Fall Message from ARS President

Roy Casiano, MD
President of the ARS

It’s been a banner year for the American Rhinologic Society. Under Tim Smith’s leadership, we saw a lot of firsts in 2014. This Society has continued to attract general otolaryngologists, academic rhinologists, and industry partners, through its many innovative educational venues and cutting-edge research. Today’s ARS is truly an uncontested world leader in the field rhinology and endoscopic skull base surgery. Our spring meeting (ARS at COSM), Summer Sinus Symposium (SSS), and fall meeting (ARS at AAOHNS), all saw record attendance this year. With the leadership of Kevin Welsh, Rick Chandra, and Jim Palmer, the SSS has become one of our most successful new educational venues. The highly interactive format of the SSS has become a very popular venue for general otolaryngologists who see patients with common rhinologic complaints, as well as for our industry partners. The fall meeting saw almost 600 attendees, who celebrated the 60th anniversary of the ARS. This year’s guest countries (Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, and Colombia) turned out in force at the Orlando meeting, registering over 100 participants. Including our international registrants, we had over 200 first time attendees.

The board also approved the implementation of new ideas to enhance the value of ARS membership to national and international otolaryngologists. Starting in 2015, the SSS will be free for paid members. This year, with the support of our industry partners (Medtronics, Acclarent, TEVA, Meda Pharmaceuticals, Intersect, and Olympus), we also introduced very successful, and well attended, satellite symposia and hands-on cadaver dissection labs, at both the SSS and fall meetings. We hope to build on these successes for next year’s meetings. We also have collaborated with colleagues in other sister societies. The annual AAOA/ARS combined panel at the fall meeting was a success. Next year we will also be exploring similar combined panels with the North American Skull Base Society (NASBS). As new program chair and president-elect, Peter Hwang, will undoubtedly have his hands full. However, I have no doubt that Peter will do a superb job.

There has been a significant increase in applications from residents, fellows, and otolaryngologists (community and academics), for committee participation in the ARS. This year there were over 60 online applications submitted for committee participation, and almost all were accommodated with their first or second choices. As 1st Vice President, and Chair of the Committee on Committee, John Delgaudio, along with our Executive Vice President, Joe Jacobs, have been charged with refining this process further in 2015, and actively work with the chairs, to define the committee goals, as well as to engage committee members to more effectively achieve their goals. The board also approved expanding our current 1 day Saturday meeting at the fall meeting, to one and a half days, to include a half-day session on Friday. This will go effective at our next fall meeting in Dallas in 2015.

Our corporate support has remained at an all time high, due to the diligent work of Joe Jacobs, Susan Arias, and others in the Development Committee. We all agree that corporate support has become an invaluable financial resource, allowing the Society to fulfill it’s teaching and research mission to its members and patients. We thank all of our corporate partners for their continued collaboration, and their relentless quest for new innovations and products to help our patients, through cutting edge research.

Our “Friends in Research” initiative continues to move forward with donations from the ARS leadership. I’d like to thank all of you that have supported these efforts. Your generosity has not gone unnoticed. If you haven’t contributed to this initiative, please consider making a donation. Also, invite a colleague to do so as well. Without these donations, as with our unrestricted corporate support, it would be impossible to provide the type of research and educational programs we are able to provide today.

Our Fellowship Directors’ Committee, under the direction of Todd Kingdom, reports that fellowship applications are at an all time high, with 55 applications submitted for 24 positions in the 2015 academic year. This presents both an opportunity, but also a challenge, as we move forward in the future. However, suffice to say that all the programs are doing a great job preparing our next generation of rhinologists. This year we engaged all program directors to reach a consensus in a standardized fellows’ case reporting format. Rick Chandra and his adhoc subcommittee developed a case-reporting format that will hopefully be embraced by all programs, and become a helpful piece of information for our resident applicants as well as for the ARS.

The official journal of the ARS, International Forum of Allergy and Rhinology (IFAR), has also had a banner year, ranking 4th place out of all otolaryngology journals, after acheiving an impact factor of almost 2.40. This is a tribute to all our young physician scientists who are constantly striving to be at the cutting edge of research and innovation. I have no doubt that the future of the Society is very bright and in good hands.

Finally, I want to thank all of the board members, committee chairs, and committee members, for all their hard work and commitment to the ARS. It truly has been a team effort. I have no doubt that together we can make 2015 another great year!

Roy Casiano, MD