Fall 2023 Newsletter

Connections 2023

Inside Duke Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences

Fall 2023

Message from Dr. Francis

Howard Francis

Welcome to the second quarter edition of "Connections," our Departmental newsletter. This issue spotlights the tireless efforts of our faculty and residents in advancing knowledge, practice, and patient experience across all four missions. We emphasize community engagement, clinical innovation, compassionate care, and collaborative leadership.

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The Project CHECKERS team

Project CHECKERS Launches New Community Engagement Efforts for Duke HNS&CS

Project CHECKERS (Community Head and NEck Cancer Knowledge, Engagement, Research and Screening) will be the department’s first community-based participatory research project — and the first such head and neck cancer screening and cancer prevention education project in North Carolina.

Abstract multicolor illustration

Sinusitis or Migraine? Optimized Screening Could Improve Diagnosis and Treatment

To enable more accurate diagnoses and effective care of sinus headaches, the Jang Research Program created a validated sinus symptom screening questionnaire to differentiate sinusitis from non-rhinogenic facial pain/pressure. 

Dr. Jone and Dr. Cohen

Dysphagia in Older Adults: New Implications for Health Outcomes

Recent studies led by Harrison Jones, PhD, and Seth Cohen, MD, have revealed that dysphagia is associated with negative psychosocial health factors. This research may lead to improvements in the screening, assessment, and treatment of dysphagia in older adults to enhance their overall health. 

Dr. Jang and Tami Runyan, PA

Optimizing the Patient Experience While Extending Duke’s Reach

Demand for rhinology care outpaced the availability of faculty. A PA dedicated to the team, Tami Runyan, helps provide highly specialized, collaborative care — and streamlines the patient experience.

Abstract illustration of a person's head

Right-Hemisphere Strokes: Researching Linguistic Apragmatism

Pragmatic communication skills can be impaired when a stroke causes apragmatism. Jamila Minga, Ph.D., seeks to help survivors of right-hemisphere stroke return to their jobs, families, and communities with their best possible outcomes.

Dr. Puscas and Dr. Woodard

Recognizing Extra Effort

Many faculty volunteer their time to contribute to courses, workshops and boot camps the Department holds, allowing trainees to get deeper exposure to a specialty and helps the Department further its educational mission.

Roblix Patterson and hearX staff

Working Globally, Thinking Locally for Improved Care

Rolvix “Robbie” Patterson has turned a passion for global health into opportunities to improve otolaryngology care around the world, thanks to opportunities through Duke Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences’s NIH R25 Surgeon Scientist Track and the Global Health Residency/Fellowship Pathway at Duke.