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News from the Section of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery

Dr. Elizabeth Blair's Former Patient Wins Acclaimed Restaurant Award

-Elizabeth Blair, MD, Professor of Head and Neck Surgery, with her patient, chef Grant Achatz, famed for his world-renowned Chicago restaurants including Alinea, Next, and Roister. Achatz was recently honored with a 2016 James Beard award for outstanding restaurant for Alinea, one of the highest honors in the food world. Dr. Blair played an integral role in treating him for advanced tongue cancer. The two are pictured celebrating together at a post-Beard awards party honoring the chef.

Grant Achatz and Elizabeth Blair

OHNS Resident Wins CL&O Research Award

-Kudos to David Walker, MD, PGY4 and incoming co-chief resident, who won 3rd place in the annual Lederer Pierce resident research competition at the Chicago Laryngological and Otological Society on May 10. Dr. Walker was mentored by Michael Gluth, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery. The title of his presentation was Fluoroquinolone-resistant MRSA’s Responsiveness to Ototopical Therapy in Vitro.

-We also congratulate Jonathan Lusardi, MD, our graduating co-chief resident, who presented his work, titled Prognostic Implications of Histologic and Cytogenetic Findings in Mucoepidermoid Carcinoma. Dr. Lusardi was mentored by Elizabeth Blair, MD, Professor of Head and Neck Surgery.

The CL&O is the oldest local Otolaryngology society in the United States.

OHNS research residents

Minimally Invasive Salivary Surgery Course

-We are happy to invite you to attend the second Minimally Invasive Salivary Surgery course on May 22, 2016. This one day ACCME-accredited course is focused on endoscopic surgery in salivary disease. Salivary endoscopy is a unique and promising procedure that can provide significant benefit to patients by alleviating inflammatory salivary disease without the need for open surgery. The course will take place in the Grainger Center for Simulation and Innovation (GCSI) at the NorthShore University HealthSystem's Evanston Hospital. You are welcome to register for the course online at www.northshore.org/classes, and select Simulation Program from the drop down menu. We look forward to seeing you.

View the event brochure

HHT Center of Excellence

-Jayant Pinto, MD, associate professor of surgery, recently performed an injection of Bevacizumab in the nose of a patient with Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT), a genetic disorder of the blood vessels, which affects approximately 1 in 5,000 people. This marks the first time this state of the art treatment has been offered at The University of Chicago Medicine.

This procedure and other complex therapies offered here demonstrate the advanced care provided to such patients. The University of Chicago Medicine is now designated as an HHT Center of Excellence by Cure HHT, the worldwide advocacy group for the disorder. This honor recognizes UCM as the 22nd center in North America and the only such center in Illinois that specializes in the diagnosis and comprehensive care of HHT. A comprehensive team of specialists from many disciplines are ready to treat these complex patients in an interdisciplinary fashion.

Other team members from Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery include Elizabeth Blair, MD, professor, who also treats adults, and Fuad Baroody, MD, professor and director of Pediatric Otolaryngology, who treats children affected with this disorder.

More information about our HHT care, the Center of Excellence designation and the care team

Spring 2016 Dissection Course

-The otolaryngology faculty recently organized a comprehensive dissection course for residents in the program. Residents were instructed on the key dissection steps for basic and advanced head and neck operations by Zhen Gooi, MD, and principles of head and neck imaging by Daniel Ginat, MD, on April 7, 2016. They then carried out these "operations" on cadaver models from April 9-10. For the head and neck procedures, residents were proctored by Drs. Louis Portugal, Nishant Agrawal, Elizabeth Blair, Mihir Bhayani and Zhen Gooi in the UC Simulation laboratories. On day two, residents performed endoscopic sinus procedures, which included pituitary approaches, under the guidance of Drs. Jayant Pinto and Jacquelynne Corey. They also learned open sinus procedures to prepare them for these rare cases.

The course was enjoyed by both faculty and residents, and the faculty plans to extend and strengthen this component of the training program by offering it annually and integrating it with existing didactics. These include annual temporal bone course (led by Michael Gluth, MD), adult airway lab (led by Drs. Corey and Blair), pediatric airway lab (led by Fuad Baroody, MD), and sinus and plastics course (led by Drs. Joseph Raviv and Jeremy Warner, at NorthShore).

dissection course

Dr. Zhen Gooi (left) guiding Dr. Brandon Chiu (PGY2) (center) and Dr. Aimee Kennedy (PGY3) (right) through a parotidectomy.

dissection course gland

Dr. Lusardi, chief resident (right), instructing Dr. Marianella Paz-Lansberg (PGY2) (left) and Dr. Camil Correia (PGY1) (center) on submandibular gland excision.

New Faculty

-Nishant Agrawal, MDwas recruited from Johns Hopkins University to serve as Director of the Head and Neck Surgery program. Dr. Agrawal is a surgeon-scientist with leading expertise in the genomics of cancer. He arrived on campus in October and will bring personalized medicine to our head and neck cancer patients.

Nishant Agrawal, MD

-Zhen Gooi, MD, joined the faculty this pastDecember. Dr. Gooi recently completed residency and fellowship in Head and Neck Surgery at Johns Hopkins University. He will lead our free flap and robotic surgery program.

Additional Recruitment

The Section has been granted approval to recruit three additional faculty members: one in Pediatric Otolaryngology, one in Laryngology, and one basic scientist. These additions will further advance our training program, which allows us to extend and expand our clinical services and research activity.


-Fuad Baroody, MD(Director of Pediatric Otolaryngology) is serving as President of the Chicago Laryngological and Otological Society. The society has been reorganized with 4 annual lectures held at the American College of Surgeons boardroom downtown, each supported by one of the local academic institutions.

-Elizabeth Blair, MD, and Louis Portugal, MD (both in Head and Neck Surgery) were promoted to the rank of Professor of Surgery. Michael Gluth, MD, (Otology/Neurotology/Lateral Skull Base Surgery) was promoted to Associate Professor- look out for his new book, The Chronic Ear. Jacquelynne P. Corey, MD, (Rhinology and Allergy) was recognized as the 2014 Woman of Outstanding Leadership by the International Women’s Leadership Association.

-Robert Naclerio, MD (Chief of the Section) served as visiting professor in the High-End Foreign Experts Recruitment Program in Beijing, China.

-Stellar program evaluations: Our current residents are now required to report their assessments of the training program. We are happy to report that our program’s reviews were rated significantly higher than the national average on all of the measured factors.

-Jayant Pinto, MD (Rhinology) continued research efforts on the genetics of Chronic Rhinosinusitis, work that began during residency and is now funded by the NIAID/NIH. His paper on olfaction and mortality received wide coverage in the press.

-Dana Suskind, MD (Pediatric Otolaryngology) released her book titled, Thirty Million Words: Building a Child's Brain.

-Our programs in cochlea implantation, trans-robotic oropharyngeal surgery, lateral and anterior skull base surgery, sialoendoscopy, and free flap reconstruction have seen remarkable growth this year. We have also had several EXIT procedures this year.

Residency Training Program

-Outgoing chiefs: In June 2015, we bid goodbye to Ryan Salvador, MD, who now works in private practice in Palm Springs, California; and Cheryl Nocon, MD, who is currently a fellow in Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

outgoing chiefs

-Current chiefs: In June 2016, Lois Montague, MD, co-chief resident, will pursue a fellowship in Pediatric Otolaryngology at the University of California-San Francisco; and Jonathan Lusardi, MD, co-chief resident, will return to his hometown to join a practice affiliated with Saint Louis University.

-New interns: We welcomed Lauren Sowa (Loyola) and Camil Correia (Pritzker School of Medicine) to the program as incoming PGY1 residents this academic year.

-Simulation: Elizabeth A. Blair, MD, has lead our active simulation program, which uses the latest technology in education to improve professionalism, teamwork, and airway management skills in a safe environment.

-Stellar program evaluations: Our current residents are now required to report their assessments of the training program. We are happy to report that our program’s reviews were rated significantly higher than the national average on all of the measured factors.

-Program improvements: To enhance resident training, we have integrated our affiliation with NorthShore University Health System in Evanston. Fourth year residents now rotate there, spending time with affiliated faculty in Head and Neck Surgery (Mihir Bhayani, MD, our alumnus), Rhinology (Joseph Raviv, MD), Laryngology (Aaron Friedman, MD), Pediatric Otolaryngology (Mark Gerber, MD; Ilana Seligman, MD, and Judy Chen, MD), Plastic Surgery (Jeremy Warner, MD), Neurotology (Michael Shinners, MD), and Sleep Medicine (Jonathan Pomerantz, MD).

Mr. University of Chicago

Farewell: The beloved Ernest Mhoon, MD, retired this year in June, after many years at The University of Chicago. He is sorely missed, but his legacy lives on in the many lives he touched, patients, colleagues, and residents alike. In honor of his long service and dedication to the program, and outstanding career, the fall Alumni lecture has been rechristened the Ernest Mhoon Alumni lecture.

Ernest Mhoon, MD

Hospital News

-The University of Chicago Medicine is one of only 204 U.S. hospitals (out of >5,000) to receive six consecutive A’s in Leapfrog’s Hospital Safety Score, the highest grade awarded. Leapfrog Group is the most prominent national hospital safety ranking group in the country.

-Our center ranked in the top 10% in the country in Medicare’s Patient Safety Index. We also ranked in the top 10% for Medicare’s most recent value-based purchasing report.

-We are the safest academic medical center in Chicago in Medicare’s FY2015 Hospital-Acquired Conditions evaluation, which measures how often patients get infected or injured in the hospital. UCMC scored better than every academic medical in the greater Chicago region, and better than the vast majority of academic medical centers in the country.

-The university received approval to begin developing the new Center for Advanced Care in Orland Park. Scheduled to open in late 2016, this 108,000-square-foot, four-story outpatient facility will be our largest off-site location. In parallel, The University of Chicago Medicine's new Center for Advanced Care at South Loop is also scheduled to open in late 2016.

-The University of Chicago Medicine has made a number of new partnerships, including with Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox for cancer care, Little Company of Mary Hospital and Edward-Elmhurst Health for specialty pediatric care, and Holy Cross Hospital, part of the Sinai Health System, for trauma.

-Check out some cool new ads for the institution, which have been in local, regional, and national press (including one featuring Elizabeth Blair’s patient, the famous chef, Grant Achatz, of Alinea).

In Memorium

A memorial service was held on Thursday, August 27, 2015 at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts to celebrate the life of Raul Hinojosa, MD. Dr. Hinojosa was a pioneering researcher in temporal bone pathology and a leading authority on disease of the ear. He was vital member of the faculty for many years.

Med Student Camil Carreia Wins Catherine Dobson Prize for Oral Presentation

Camil Correia, MS4 and incoming PGY1 in OHNS, won the The Catherine Dobson Prize for the best oral presentation given by a student in the area of scientific investigation in the clinical or social sciences at the Pritzker School of Medicine 2015 Senior Scientific Session for her work with Jayant Pinto, MD, associate professor, on sensory frailty in older U.S. adults. Correia is also the winner of the 2015 Mary Roberts Scott Memorial Prize given to a female medical student who demonstrates leadership and academic excellence during both the basic and clinical science years.

Dr. Jayant Pinto Contributed to Health Article on Importance of Sense of Smell, Testing 

Jayant Pinto, MD, associate professor of surgery, has contributed ground-breaking research to how the human sense of smell serves as a predictor of mortality and overall health. He contributed to a health article teaching the public how to test its sense of smell and what to do if the sense is lacking. Click to read the Bottom Line Health story

2014 University of Michigan Simulation Boot Camp
Here are some highlights from the latest Simulation Boot Camp hosted at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Simulation Boot Camp

Emeritus Professor Raul Hinojosa Returns for UChicago Medicine Visit
Emeritus Professor Raul Hinojosa

Raul Hinojosa, MD, emeritus professor, and his wife returned to the university recently to visit Ernest Mhoon, MD, (pictured far left) and Jacquelynne Corey, MD (pictured far right). Dr. Mhoon is a professor of surgery and Dr. Corey is the director of the ENT Allergy Program.





Shanna Jones Receives Department Spotlight

Shanna JonesShanna Jones, project assistant III, has been recognized by the Section of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery for the efficiency, organization and skill with which she leads the residency program. She works with residents to make sure their concerns and needs are addressed and treats everyone with kindness and respect. The section is fortunate to have her expertise and professionalism.  


 Dr. Aimee Kennedy Wins 3rd place in Resident Research Competition

Resident Aimee Kennedy (section of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery) won 3rd place in the annual Lederer Pierce resident research competition on April 21, 2014, at the Chicago Laryngological and Otological Society for her work on "Free Flap Outcomes in Previously Irradiated Patients: a Meta-Analysis." Congratulations Aimee!

Dr. Pinto, Ober Awarded Major NIH Grant to Study CRS

Carole Ober, PhD, Blum-Riese Professor and Chair of Human Genetics, and Jayant Pinto, MD, associate professor of surgery, have been awarded a major National Institutes of Health grant to study genetic susceptibility to Chronic Rhinosinusitis (CRS), a major inflammatory disease affecting millions of Americans. The $1.5M study builds on earlier work by the team which identified evidence for genes involved in sinus disease. This is the first and only NIH funded study of the genetics of CRS. Robert Naclerio will serve as chair of the advisory board of the project and Fuad Baroody is also involved, along with study coordinator, Marianella Paz-Landsberg.

Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease as part of a larger program project grant led colleagues at Northwestern, the research will involve state of the art evaluation of genomic responses of sinonasal epithelium from patients to key pathogens involved in CRS. The partnership also involves scientists from Johns Hopkins and data and samples from the Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania.

Allergy Study Highlighted in Booth Publication

Robert Naclerio, MD, was part a research study that found watching commercials for allergy drugs may make them more effective. That study was highlighted in a publication by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Chicago Library Features TMW

Harold Washington Library in Chicago featured the Thirty Million Words Initiative, the brainchild of Dana Suskind, MD. TMW was featured as part of the public library's Bookamania 2013.

Welcome Sheila Shankar as Section Administrator

Sheila ShankarSheila Shankar has joined the Department of Surgery as Section Administrator, Section of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery. Please join us in welcoming her to the Department!




Dr. Pinto Performs First Sialoendoscopy at UCM

On October 29, 2013, Jayant Pinto, MD, performed the first sialoendoscopy case at The University of Chicago Medicine for a patient with a salivary gland stone. This state-of-the-art procedure utilized the smallest available endoscopes (1.3, 1.6mm diameter) and allowed the team to avoid removal of the submandibular gland, with attendant scar, postoperative pain and risk to cranial nerves. Additionally, the patient was discharged immediately after the procedure compared to inpatient stays with drains in the neck needed for gland removal.

Lois Montague, MD PGY3, assisted in this minimally invasive case and we received expert assistance from alumnus Mihir Bhayani, MD, attending surgeon at NorthShore and faculty member in the section of otolaryngology at The University of Chicago Medicine. Dr. Bhayani is a leading nationally recognized expert in this novel procedure.

OHNS Represents at 2013 Chicago Marathon

The section was well represented by residents, nurses, and alumni in the 2013 Chicago marathon. Current resident Cheryl Nocon, PGY-4, completed the race along with nurses Gairta Bartos and Maureen Crowley. Alumnus J. David Andrews, who is now at ANMC teaching our residents when they rotate up North, finished along with wife Rache. And alumnus Jonathan Sherman, who has returned to Chicago after fellowship in pediatrics at Children's Hospital, Boston, will take a job at Advocate Christ Hospital heading up their pediatric otolaryngology service. He will also serve as clinical faculty at the mother ship. Congrats to all.

Cheryl Nocon Chicago Marathon 2013 Chicago Marathon 2013

OHNS Resident Awarded AAO-HNSF Grant

Cheryl Nocon, MD, PGY-4, was awarded a competitive Resident Leadership Grant from the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery to attend the upcoming annual meeting and participate in the Section for Residents and Fellows leadership workshop. Congrats Cheryl!

Otolaryngology Residents, Faculty Attend Boot Camp

PGY2s Phillip Knollman, MD, and David Walker, MD, attended the University of Michigan Otolaryngology Boot Camp on July 12, 2013, in Ann Arbor, Mich. Faculty members Elizabeth Blair, MD, and Jayant Pinto, MD, were guest faculty at this innovative training day, which focused on common problems faced by junior residents and included complex scenarios, hands-on sessions with equipment, dissection labs and technology-driven new training tools such as temporal bone simulators. Residents from program across Michigan attended as well as trainees from Ohio State and the Cleveland Clinic. This work compliments the section's program on simulation as a training tool in otolaryngology.

Dr. Baroody Joins UCM Faculty Advisory Committee

Fuad Baroody, M.D., Professor of Surgery, has been elected to 2013 Faculty Advisory Committee. This group meets with Kenneth S. Polonsky, MD, Dean and EVP for Medical Affairs, to give faculty input on medical center strategy. Congrats!

Celebrity Chef, Partner Receive Award for Philanthropy

Grant Achatz, chef at internationally famous restaurants Next and Alinea and patient of Elizabeth Blair, M.D., along with his business partner, Nick Kokonas, received the Outstanding Community Leaders Award at the 2013 AFP Chicago Philanthropy Awards for their philanthropic efforts to aid head and neck cancer research at The University of Chicago. Dr. Blair and oncologist Everett Vokes, M.D., Chairman of the Department of Medicine, are highlighted in the video. Daniel Haraf, M.D., Radiation Oncology, was also a critical member of this interdisciplinary treatment team.

Read more about Grant's experience as a patient (along with comments from Dr. Blair) here and here

Visiting Scholar From Thailand Attends OHNS Clinic

Visiting scholar Jarungjit Kraiwattanapong, MD, from the Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at Panyananthaphikkhu Chonprathan Medical Center in Nontaburi, Thailand, attended clinic with Jayant Pinto, MD, Associate Professor.

Dr. Suskind's Research Featured in Story About Development, Learning in Children

In this New York Times piece, Dana Suskind, pediatric cochlear implant surgeon and founder of Thirty Million Words, talks about her research, early learning and development in children.
Marie Vetter, AuD, Wins ILAA Award

Marie Vetter, AuD, of the section of Otolaryngology, won the 2013 President's Award from the Illinois Academy of Audiology. This award is given from the ILAA President to recognize those who have gone above and beyond to help further the academy and patient needs over the past year. Ms. Vetter was recognized for her excellence and diligence concerning Governmental Affairs over the past two years.