It is a privilege to serve as President of this distinguished Society. Founded in 1979, the mission of the New York Head and Neck Society has been to stimulate and encourage "the exchange and advancement of scientific knowledge relative to the management of head and neck tumors.” Although an emphasis of the Society has historically been on education related to oncologic extirpative surgery and reconstruction, the importance of multidisciplinary care of the head and neck cancer patient has not been overlooked. Our Society has always welcomed interdisciplinary participation and contributions of its members. Its first radiation oncologist, Dr. Stephen Rush, served as President in 2008-2009. Now as the first medical oncologist to serve as President, I am honored to continue the tradition of humble service to the Society mission and to celebrate the teamwork we bring to the care of our patients on a daily basis.
Arguably more than for other malignancies, multidisciplinary care and research has left critical historical marks on our field. Head and neck cancer is the model for organ-preserving therapies in oncology, and the drive to impact the quantity and quality of life of our patients continues to necessitate innovative and collaborative interdisciplinary research. The multidisciplinary tumor board has been a tremendous resource for patient care as well as my education and that of my fellowship trainees. Our interactions are a special joy of our chosen profession, one which we should continue to embrace. I believe our relationships as oncologists – surgical, radiation, and medical - will continue to evolve and grow. With the advent and integration of novel surgical, radiation and medical therapies, the opportunities to improve the care of our patients and influence the careers of a new generation of cancer physicians is only beginning.
On behalf of the Executive Council, we are excited to serve and look forward to an exciting and educational year, starting with the AHNS/IFHNOS meeting and celebration of the Centennial of the MSKCC Head & Neck Service held in our backyard in late July! As we start a new year of the New York Head and Neck Society, I want to recognize and appreciate the hard work of the former Presidents of this Society during its 36 year history, listed on this website. Our Society stands on your shoulders, and we look forward to preserving quality and value for its membership.
Missak Haigentz, Jr., MD Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine and Clinical Otohrinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center