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A Message from the Chair

Dear Friends,

I am hoping this message finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy during this difficult time. The events of this past year – pandemic, racial tensions, political division and unrest – have been challenging for all of us. The strain has been especially heavy for those of us in healthcare as we have been at the front lines of personal risk and witness to the tragic impact of COVID-19.

Through these tumultuous times, I have come to more fully appreciate the special group of people we have at MCW and in our department. The themes of unity, support, courage, and resilience were on full display even during the darkest of times. At our most recent resident applicant interview day (which was held virtually for the first time!), I presented a few slides on my reflections of “what I learned about our department” during the pandemic. The summation was that I could not be prouder of the special men and women of our department who I have the privilege to call friends and colleagues.

As I write this note, we have begun our statewide vaccination initiative for Wisconsin citizens over the age of 65. Brighter days appear to be in our sights as we look to the future and try to anticipate what the “new normal” will look like in the coming months to years. Even with these recent hurdles, we have been able to move forward with many exciting initiatives as noted in the newsletter – e.g. new fellowship, ENT allergy program, top tier faculty and resident recruitment, and next level head and neck cancer reconstruction.

We have shifted to an electronic delivery format for our newsletter which allow us to be nimbler in updating our news and sharing it with all of you. I hope you will enjoy reconnecting with us as you peruse this new electronic newsletter. It is our plan to be soon hosting our usual in-person alumni events and forums here on campus, in Kohler, WI at the BEST EVIDENCE ENT conference, and during upcoming society meetings. We can only hope that our public health circumstances will soon allow for this to happen!

On behalf of the OTO department, I wish you all continued good health and wellness. Please know that MCW, Froedtert, and Children’s are still thriving and serving our community admirably, just like when you were here with us. Thank you so much for your continued support and good will!

Warmest regards,

John Rhee MD

John S. Rhee, MD, MPH ’04
John C. Koss Professor and Chair

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