We’re pleased to present the first issue of ORL Progress Notes, a biannual update on the otorhinolaryngology service at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. In this issue you’ll find notes on progress to date in our rhinology, laryngology, and research programs, as well as an overview of our new pediatric ENT program.

Since my arrival in March 2008, both Memorial Hermann and the UT Medical School have invested resources that have allowed us to establish new clinical and academic programs. In September, Amber Luong, M.D., Ph.D., who completed her rhinology fellowship at Cleveland Clinic, joined the department to lead the development of a translational science program focused on examining the immunological mechanisms of rhinosinusitis. Ronda Alexander, M.D., who did her laryngology fellowship with Dr. Andrew Blitzer in New York, joined us in October to build a comprehensive laryngology program. Samer Fakhri, M.D., who was promoted to associate professor last year in recognition of his clinical excellence and his dedication to resident education, is further developing our rhinology program.

Nationally known pediatric otolaryngologist, Soham Roy, M.D., F.A.C.S., F.A.A.P., joined the medical staff of Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital last year and recently joined the full-time faculty at the UT Medical School to launch our pediatric ENT program. As director of the program, Dr. Roy will lead our efforts to diagnose and treat complex disorders of the head and neck in children and adolescents.

In the second half of 2009, additional faculty members will join the department and offer new services in facial plastic surgery, head and neck surgery, and general ENT.

Last year, we established three new programs. The Texas Sinus Institute (TSI) provides care for complex rhinologic diseases and encompasses a significant research and educational mission. The Texas Skull Base Physicians is a joint program with the Mischer Neuroscience Institute at Memorial Hermann. TSBI emphasizes minimally invasive approaches to the skull base. Finally, the Texas Voice Performance Institute (TVPI)] is a multidisciplinary effort to care for patients with challenging diseases and disorders of the larynx.

Our commitment to education is stronger than ever. We have revitalized our grand rounds activities and are planning our first large CME event, 2009 Advanced Rhinology Concepts, in November.

If you would like to discuss or refer a patient, or if you have questions about our program, please call our clinic line at 713.486.5000 or visit us on the Web at www.ut-ent.org. We’re here to help.

Martin J. Citardi, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Professor and Chair, The University of Texas Medical School at Houston Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Chief of Otorhinolaryngology, Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center