From the desk of Dr. Johnson
n the academic medical center we generally think of July 1 as the beginning of the new year. Our “School Year” year is 12 months long. Each June we congratulate a graduating class and bid them farewell. We are joined by new residents and fellows each July. Recruitment of new faculty often runs parallel to this schedule. As you are aware, we are approved to graduate five residents annually. Residency in Otolaryngology requires successful completion of five years of post-doctoral training. Approximately two-thirds of our residents then go on to sub-specialty surgical training. This training typically takes an additional year or two. Here at Pitt we have fellows in pediatric otolaryngology, neuro otology, head and neck oncology, as well as rhinology – Cranial Base Surgery. Most of these young surgeons go on to populate the faculty of Academic Departments across the country. It is commonly held that the mission of an Academic Department of Otolaryngology is to provide health care in an environment of education and research. We are deeply invested in some basic science research on hearing loss and tinnitus. We are also involved in extensive clinical research as we investigate various diseases of the ears, nose and throat.
It is through careful collection of information about diagnoses, treatments and outcomes that the doctors of the future can provide better care that what we have now. Many of our patients help when they fill in questionnaires about their condition. Their Patient Reported Outcome Measures (or PROMs) provide real data that helps the health care Jonas Johnson, MD, FACS team better understand the disease itself, the response to treatment and, sometimes, the side effects of treatment. Accordingly, the patient is, in a very real sense, a partner in improving treatment. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of the young people who are completing their training this spring. Please also help us welcome the next generation to our team. And, thanks to everyone who has been so supportive in helping us to achieve our goals of better care in an environment of education and research.
In This Issue From the desk of Dr. Johnson
The Capstone Rotation
Eye & Ear Foundation Announces Ambitious Campaign
Jonas Johnson to Step Down as Department of Otolaryngology Chairman
Save the Dates
Global Health: Perspectives from South Africa
Jonas Johnson to Step Down as Department of Otolaryngology Chairman
The Capstone Rotation
When I completed my residency training, I ended my time on a busy Head & Neck and Microvascular rotation. I moved my family across the country and landed in my fellowship program running on fumes. We do not want this for our graduating chiefs. So, in considering our rotation schedule, we sought to develop a program that would allow them to finish strong. The intention of the ACGME in having 6 months of Otolaryngology rotations in the first year of training, is to allow for flexibility in the final year of training. Largely, across the country, this has not occurred. But we have developed a method to create this flexibility in the final month of training that we call the Capstone rotation. For the past 3 years, we have moved the start of the academic year for each class from July 1 to around June 1. This creates a problem of having too many chief residents around, since the PGY-4s are now serving
as PGY-5s for that final month. So, the graduating chiefs are assigned to the Capstone rotation. They submit a proposal of how they would like to end their residency experience in order to round out their training.
Examples of these experiences include: - away rotations to other programs for further training in pediatric sleep, oculoplastic surgery, facial plastic surgery - rotations in other UPMC departments for oculoplastic surgery, dermatology, and allergy/immunology - repeat mini-rotations in particular subspecialties within our department to develop further expertise, create surgical preferences for future practice, or augment areas of perceived weakness - completion of particular research projects - development of anatomic dissection curricula
Noel Jabbour, MD, MS, FACS Residency Program Director
We are excited that this Capstone rotation has provided an opportunity for our graduating chiefs to end their time in Pittsburgh in a way that allows for this flexibility and autonomy. And we aim to extend the course by 1 week each year, for the next few years. The Capstone rotation allows our chief residents to round out their experience, to finish strong, and to start fresh for the next stage of their careers, whether they are continuing their training in a fellowship program or starting their practices. Our graduates are our ambassadors.
Eye & Ear Foundation Announces Ambitious Campaign
he Eye & Ear Foundation has announced their New Horizons for Care Campaign. The Eye & Ear Foundation (EEF) is a public, non-profit organization that supports the Departments of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Its mission is to advance cuttingedge academic and research efforts with the ultimate goal of enhancing patient care. EEF launched the $80 Million Campaign in 2016 and has reached over its halfway point, $52 Million. According to the Eye & Ear Foundation CEO Lawton Snyder, the New Horizons for Care Campaign responds to the community’s needs to address the increasing number of
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people affected by age-related conditions such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and hearing loss. As the two academic research Departments are growing, “We saw an opportunity for Pittsburgh to be a world leader in finding new ways to advance care, first in our backyard, and ultimately the rest of the world. By raising and distributing philanthropic dollars to the Departments of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, the Foundation encourages individuals, foundations, and businesses to support enhancing and advancing care for people with diseases and disorders of the eye, ear, nose, throat, head, and neck,” says Snyder. The Foundation intends to complete its Campaign by the end of 2023.
Department Chairman Jonas T. Johnson, MD, is focusing on AdvancemENTs in Patient Care. As described in a report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, nearly 50 % of people older than 60 have hearing loss. As more people live longer, these numbers are expected to grow, from 46 million in 2014 to 82 million in 2040. The Department of Otolaryngology is recognized for excellence in medical training, minimally invasive surgery, and hearing loss research. Dr. Johnson plans to build upon these strengths by creating new opportunities for excellence, developing new technologies and advancements in surgery, building our translational research capabilities, and personalizing care for every patient. continued on page 7
Dr. Jonas Johnson has informed me that, after 42 years with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, he is stepping down as chair of the Department of Otolaryngology, a position he has held since 2005. Dr. Johnson is the Distinguished Service Professor of Otolaryngology and the Dr. Eugene N. Myers Professor of Otolaryngology. Reflecting his longtime support of interdisciplinary collaboration, he also has numerous secondary appointments in the health sciences. I’m grateful to report that he will remain chair of the department until a new chair arrives on campus. He will then transition to being full-time Distinguished Service Professor of Otolaryngology and continue to codirect the UPMC Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship Clinic. When Dr. Johnson became chair of otolaryngology, he followed in the footsteps of founding chair Dr. Eugene Myers, who developed the department into an internationally recognized leader in the field. Jonas may have stepped into big shoes, but he more than filled them. He is an expert in perioperative antibiotic prophylaxis during major head and neck surgery, imaging of head and neck tumors, the apoptosis of immune cells in head and neck cancer, the role of radiation in head and neck tumors, adjuvant treatment in head and neck cancer, and treatment of parotid disorders. After spending several decades as a busy, practicing cancer surgeon, in 2016 Dr. Johnson transitioned to helping improve the postsurgical lives of patients. With his codirector, Dr. Marci Lee Nilsen, assistant professor of acute and tertiary care in the School of Nursing, he created the UPMC Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship Clinic to better understand and manage the toxic side effects that survivors of head and neck cancer can experience. Since it was established, the clinic has had more than 3,000 visits. Dr. Johnson has served as editor-in-chief of The Laryngoscope and is a past president of the American Head and Neck Society, the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Society and the Triologic Society. He is a fellow in the American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery; American Head and Neck Society; the Laryngological, Rhinological, Otological Society Inc. (“Triologic Society”); and American Laryngological Society Inc. I would like to thank Jonas for his years of leadership and service, as well as his tremendous contributions to our community and to the lives of so many people. Respectfully, Anantha Shekhar, MD, PhD Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences John and Gertrude Petersen Dean, School of Medicine
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Global Health: Perspectives from South Africa On July 7th at 7:00am (EST) the Department of Otolaryngology will host alumnus Johan Fagan, MD for a virtual presentation on Global Health. About Johan Fagan, MD Dr. Fagan is the Leon Goldman Professor and Chair of the Division of Otorhinolaryngology (ENT) at the University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa. Following ENT training at the University of Cape Town, he completed two clinical fellowships at the University of Pittsburgh. A major interest has been to advance head and neck surgery in Africa and the Developing World. He established the Karl Storz Fellowship in Advanced Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Cape Town, and is currently training the 7th African Head and Neck Fellow. He maintains an educational website for ENT surgeons in the Developing World, and self-publishes two free textbooks, The Open Access Atlas of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Operative Surgery and the Open Access Guide to Audiology and Hearing Aids, chapters of which have been downloaded over 1 million times.
“ Dr. Fagan has done really remarkable things in Africa and for global health. We are excited to welcome him back and to see this important presentation.” – Jonas T. Johnson, MD, Distinguished Service Professor and Chairman for the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh.
Register for Dr. Fagan’s virtual lecture at:
Department Awards Dr. Sue Whitney received the 2021 John H.P. Maley Lecture Award. Dr. Whitney is the co-director of the Master of Science degree for physical therapists and is a Fellow of the American Physical Therapy Association. She holds a joint appointment in the Department of Otolaryngology. Whitney is the Vice President of the International Neurologic Subgroup of World Physiotherapy. Her research interests relate to persons with vestibular disorders and falls. The John H.P. Maley Lecture Award is annually presented to an APTA physical therapist member who has demonstrated clinical expertise and significant contributions to the physical therapy profession. The honoree’s lecture is considered to be one of the highlights at APTA’s Annual Conference. Dr. Whitney was nominated for the Maley Lecture Award for her contributions to the development and advancement of vestibular rehabilitation. Dr. Bill Yates was awarded the 2020 Kenneth E. Schuit Award from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Yates is a Professor of Otolaryngology and Neuroscience and was appointed as Vice-Chancellor for Research Protections in 2020. Dr. Yates’ research focuses on the role of the vestibular system in the maintenance of homeostasis, the function of the vestibular system in spatial cognition, and plasticity within the vestibular system following damage to the inner ear. The Kenneth E. Schuit Award recognizes basic science and clinical faculty for major education-related contributions. The Schuit Award is given in honor of the late Dr. Ken Schuit, who played a significant role in developing the new curriculum in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Sheng-Po Hao, MD, FACS, FICS has been nominated as Chair-Elect of the International Advisory Board (IAB) of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation. Dr. Hao is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology of Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital and Program Director of Otolaryngology in Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan. Dr. Hao is a specialist in both Head and Neck Cancer Surgery and Skull Base Surgery. He has published hundreds of articles and book chapters on the subject. An International Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh from 1992-1993, Dr. Hao was the 2014 Myers’ International Lecturer on Head and Neck Oncology.
https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYtcu-oqT8tG9ZCBrZFiQIkSTcVbsFiR7o1 July 7, 2021, 07:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada) After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
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Vikas Mehta, MD has been chosen as Coordinator-elect for Research & Quality of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Mehta is an Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Montefiore Health System. Dr. Mehta completed a fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh from 2011-2012. His clinical focus is on the treatment of patients with head and neck cancer, diseases of the salivary glands, and thyroid/parathyroid disease, with a particular interest in transoral robotic surgery and minimally invasive endocrine surgery. Dr. Mehta is a diplomate of the American Board of Otolaryngology and a member of the American Head and Neck Society, the American College of Surgeons, and the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
Department Promotions (continued)
Noel Jabbour, MD was promoted to Associate Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology on June 1, 2020. Dr. Jabbour also assumed the role of Program Director of the Residency Program, taking over for Dr. Barry Schaitkin.
Eric Wang, MD was promoted to Professor of Otolaryngology on March 1, 2021. Dr. Wang is also Vice Chairman for Clinical Services and will succeed Dr. Stella Lee as Director of The Berrylin J. Ferguson Sinonasal Disorder and Allergy Center.
His clinical expertise is in the otolaryngologic care of patients with cleft palate, including otologic and airway care as well as velopharyngeal dysfunction and cleft palate repair. He is passionate about the care of children with microtia and aural atresia and serves as the director of the Congenital Ear Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Wang’s clinical and research focus are in the areas of skull base surgery and rhinology, his areas of subspecialty fellowship training. As a member of the UPMC Center for Cranial Base Surgery, he has designed and implemented multiple prospective controlled trials on the outcomes and consequences of skull base surgery. In addition to outcomes research, he also is active in translational research.
Catherine Palmer, PhD was promoted to Professor in the Department of Communication Science and Disorders on August 1, 2020. Dr. Palmer, who also holds an assignment in the Department of Otolaryngology, is also the Director of Audiology and Hearing Aids.
Andrew McCall, MD was promoted to Associate Professor of Otolaryngology on May 1, 2021.
Dr. Palmer conducts research in the areas of auditory learning post hearing aid fitting, the relationship between hearing and cognitive health, and matching technology to individual needs.
Dr. McCall’s clinical focus is on the treatment of patients with otologic and neurotologic disorders. He is specifically interested in the surgical management of patients with hearing loss, chronic otitis media and associated sequelae, or skull base disorders. Dr. McCall’s scientific focus is on understanding the manner in which somatosensory inputs from the periphery are integrated with vestibular inputs in the central nervous system.
Stella Lee, MD was promoted to Associate Professor of Otolaryngology on December 1, 2020. Dr. Lee was also named the Director of The Berrylin J. Ferguson Sinonasal Disorder and Allergy Center. Dr. Lee recently announced that she will be leaving the Department of Otolaryngology in 2021.
Eye & Ear Foundation Announces Ambitious Campaign continued from page 2 Auditory Science & Rehabilitation Pittsburgh Hearing Research Center is positioned to be the top auditory neuroscience research group in the country. Combined with our clinical expertise in hearing loss and neurotology, the Department of Otolaryngology has the ability to transform treatments and therapies for patients with different conditions related to hearing loss.
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Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship Program Research has clearly demonstrated that treatment for head and neck cancereven when successful in cancer control, introduces the patient to a state of having a chronic condition characterized—but not limited to – dysphagia, neck disability, pain, and sleep disturbances ongoing efforts to provide these services in an environment of education and research will require.
Pittsburgh CREATES CREATES and the teaching laboratory offers an opportunity to contribute to surgical innovation, bring the training of new surgeons into a simulated environment (rather than working on humans) and provide metrics of surgical quality and continued education to an international platform for use across the United States and around the world. To learn more details about the Eye & Ear Foundation campaign, visit eyeandear. org, or call the Foundation office at 412864-1300, or request information from email@example.com. 7 07 MOMENTS
Anna Bakeman, MD
Vijay A. Patel, MD – Rhinology and Cranial Base Surgery
Dr. Bakeman came to the University of Pittsburgh after completing her undergraduate at the University of Michigan and her medical degree at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She was drawn to Pittsburgh by the department’s rich history and the strong surgical training of the residency. Upon graduation Dr. Bakeman will be returning to the Medical College of Wisconsin for a fellowship in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Dr. Vijay Patel, a California native, attended the University of California-Los Angeles for his undergraduate degree in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics with Honors Collegium and went on to complete medical school at the Penn State College of Medicine. Dr. Patel continued his professional medical education by performing his surgical training in otolaryngology at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. After residency, Dr. Patel pursued a one-year fellowship in Rhinology and Cranial Base Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Following his time in Pennsylvania, Dr. Patel will start his second fellowship in Complex Pediatric Otolaryngology at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to expand his scholarly interests in sinonasal disorders and skull base surgery.
Lindsey Goyal, MD Dr. Goyal came to the University of Pittsburgh after completing her undergraduate at Columbia University and her medical degree from SUNY Upstate. She chose UPMC for its devotion to subspecialty training, research opportunities, and world-renowned faculty. Upon graduation Dr. Goyal will be joining the Glasgold Group in Princeton, NJ and at Robert Wood Johnson where she matched into an AAFPRS Facial Plastics and Reconstruction Fellowship.
Marco Mascarella, MD – Advanced Oncologic Head and Neck Surgery Dr Mascarella came to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for fellowship training in advanced head and neck oncology with microvascular reconstruction after completing his residency at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He was drawn to the program for the unparalleled training in complex head and neck cancer management and reconstruction. Dr Mascarella will be returning to the McGill University Health Centre as an assistant professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. He will also take on the role as a scientist in clinical epidemiology at the Lady Davis Institute of the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, Canada.
Nathalia Velasquez, MD Originally from Bogota, Columbia, Dr. Velasquez completed her undergrad, medical school, and residency training in Otolaryngology at the National University in Colombia. During her time as a resident, she has actively participated in research, with special interest in Rhinology and Skull Base surgery and has published numerous articles in the area. After graduation, she will continue her training with a fellowship in Rhinology and Skull-base Surgery at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.
Mohamad R. Issa, MD, MS Dr. Issa grew up in Ann Arbor, MI and completed his undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Michigan. During his time in Pittsburgh Dr. Issa has had direct involvement in the ENT presence at the Birmingham Free Clinic in Pittsburgh, as well as multiple internal mission work trips including as a third-year resident. Upon graduation Dr. Issa will be staying on at UPMC for a Head and Neck Cancer – Microvascular Reconstruction fellowship.
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Uma Ramaswamy, MD – Rhinology and Cranial Base Surgery Dr. Ramaswamy completed her BA with Honors at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, and received her medical degree from University of Texas McGovern Medical School in Houston, TX. She also completed her otolaryngology-head and neck surgery residency at UT-Houston McGovern Medical School. She then went on to pursue a fellowship in Pediatric Otolaryngology at Texas Children’s Hospital-Baylor College of Medicine (TCHBCM) in Houston, TX. She was drawn to UPMC given the Cranial Base Center’s culture of innovation and its reputation as the best in the world. After graduation, Dr. Ramaswamy will join the faculty at TCH-BCM to help build a pediatric skull base program in conjunction with their world-renowned Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery.
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Save The Dates
OTO Alumni Spotlight Siciliano Lecture Cherie-Ann Nathan, MD will give this year’s Siciliano Lecture on Tuesday, October 19, 2021. Dr. Nathan is the Jack Pou Endowed Professor and Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery at LSU-Health in Shreveport. She is also Director of Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery and Research at the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center and has a gratis appt. in the Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology.
Further Details to Follow
Muse Dinner We will celebrate this year’s Albert C. Muse Prize and Award winners on Monday, November 15, 2021. This year’s Albert C. Muse Prize will be given to Robin Cotton, MD. Dr. Cotton is a Professor of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine where he also holds an appointment as Professor of Pediatrics. Dr. Cotton is a member of more than 20 national and international otolaryngology organizations, including the American Academy of Otolaryngology. He has served as President of the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology and the Society for Ear, Nose, and Throat Advances in Children (SENTAC).
This year’s Albert C. Muse Award will be presented to Margaretha Casselbrant, MD. Dr. Casselbrant is Professor Emerita of Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where she joined the department in 1982. Dr. Casselbrant was the Director of the Pediatric Otolaryngology Fellowship Program from 1994-2006 and the Director of the Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology and Eberly Professor of Pediatric Otolaryngology, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh from 2005-2013.
Further Details to Follow
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Neal Beckford, MD Resident 1981-1985 Hometown: I was born in Brooklyn, NY, reared in Mt. Vernon, NY, and have lived in Germantown, TN for 30+ years. Family: Married to my wife Joey, a Pittsburgh native, for 36 years. We have three children, Morgan (34), Austin (31), and Dean (25). Morgan is the Executive Program Director of the Community Music School of Boston. Austin is Administrative Coordinator of Shelby Farms in Memphis, the largest urban park in North America. And Dean is a Senior Financial Analyst for Federal Express. Hobbies: I love the Arts. I have worked with our local opera company, Opera Memphis for over 30 years and now becoming involved with the Pittsburgh Festival Opera. I also am on the board of the Orpheum Theater Company, our local venue for off Broadway performances, the Symphony and other artistic endeavors. My wife is on the Board of the Germantown Performing Arts Center, a dynamic local performance space the attracts all types of high-quality arts and entertainment. As an amateur musician (saxophone and flute), I play regularly in our community wind symphony, a “Doctor’s Band” playing R&B and “Memphis Soul” and local church ensemble. I have served in leadership positions in organized medicine at the local and state level and have been a member of the State Medical License Board for over 15 years.
Most important thing to you about having attended Pitt for Otolaryngology: The Otolaryngology program at The University of Pittsburgh gave me an unparalleled experience that has ordered my steps and provide opportunities throughout my professional and personal life. Career: I’m currently an Associate Professor of Otolaryngology at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center. After receiving my undergrad from Ohio State University, I attended medical school at Howard University in Washington, DC., followed by a residency at Pitt. I currently practice in Memphis, TN where I focus on laryngology, endocrine surgery, head and neck oncology, and general otolaryngology. What made you stay involved with the Department of Otolaryngology and the Eye & Ear Foundation? I have always believed that it is imperative to give back. The Pitt Connection has enabled me to realize personal and professional aspirations that otherwise might not have been possible. Maybe it’s a way to say thank you.
Neal Beckford, MD
How has the campus/Department changed since your time at Pitt? It’s just more! More faculty, more residents, more extramural funding, more research, more clinical sites, more activity. A much more vibrant entity. What are you most excited about in the future of the department and/or the Foundation? The Foundations efforts to engage in community outreach are exciting and needed. Would look forward to participating in these endeavors.
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We Want To Hear From You!
ith the release of our new alumni newslet ter, MomENTs in Otolaryngology, we want to keep in touch with our alumni. Please share exciting personal or professional news with fellow alumni in future editions of our newsletter. Have you recently changed jobs? Got married? Published some exciting research? Welcomed a new member into your family? We want to know about it! To update your contact information or to share personal and professional news, please visit http://www.otolaryngology. pitt.edu / alumni - class - photos / alumni-updates
he Eye & Ear Foundation, in conjunction with the Departments of Otolaryngology and Ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh, has launched a new biweekly webinar series entitled “Sights and Soundbites.” The webinars are presented by department faculty members and highlight their current research initiatives and treatment strategies. These webinars have proven to be an accessible and interactive way to stay connected with patients, donors, faculty, and alumni. If you would like to register to receive webinar invites, please visit www.eyeandear.org/ webinars. To view recent webinar videos, please click on the links below: •
Cochlear Implants: Candidacy and New Developments
Integrating Interventions in Cortical Visual Impairment
What’s New in Balance and Dizziness at Pitt and UPMC?
More than Meets the Eye: Genetic Counseling in Ophthalmology
Nasal Obstruction and Chronic Rhinosinusitis
Tackling the Eye Disease and Pain of Shingles
Towards Personalized Care for Head & Neck Cancer: Current State and Future Directions
Keratoconus | kéras (Greek, Cornea), cōnus (Latin, Cone): Current and Future Advancements in Treatment
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The official registration and financial information of the Eye & Ear Foundation may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free, within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.
The Eye & Ear Foundation of Pittsburgh is a nonprofit 501 (C)(3) organization. Our mission is to support the research and academic efforts of the Departments of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh. Donations to support our research initiatives can be made online at eyeandear.org or by returning the enclosed envelope. For more information on the Foundation, our research, or the articles in this newsletter, please contact Katherine Troy, Director of Operations, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-864-1300.