ALA PRESIDENT THOUGHTS
It is my great honor to be the ALA president. I would like to thank my ALA mentor, Gayle Woodson MD, and past and present ALA councils for this opportunity.
I am excited to share with you two topics regarding the ALA: (1) several new ALA ad hoc committee projects and (2) a “behind the scenes” description of the ALA.
The ALA has started two ad hoc committees to explore important topics to the ALA. The first is called the “ALA Listening Tour.” The ALA has formed a committee comprised of a representative from each ALA membership category (e.g. Fellow, Post-Graduate, Corresponding and Associate) to learn directly from our membership how the ALA is and could be better serving its members. The committee will compose a semi-structured telephone interview to be conducted with a portion (~30%) of the membership to learn from our members what the ALA does well and what areas we can improve. The interviews will complement an ALA-wide survey focused on the same topics. I would like to thank in advance all the ALA members who agree to participate in this initiative. The members of the ALA Listening Tour committee are Peak Woo MD (chair), Blake Simpson MD, Edie Hapner PhD, Nupur Kapoor Nerurkar MD and Lyndsay Madden DO.
The 2nd ALA ad hoc committee will explore a variety of facets regarding our future generation of ALA members, specifically related to Laryngology fellowship training. This committee will explore some of the most important and “hot button” issues in Laryngology fellowship training. Examples include number of training opportunities, breadth, and nature of training. In addition, they will investigate how other Otolaryngology sub-specialty organizations are addressing some of these important topics. The members of this committee include Peter Belafsky MD PhD, Gaelyn Garrett MD, Michael Johns III MD, Tanya Meyer MD and myself.
I would like to thank all the above committee members and I am looking forward to the results of their efforts.
Lastly, I would like to provide a brief overview of the ALA structure and operations. All too often I have heard questions about “how the ALA works” and comments that the ALA is an opaque organization. Many years ago, I felt that same way as a young laryngologist sitting in the business meeting watching the proceedings and I wondered how it all worked.
The ALA Council is comprised of 11 active fellows as prescribed by the ALA bylaws. Each year the council organizes itself with six officer positions (i.e. President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Editor, and Historian). New council members typically start as councilors at-large and then will most often progress to president if they enjoy the duties and have the support of council. Most council member will serve as an officer for four years prior to being considered for ALA President. After the presidency year, one serves on council as a councilor for an additional 3 years.
Every year a nominating committee solicits and reviews possible candidates for the next council position. Candidates for council can be self-identified or can be proposed by anybody from the ALA membership. The nominating committee is compromised of the immediate past-president (chair), two previous council members and two at-large ALA active fellows. This committee is also responsible for proposing the two at-large members for next year’s committee.
In addition to the ALA council, there are six standing committees that serve the ALA. These include the Membership, Casselberry Award, deRoaldes Award, Newcomb Award, Gabriel F. Tucker Award, and Baker Lecture committees. Most of these committees are composed of three ALA active fellows that each serve a three-year term. Each year one member leaves the committee and is replaced with a new member appointed by the ALA president. These committees are a great way to serve the ALA and contribute to the activities of the ALA. If you are interested in serving on one of these committees, I encourage you to contact the ALA president shortly after the annual meeting.
I look forward to serving as your ALA president, so please feel free to reach out to me. I have asked Robert Buckmire MD to serve as the ALA annual meeting program chair. We are already hard at work planning next year’s annual meeting in Dallas. Next year’s meeting will be a welcome change of the COSM footprint allowing the ALA meeting to occur on a Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. That change in the days of the week is due to the hard work of our former secretary, Lucian Sulica MD. Thank you Lucian!
I hope you have a great and safe summer.
Clark A. Rosen, MD
ALA President 2021-2022