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At the Top

The Division of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery hosted the 14th Biennial Phonosurgery Symposium July 8-9, 2016, in conjunction with the Modeling Laryngeal Biology conference on July 7. The event took place at the Fluno Center and University Hospital (with very popular hands-on sessions), attracting more than 150 otolaryngologists, speech-language pathologists, and voice scientists from across the United States and countries including Japan, Korea, Germany, Australia, and Austria. Our great team in Otolaryngology and the Voice and Swallowing Program was a vital part of the event’s tremendous success. A big thank you goes out to the nursing staff, residents, speech-language pathologists, and Department of Surgery Central Services (Publications Office, Computer Support, Marketing and Outreach), Cara D’Amico, and our faculty members. Nichole Rauch, Medical Program Assistant Senior, deserves special recognition for her help in organizing every aspect of the three-day meeting.

Honors & Awards

Hans Sollinger, MD, PhD, was reappointed to a three-year term as Folkert O. Belzer Professor of Surgery. Dr. Sollinger joined the UW Department of Surgery in 1976 as a surgical resident while Dr. Belzer, a world-renowned transplant surgeon and innovator in organ preservation techniques, was chair of the department. Dr. Sollinger went on to complete a transplant fellowship at the UW and subsequently joined the faculty. As a young surgeon, Dr. Sollinger established the pancreas transplant program at the UW and developed a technique that dramatically increased the success rate of pancreas transplants. In 1995, he helped develop the immunosuppressant drug CellCept. Today Dr. Sollinger is an international leader in transplant surgery. He has held the Belzer Professorship since 1996.

Kate McConville, MA, CCC-SLP, has been awarded an American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) Media Outreach Champion Award for her outstanding efforts fostering media coverage of the work of professionals in the field of human communications and related issues and developments. This was for her excellent pieces on TV and radio on Presidential Voice Quality. (Listen to one here.) This national award will be acknowledged in the ASHA Leader and at the 2016 ASHA Convention awards ceremony, November 17-19 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Great job, Kate!


Ancil Philip, MD, general surgeon at UW Health Surgery at SwedishAmerican, will serve as an executive committee member at large on the SwedishAmerican Medical Staff, 2016-2017. The UW Department of Surgery currently has four faculty members operating full time at SwedishAmerican Hospital in Rockford, Illinois. Thank you to Dr. Philip for ensuring we are well represented at this permanent outreach location.

Clinical Kudos

We have had several unsolicited patient letters this month. I want to share two especially wonderful ones with you. Get your tissues ready.

Dr. Harms, You may not remember me, but I certainly remember you. At the time, I was a 16-year-old who was misdiagnosed with Crohn’s and was withered to almost nothing before being properly diagnosed with UC and referred to you for surgery consult. I had my first surgery for W-pouch resection in 1988 with the stoma reversal in the spring of 1989. I recovered and adjusted to my new lifestyle. I completed HS and attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering with a major in Biomedical Engineering. After graduation, I got a job at Abbott Laboratories and have never left. I’ve spent the last 20 years working with their diagnostic products in various roles, giving others the best of what medical science has to offer. In college, I met a girl who I eventually married and had two beautiful daughters with. I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for making this life possible. Before that 1st surgery, I had a pretty grim outlook on what my life would become. That hope was restored thanks to you and your colleagues at UW Hospital and Clinics.”

An aortic dissection patient who had a hospital stay this spring wrote: “I have been back two different times to thank the staff for my care. I would like to make special mention for RNs Mike, Anna, Amy, and Tracee, and CNAs Ashley and Katie. I could name others as well, but those six stand out to me. I am in the hospital business and it was a unique experience for me to be on the other side of the system. It is obvious to me that those employees connect with their patients. They were engaged in their duties and made my family and me feel like the most important patient on the floor. I had a very scary situation and your staff somehow made us all comfortable and confident that things would be all right. Obviously, the OR team and Dr. De Oliveira need to be thanked and recognized as well, but it is those that were with me day in and day out that I will remember. I have been able to tell Eric McCue how much I respect and like him and how much he means to me. He has become part of our family’s history. Please tell Ashley that she is so much more than ‘just a CNA.’ She is a special person who impacted our lives.”

Congratulations to Heather Templin, DNP, surgical critical care, who was the July TLC Team Member of the Month. Her nominators wrote in part: “[Heather] is very effective at leading family meetings and families trust her as she’s the constant on the team. Heather truly has a gift when it comes to explaining things to patients and family members in a compassionate and clear way. Effective communication between nursing staff and the surgical critical care team is essential and she is dedicated to making this happen.”

Do you know about the Hi-5 system in U-Connect? It’s a simple, easy way to recognize a colleague for their efforts in exemplifying UW Health’s values. Chuck Heise, MD, section of colorectal surgery, received one last week that exemplified going Above and Beyond—something that our surgeons, residents and advanced practice providers do 24/7/365. It read: “Thank you for taking the call tonight when you are not on call. The referring doctor was very insistent on only speaking with you.” Thank you to everyone who goes out of their way to be available.

Patient Comments from Hospital Survey

Chris Goodavish, PA-C
“My appointment was right on time, and I was able to have a nice unhurried visit with Chris. I had some questions and he was able to answer them all. We found Chris to be very friendly and easy to talk to. I would not hesitate to recommend him.”

David Foley, MD (Transplantation):
“I have no suggestions because my experience at UW Health has met all of my needs. Dr. Foley completely explained my procedure and explained why he did what he did. The RNs and NAs were amazing in their knowledge and their compassion. My preop coordinators, Jody S. and Kathy Schappe, were a great resource. My post op coordinator David Haines has already helped me more than one could imagine. The transplant unit is amazing!”

Amanda Mravec, AuD, CCC-A (Otolaryngology):
“She was so knowledgeable and made me feel absolutely comfortable in what I consider an uncomfortable situation. She seems like she genuinely cares. I would and have recommended her to anyone and everyone. Exceptional service!!” Copyright © 2016 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System