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Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery

The University of Kansas Medical Center | Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery aims to be a diverse and inclusive organization that strives to lead the nation in caring, healing, teaching, and learning. We are pursuing excellence in clinical care, resident and medical student education, and research in diseases of the head and neck. The department consists of physician scientists, clincal researchers, nurses, speech pathologists, and audiologists all committed to developing and practicing cutting edge care for ear, nose and throat disorders. We have an active clinical program in diseases of the ear and balance, head and neck cancer treatment, sinus disease, pediatric disorders, and voice and swallowing disorders. The entire spectrum of practice of otolaryngology is covered. 

Chair's Welcome Message

Alexander Chiu, MD

Greetings from our team at University of Kansas Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery.  Our Department is celebrating another busy year filled with growth and continual improvement as we chase the quadruple aim: recognizing the importance of physician wellness while pursuing cost-efficient care that improves health outcomes and patient satisfaction. 

With the opening of Cambridge Tower A at the main campus of the University of Kansas Health System, we've been enjoying the perks of a state-of-the art surgical building that was designed to optimize surgical efficiency and patient-centered care while serving the round-the-clock needs of our hard-working medical professionals.  We continue to expand and are now offering ENT services at Hays Medical Center in Hays, KS and at the KU Corporate Medical Plaza at the Indian Creek Campus in south Johnson County, KS.  The addition of 122,489 square feet of new construction tripled the size of the Indian Creek Campus, which allows for full hospital capabilities as well as amenities like on-site dining, Roasterie Café, and retail pharmacy.

Our otolaryngology residency program continues to climb in US News Rankings for Best Residency Programs, being ranked #23 in the nation based on reputation in 2018.  This positive movement is a direct result of our efforts to create hands-on opportunities for our residents, carve out time for research, and encourage scholarship activities.  We recently launched a formal mentoring program to enable professional development and strengthen connections between our residents and faculty.  Additionally, residents now have the option to pursue a Global Health / Community Outreach Track during their PGY4 year.  Residents who opt for the new track can choose from several already-established medical service options that build on our institution's many years of global health and public health outreach efforts, or they can design their own experience with guidance from our faculty.

We're also growing our research efforts with the support of recent grant awards.  Associate Professor Sufi Thomas, PhD won a 5-year NIH grant to support the innovative basic and translational science her team is doing to combat head and neck cancer.  Resident Matt Shew, MD, with faculty mentors Hinrich Staecker, MD, PhD and Kevin Sykes, MPH, PhD, received an AAO-HNSF CORE grant to evaluate microRNA profiles of human inner ear perilymph with the goal to better understand the pathophysiology of Meniere's Disease.  Professor Lisa Shnayder, MD secured funding to purchase electrolarynx devices for cancer patients who've had a complete laryngectomy and cannot afford to purchase the device.  And Assistant Professor Jennifer Villwock, MD was granted an AAO-HNSF Women in Otolaryngology award to address physician burnout and create leadership development resources for female otolaryngologists and surgeons.  That's just a few examples... Learn more about our research activities and scholarship in the research section of our website.  

Thanks to the leadership of Associate Professor & SOM Assistant Dean Carrie Francis, MD, we launched the new, campus-wide Eaton Hall Lecture Series to promote the importance of diversity in medicine.  The inaugural lecture was presented on October 23 by Dr. David Brown, Associate Vice President and Associate Dean for Health, Equity, and Inclusion from the University of Michigan Health System.  The lecture series creates opportunities to bring people together to explore ways to build on our ongoing efforts to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in medicine and the community we serve. 

Our faculty are very active and have been showing up in the spotlight at the national level.  Professor Hinrich Staecker, MD, PhD is leading ground-breaking research with several promising studies focused on treating hearing loss.  I'm serving as Editor-in-Chief for ENTtoday Our former department chair Doug Girod, MD is now Chancellor of the University of Kansas, and he's been quoted several times by ESPN.  Keep up with our Department from wherever you are by reading our Department newsletter and following us on social media @ku_ent on Instagram, @KU_ENT on Twitter, @kuotolaryngology and @KUENTClinicalResearch on Facebook.  We look forward to connecting with you.

Alexander Chiu, M.D.
Russell E. Bridwell, M.D. Endowed Chairman and Professor

Last modified: Oct 25, 2018
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