UH Ear, Nose & Throat Institute Fall 2020 Update

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Innovations in Ear, Nose & Throat | Fall 2020

By Nicole Maronian, MD
Director, Ear, Nose & Throat Institute

Even in these unprecedented times, University Hospitals Ear, Nose & Throat Institute has remained steadfast in delivering critical care with a patient-first outlook. Our experts came together and pivoted quickly, not only to maintain essential services and education, but also to implement new processes that ultimately, and most importantly, improve access and care for our ENT patients.

Nicole Maronian, MD Nicole Maronian, MD

The past year has demanded widespread changes for University Hospitals Health System and other providers worldwide. Looking back on 2020, I am incredibly proud of the role our health system and the UH ENT Institute has taken to help prevent and treat this novel coronavirus. UH has also stepped forward to stop racism and social injustice in a measured and actionable way – with engaged ENT faculty and residents in full support.

Despite the challenges, we continued to grow our team and embrace new opportunities for innovation, such as virtual healthcare delivery. Although we continued to see clinic patients in person and safely operate every day throughout the crisis, telehealth visits became a new way of life. Our implementation of COVID-19 processes and procedures allowed us to restart elective surgeries May 1. ENT was the first department to test all surgical patients at our institution. We were confident in our ability to keep our patients, residents and faculty safe throughout this process.

We learned to improvise in our resident/fellow education, onboard new faculty, and learned to “zoom” in and out of multiple meetings each day. This has accelerated our push toward virtual interviews, online meet-and-greet events and even virtual AIs. We are very appreciative of the medical students who have helped us learn what they needed and allowed us to evolve our practices in turn.

In Cleveland, racism and social injustice is personal, as we have been directly impacted in our community by violence against black Americans. National highlights this past year, accelerated the pathway already set by University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center’s Office of Community Impact, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (CEDI). Many of our faculty and residents participated in listening events at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine focused on underrepresented minorities, local White Coats For Black Lives events, and a directed ENT-specific lecture series. All faculty and residents completed bias training, and this is now an embedded component of our teaching curriculum to assure we provide an inclusive, equitable and diverse environment that provides culturally relevant patient care consistent with our UH mission: To Heal. To Teach. To Discover.

I am pleased to extend congratulations to our Distinguished Physician Class of 2020. These physicians are recognized informally within the walls of their institutions by colleagues, learners and patients, who are frequently asked to care for other faculty and family members of their medical community.

For ENT, this includes Todd Otteson, MD, MPH, Ted Teknos, MD, and myself. We join, Dr. Pierre Lavertu and Dr. Rod Rezaee, who are already part of this esteemed group.

On a personal note, I am honored to receive the newly created Richard W. and Patricia R. Pogue Chair in Otolaryngology Leadership in 2020. As the inaugural recipient of this endowed chair, this maintains the legacy of the Pogue family within our Department for every future Chair. With this recognition, UH ENT Institute now has five chairs — a significant achievement for academic departments in otolaryngology nationally.

As I review these last several months, I am humbled by the all of the members of our UH otolaryngology community here at University Hospitals. The innovation, resilience and insistence on keeping the patient first, despite all challenges, continues to be central to our culture. This resonates beyond our corridors and ultimately provides the brightest spotlight on our people. I am pleased to highlight many of them, and other accomplishments in this newsletter.  

Despite the ongoing uncertainty, I am confident as we look forward to 2021!

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