emphasis on oncologic extirpative surgery. However, as the field has advanced there has been a continued effort to achieve both the highest possible cure rates for cancer, as well as organ preservation and restoration of both form and function.

Using combined modality treatment, a patient tailored team approach, and reconstructive surgery using free tissue transfer and other techniques, our patients are now able to maintain the best possible quality of life. The society has grown to welcome and include a multidisciplinary participation from the fields of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, General Surgery, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Radiation Oncology, Medical Oncology, Oral Surgery, Dentistry, Maxillofacial Prosthodontics, Pathology, Radiology, Endocrinology, and others. This collaborative cross specialty interaction is what makes our society so vital and unique in fulfilling its mission. As the landscape of medical economics, politics, and tort reform continue to evolve, the Society and its membership face new and on-going challenges providing the optimal care for our patients.

While times have changed, our mission has not. I encourage everyone to invite their residents and fellows to consider applying for membership in the society as well as attending our excellent meetings throughout the year. The proffered paper session is a chance for residents and fellows to actively contribute to the society’s mission. The four dinner meetings allow a unique social exchange among junior and senior faculty and colleagues from many disciplines around the Tri-State area.

I want to congratulate the members of the Executive Council this year for a productive and well-attended first organizational meeting. (President elect-David Kutler, Secretary-Eric Genden, Treasurer-Missak Haigentz, Past Presidents- Richard Smith, David Myssiorek, and Steven Rush, Research- Bhoomi Mehrotra, Paper/Education- Sal Caruana & Jay Boyle, Program Committee- Bradly Schiff, Helen Yoo-Bowne and Ken Hu, Membership-Erik Cohen, Website- Richard Smith, By-laws-Jay Boyle and Member-at-large-David Kutler. They have put together an excellent program for this coming academic year and I encourage everyone to attend and participate in the cross fertilization that these meetings foster.

Please mark your calendars for the following events: October 19th, 2011, January 18th, 2012 and March 14th, 2012. The President’s meeting this year will be held on May 30th, 2012 at the National Arts Center (Topic & Speaker TBA). Changes to the schedule of events will be posted on this Website so please stay tuned.

Our first meeting of the year will be held at NYU Medical Center on October 19th. Dr. Ralph Tufano from the Johns Hopkins Medical Center and Dr. R. Michael Tuttle from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will be speaking on the Management of Recurrent Thyroid Cancer from a Surgical and Non-surgical Perspective. I am sure there will be lively discussion on this controversial topic.

The second meeting will be hosted by The Mount Sinai Medical Center on January 18th. The topic will be the Evaluation and Management of the Unknown Primary Head & Neck Cancer. Dr. Louis Harrison from the Beth Israel Department of Radiation Oncology and Dr. Robert Ferris from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Otolaryngology will be discussing their differing approaches to this challenging problem. Their respective presentations should not be missed!

The third meeting will be hosted by the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on March 14th, 2012. It will be a combined proffered paper session with our usual selection of first, second and third places for awards followed by a guest speaker. Dr. Fadlo Khuri from the Emory Winship Cancer Center in Atlanta, Georgia, will be discussing the topic of Single Modality Therapy for Head & Neck Cancer with Chemotherapy.

Our final meeting, President’s Night be held at the National Arts Club for a change of venue on May 30th, 2012.

Now a word about funds—As you would surmise, the economic downturn and increasing regulations have resulted in declining corporate support. In addition, chronic delinquency of dues payments by members has also played a significant role in the decline of the financial health of our society. As a remedy, the Executive Council voted to initiate a single annual dues system. This means that dues will be paid in one annual payment and increased to $300. This will include the cost of the three annual scientific meetings (October, January and March). The President’s Night event will be paid for separately and not included in the one-time annual dues. We hope that members who have failed to pay dues in the the past will reconsider forfeiting their membership status this year.

The website will be updated this year by Dr. Richard Smith who volunteered to keep the site current. The intent is to add a list of all dues-paying members of the Society and improve the general information provided by the website. Dr. Haigentz has set up a Google Group mail listserv which will be beta tested first by the Executive Counsel as an eventual open forum for the membership to discuss issues related to the NYHNS, difficult case management issues etc. The committee members all agreed that the site will need close monitoring to avoid HIPAA violations and any inappropriate use.

Have a great year ahead.

Daniel B. Kuriloff, M.D., FACS
President 2011-2012