Spectacular year for the Department of Otolaryngology

A warm greeting to our esteemed friends and colleagues from the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.  

It is with great pleasure that I share with you all the tremendous happenings here at Ohio State in the past year. The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center was again named the Best Hospital in central Ohio by U.S. News & World Report.  And, we are pleased and honored our medical specialty was ranked sixth in the nation, bringing us even closer to our department’s stated goal in 2014 of being a “Top 5 Department in 5 Years.” This is a true testament to our entire team’s unwavering commitment, talent and hard work in the tripartite mission of research, education and patient care over the past year. 

Recruiting exceptional talent into our department in both the clinical and research divisions continues to be one of our top priorities. Stephen Nogan, MD, MPH , joins our clinical faculty in Facial Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery.  Adding to our multidisciplinary Sinus and Allergy Center, Kara Wada, MD, joins us as an allergist and immunologist. Both Drs. Nogan and Wada recently completed their fellowships at Ohio State. Ethan Bassett, MD, joins our busy pediatric otolaryngology team after completing his fellowship program at Baylor College of Medicine. Joining our research faculty are two renowned leaders in their field — Daniel Merfeld, PhD, in vestibular dysfunction and most recently, Shuman He, MD, PhD, in the areas of hearing loss and cochlear implants. In addition, our faculty remains committed to embracing new leadership opportunities. Congratulations to Amit Agrawal, MD, and Minka Schofield, MD, who were both recently elected as the next chiefs of staff-elect for The James Cancer Hospital and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, respectively. 

As you will read in subsequent pages, we have expanded our research portfolio to include two grants for our Buckeye Center for Hearing and Development — a R21 grant to understand how early cochlear implants affect children’s development and a K23 grant to explore cognitive functions and outcomes in adults with cochlear implants. We are also incredibly grateful to donors Sally Millett, Art Shepard and Jim Shoup for their generous philanthropic support in furthering our research mission.

At the end of September, we bid a fond farewell to our friend and colleague Ted Teknos, MD. After nine years in the Ohio State Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and at the helm as chair since 2014, Ted moved north to become president and scientific director of the Seidman Cancer Center at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. We thank Ted for his exceptional leadership and wish him well in his new position. I am honored to serve this great department as chair.  


James W. Rocco, MD, PhD
Professor and Chair, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
The Mary E. and John W. Alford Research Chair in Head and Neck Cancer
Director, Head and Neck Disease Specific Research Group, OSUCCC
Medical Director, Head and Neck Service Line