AAOA 2020-2021 Leadership Election
2020 Annual Business Meeting
The 2020 AAOA Annual Business Meeting will be held the evening of Thursday, October 29th at 9pm EDT. In addition to the standard “state of the AAOA” reports, this year the Business Meeting will also include an AAOA Leadership roundtable discussion on how the AAOA is supporting its members during these challenging times as well as a member Q&A.
So give us some “Q’s” for us to “A”! Fill out this form with any questions or topics you would like to hear the AAOA Leadership answer or discuss.
Also, make sure to review the statements provided below from the 2020-2021 AAOA Leadership Candidates and cast your ballot!
AAOA 2020-2021 Leadership Election Candidate Statements
Wesley VanderArk, MD, FAAOA
2020-2021 AAOA President
I am honored to be the incoming president of the AAOA this year as well, and hope to be able to continue the work of so many others before. Now, more than ever, we are all struggling in this new paradigm to know how to best deliver effective and safe medical care to our patients as we navigate in a post COVID era. I am committed to help the AAOA remain an excellent teaching and advocacy resource to its members. It is for this reason that I look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve in this organization.
Ayesha Khalid, MD, FAAOA
I am honored to serve in the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy’s Board Secretary position. I joined the AAOA as a resident member, and since then, I have remained actively involved attending meetings, teaching in the resident courses, recruiting members, and advocating for our specialty. I have formal training in organizational dynamics and leadership from the MIT Sloan School of Management and aim to use my skill set to effectively serve the members of the AAOA. As a practicing otolaryngic allergist, I completed my training in rhinology and trained in otolaryngic allergy in my fellowship and while in practice. I have practiced in varied practice settings, including otolaryngic allergy. As your Secretary, I hope to collaborate within the AAOA and the otolaryngology specialty as a whole. In order to thrive as an organization the AAOA will have to maintain its reputation as a leader in education and healthcare advocacy. I am interested in advancing the operations of the AAOA to make us increasingly responsive to members’ and patients’ needs, especially in the era of digital health. I am well suited to this position given my organizational experience as previous AMA Alternate Delegate in the AAOA, previous Chair of the Young Physicians in the AAO-HNS, and previous Chair of the Women in Otolaryngology of the AAO-HNS, and executive board member of the National Resident Matching Program. I would be honored to continue to serve on the Board and I thank you for your kind consideration.
Cecelia Damask, DO, FAAOA
Coordinator of Education Candidate
I am an Otolaryngic allergist with an active private practice in the greater Orlando area. I have been an active member of the AAOA since I joined as a resident member. I have served on the Educational Assessment, Education and Finance Committees. In the past, I served as the Educational Programs Assessment Director, Director of Educational Programs, and Coordinator of Education. I have presented various instruction courses at the AAOA’s Annual Meetings and participated as a Faculty Member for the Interactive Allergy and Rhinology, Basic, and Advanced Courses. I have also been the Basic and Advanced Courses Co-Director. I am honored to nominated as the Coordinator of Education. With your support in this role, I will strive to continue to ensure that the AAOA in continues to provide high-quality, evidence-based educational programs for our membership.
Christopher Brook, MD, FAAOA
Director of Educational Assessment Candidate
It is an honor to be nominated to serve as the Director of Educational Assessment. I am an academic rhinologist in practice at Boston University Medical Center. I was introduced to the AAOA as a resident and have been a participating academic member for the last 5 years. I have enjoyed the opportunity of being part of the Basic Course and Annual Meeting faculty for the last 4 years, and recently as co-course director for our first ever virtual Core Allergy & Rhinology Concepts course. I would be honored to serve on the Board in this capacity and I thank you for your consideration.
Dole Baker, MD, FAAOA
Socioeconomic Chair Candidate
It is an honor to be nominated as chair of the Socioeconomic Committee of the AAOA. I am a General Otolaryngologist and Facial Plastic Surgeon from South Carolina and have been an active private practice Otolaryngic Allergist for over 15 years since completing my first basic AAOA course.
I have been committed to AAOA since attending my first leadership meeting in 2007. Since that meeting, I have had the opportunity and privilege of serving the organization over the years in many roles—a Board Member at Large, a member of the Finance Committee, Patient and Professional Relations Committee, Audit Committee, Socioeconomic Committee, and as the BOG representative to the AAO-HNS.
As Chair of the Socioeconomic Committee, I will utilize my past committee experiences serving the AAOA and as a former Board Member at Large to work and collaborate within the organization. Together we will continue the work begun by our former chairman, Doug Dawson, and to move forward to address the future needs of our members in these changing and challenging times.
I believe very passionately that the main goals of the AAOA are to serve its members, in addition, I spend 100% of my time in private practice and will ensure that perspective is always represented at the leadership levels.
It will be my privilege to serve the AAOA membership in this capacity.
Robert Puchalski, MD, FAAOA
Board Member at Large 2020-2023 Candidate
It is a great honor to be nominated for the position of AAOA Board Member at Large. I am pursuing this leadership position because I feel I can make a positive impact in this organization and our specialty. I am a private practice Otolaryngologist who is married to a pediatric emergency medicine physician. We met while in medical school at Washington University. We live in Charlotte, North Carolina, where my wife practices and teaches at Levine Children’s Hospital. We have four children, three of which are in boarding school in New Hampshire.
I have been an active member of the AAOA since joining as a resident member nearly two decades ago. Throughout this time, I have served in various capacities for the organization including participating in a task force to create practice guidelines and administering the Fellowship exam. I have represented the AAO-HNS as a Delegate to the AMA for 15 years and served as the chairman of both the delegation and the Otolaryngology Section Council. I am grateful for these opportunities and feel privileged to be part of such a successful organization. With your support, I would like to advance the interests of the AAOA to the best of my ability. I pledge that I will dedicate the time and energy necessary to represent the interests of all our members and the patients we serve.
Glen Porter, MD, FAAOA
Audit Committee Candidate
I have been a member of AAOA for more than 17 years. I became a fellow 15 years ago. I’ve incorporated allergy into my practice since leaving residency and currently run a busy allergy practice in addition to a general ENT practice. I am employed by a multispecialty group and enjoy the camaraderie offered by a group practice. I appreciate the AAOA’s willingness to embrace both academic and private practitioners. I would be glad to help serve our organization.
Michael Platt, MD, FAAOA
President Elect Candidate
I am truly honored to be nominated for the position of president-elect for the AAOA. Over the past 15 years, I have experienced all of the wonderful facets of the AAOA: as a resident learning the importance of allergy in head and neck disorders, as a new rhinology attending starting clinical practice of allergy, as a board member at large where I was introduced to gifted leaders who helped build the AAOA, as an editorial board member for its research journal IFAR, and currently as the treasurer where I see firsthand the outstanding management by the AAOA staff and director. Seeing the successes of the AAOA over many years, I strive to work with the AAOA leadership, staff, and members to maintain this organization as the leader in allergic disease of the head and neck. As a proud clinician in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, I understand the importance in providing comprehensive management of allergy and inflammatory disease for my patients. I am grateful for this opportunity to participate in the AAOA and I am committed to advancing the mission of the AAOA as President Elect.
Douglas Dawson, MD, FAAOA
I am honored to be nominated for the position of Treasurer-Elect of the AAOA. Over the past 20 years, I have experienced all the wonderful facets of the AAOA: I have participated at courses, presented to the annual meetings and for the last 3 years been Socioeconomic Committee Chair. Seeing the successes of the AAOA over many years, I strive to work with the AAOA leadership, staff, and members to maintain this organization as the leader in allergic and inflammatory disease of the head and neck. As a proud clinician in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, I understand the importance in providing comprehensive management of allergy and inflammatory disease for my patients. I am grateful for this opportunity to participate in the AAOA and I am committed to advancing the mission of the AAOA as Treasurer-Elect.
Michael Parker, MD, FAAOA
Director of Educational Programs Candidate
I am honored to have been asked to serve as Director of Educational Programs, a position I have held in the past and I look forward to reengaging in that position. Having been intimately involved with the AAOA for more than 20 years, I understand the organization’s key role in Continuing Education for our members, their staff and our patients. I have been actively involved in meeting planning and presentation content development. I am aware and excited about evolving techniques of content delivery and look forward to applying newer principles of adult learning to our educational offerings. I have given courses and lectures at all of our meeting and have been the Director/Co-Director of the Advanced Course for the past several years. Over that time, we have watched an evolution in Adult Education and have worked hard to incorporate those changes and new ideas into the Academy’s Educational offerings. With enhanced options for content delivery and ever evolving technological options for that delivery, the future of Physician Continuing Education for the AAOA appear exciting and I am looking forward to being a part of it.
Jennifer Villwock, MD, FAAOA
Patient & Professional Relations Chair Candidate
It my pleasure to accept the nomination to be the Patient and Professional Relations Chair. As you know, the AAOA is truly a gem of an organization. The AAOA is committed to being responsive to the needs of its membership, and this role is unique in its opportunity to provide high-quality content and information to both patients and medical professionals working in allergy. Under the leadership of past Chairs, you will have noticed a revamping of the AAOA website, the launch of a new podcast series, and an increased digital footprint. In this role, I would continue to carry the proverbial torch forward by building on these prior successes.
I have been tremendously grateful for my involvement with the AAOA in a number of capacities and look forward to continuing to build working relationships with leadership, members, and anyone interested in learning more about otolaryngic allergy. Getting to know AAOA members and the challenges and opportunities faced in different practice environments has been eye opening. It highlights the need for more of these conversations so that we can, as a community, share best practices and avoid common pitfalls and redundant efforts. The Patient and Professional Relations Chair is a natural fit for engaging our membership in these discussions and providing high value resources.
Joshua Levy, MD
Board Member at Large 2020-2023 Candidate
I am honored by the nomination to serve our community as a board member of the AAOA. I am an academic rhinologist at Emory University, where I study innovative therapies to improve care for our patients with persistent airway disease. The AAOA is an exceptional organization that is well-positioned to bridge the gap between ENT, allergy and other specialists involved in the care of these patients. We must work together to break down silos and incorporate the various skills and knowledge from each of these fields in order to incorporate emerging therapies and improve patient care. I have served as teaching faculty for several AAOA courses and contributed to multi-specialty guidelines on the use of biologics in sinus disease and aspirin-desensitization in AERD. With your support, I look forward to expanding these activities as we advance patient care.
Wesley VanderArk, MD, FAAOA
AMA Physician Delegate Candidate
I am again honored to be nominated as a candidate to be the AMA Delegate in the coming year. I have been involved with the AAOA since 1996 starting as a member of the organization in residency and maintaining my involvement for many years as a fellow and volunteer in the leadership of this organization. I have been the AMA delegate for a number of years and have worked closely with our fellow Allergy organizations and our main academy through the AMA to try and guide policy that is favorable for our specialty to continue to practice allergy. Through the efforts of the AAOA, I feel our members are equipped to provide outstanding allergy care to their patients, and also to protect and preserve the ability of our members to continue practicing Otolaryngic Allergy. I am grateful to be able to be part of and represent an organization that offers that to its members while serving in the AMA.