Fall 2019 UH Ear Nose & Throat Institute Update

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A message from Nicole C. Maronian, MD, Director and Chair

Innovations in Ear, Nose & Throat | Fall 2019

Nicole Maronian, MD Nicole Maronian, MD

From microscopic genes and nanoparticles to global telemedicine connectivity, the physicians and researchers at University Hospitals Ear, Nose & Throat Institute are exploring novel opportunities to advance translational research and offer innovative therapies in otolaryngology.

As we near the end of 2019, our department has experienced robust growth while carrying on our tradition of excellence in clinical care, scientific study and professional mentorship. I am inspired each day by the ongoing engagement and dedication of our faculty, fellows, residents, nurse practitioners and researchers. With several exciting initiatives under way, here is a glimpse of some notable highlights.

RESEARCH AND INNOVATION

In a jointly owned collaboration between University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University, Kumar Alagramam, PhD, Director of Research for UH Ear, Nose & Throat Institute and Anthony J. Maniglia Chair for Research and Education and Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and his research team have developed a precise animal model to genetically target hearing loss in children and adults with Usher syndrome type 3A. As highlighted in The Wall Street Journal, Boston-based precision genetic medicine company Akouos has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement to develop gene therapy that could one day stop the progression of hearing loss and prevent deafness in this underserved patient population.

A $250,000 Department of Defense grant is funding a novel investigation into the development of a biologic bandage to reduce scarring in laryngotracheal injury. N. Scott Howard, MD, MBA, Director of University Hospitals Center for Voice, Airway and Swallowing Disorders and Assistant Professor at the School of Medicine, is testing the efficacy of drug-eluding nanoparticles suspended in the biologic bandage in an animal model of subglottic stenosis.

A pilot program is providing virtual visits to appropriately selected post-op patients via a secure digital platform. Brian D’Anza, MD, Division of Rhinology, Sinus and Skull Base Surgery and Lead, Innovation and Digital Health at UH Ear, Nose & Throat Institute and Assistant Professor at the School of Medicine, is also leading system initiatives to connect emergency departments throughout our 18 hospital region to ENT specialists and improve care access through same-day virtual appointments with ENT experts.

UH ENT LEADERSHIP 

Kumar Alagramam, PhD, was promoted to full professor with tenure at the School of Medicine.

Sarah Mowry, MD, was promoted to Residency Program Director and Interim Director of the Division of Otology/Neurotology at UH Cleveland Medical Center, as well as Associate Professor at the School of Medicine.

Brian D’Anza, MD, was chosen as a 2019 Carol and Arthur F. Anton Physician Leader Fellow to further leadership development at UH Cleveland Medical Center. This program was created through the Antons’ vision to lead academic medical centers in the development of physician leaders, leveraging a variety of learning vehicles including classroom, project and experiential programs that deliver an opportunity for application in immediate and tangible ways. The fellowship also includes a leadership developmental program at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health for physicians in academic health centers.

Nicole Fowler, MD, was chosen as a participant in FLEX: A Professional Development Program for Women Faculty of the School of Medicine. The customized program provides training and skills development to help talented women faculty advance their careers and prepare for leadership opportunities.

Rod Rezaee, MD, was honored with the designation of Senior Surgeon at University Hospitals for his clinical expertise and mentorship. He was also chosen to serve on the Annual Meeting Program Committee of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS). Further, he is a participant in the 2020 class of the Physicians Leadership Advancement Program (PLAP) as part of the UH Leadership Institute to develop, practice and apply new leadership skills systemwide.

UH ENT PHYSICIANS RECOGNIZED BY CLEVELAND MAGAZINE "BEST DOCTORS"

Congratulations to the following physicians who were named "Best Doctors" by Cleveland Magazine in 2019.

EDUCATION AND COLLABORATION

In 2019, all five graduating residents of the Otolaryngology Residency Program opted to enter fellowship programs. They were highly sought after, matching in top fellowships due to the breadth of their clinical training and desire to remain in academic medicine.

The 17th Annual Temporal Bone Surgical Course, hosted by UH Ear, Nose & Throat Institute, boasted a record number of attendees this year. Guest faculty included: 

  • Yuri Agrawal, MD, MPH, Associate Professor, Division of Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
  • Erika Woodson, MD, FACS, Division of Otology/Neurotology, Director of the Cochlear Implant Program at the Head & Neck Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

SAVE THE DATE: The University Hospitals ENT 2020 Otolaryngology Symposium will be held June 5, 2020. 

GIVING TO ENT

Thanks to a tremendous grassroots effort, UH is now the global center for enlarged vestibular aqueduct (EVA) research, serving families and children coping with this rare, progressive form of congenital hearing loss. Under the leadership of Todd Otteson, MD, Division Chief of Pediatric Otolaryngology, the center owes its start to University Hospitals Institutional Relations & Development Department team member Don Luscher, Director, Regional Development, who worked alongside the Wuliger and Tenebruso families to raise awareness and over $300,000 to create the first-ever national EVA database. Recently, Luscher walked the Appalachian Trail to raise additional funds. We are actively seeking additional patients to the Global EVA Database. We would welcome donations to further this critical initiative.

The University Hospitals Department of Otolaryngology recently established the Dr. Anthony J. Maniglia Alumni Society, in honor of the first official department chair. We have had a terrific response by former alumni and look forward to utilizing this fund to augment future resident training.

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