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Welcome from the Chair

Howard W. Francis, MD, MBA, FACS Professor and Chief, Division of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences
Howard W. Francis, MD, MBA
Richard Hall Chaney, Sr. Professor of
Otolaryngology
Chair, Department of
Head and Neck Surgery &
Communication Sciences
Professor of Surgery

It is difficult to capture the full essence of a learning community on a website, but we hope that your visit will stoke an interest in learning more about us. The Department of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences is a community committed to excellence in patient care, the development of tomorrow’s leaders and the improvement of patient outcomes through discovery and innovation. To consistently achieve excellence in all three missions, we place a high value on maintaining a culture in which all members can fully develop and express their talents towards the common mission of “promoting healthier connections with the world”. In this regard everyone has a leadership role in ensuring that our clinical, teaching and research teams flourish. There is therefore a deliberate effort to support leadership development and promote such values as initiative, integrity, self-discipline, compassion and accountability.  We have developed innovative programs such as Leadership Lived Out in order to build high functioning teams across our mission areas that have led to a strong sense of community and common purpose. 

On July 1, 2019, the Department of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences comes into existence within one of the world’s top research universities.  Our task is captured in the words of Dr. Eugene Washington, Chancellor of the Duke University Health System, “The delivery of tomorrow’s healthcare today”, which we pursue by leveraging Duke’s world class talent and resources, and by cultivating a culture of inquiry embedded in service.  Our vision moving forward is to bridge the innovation gap between basic science discovery and patient or population health outcomes relevant to communication and head and neck disorders. By enhancing our strength in clinical research while also leveraging Duke’s excellence in basic and translational sciences we are building robust research programs that contribute to the pipeline of new treatments for these disorders. The interplay between communication disability, health status and quality of life is becoming increasingly clear and we are now positioned as a new Department to be a recognized leader in our clinical, research and educational missions to promote healthier connections with the world.

Howard W. Francis, MD, MBA
Richard Hall Chaney, Sr. Professor of Otolaryngology
Chair, Department of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences
Professor of Surgery