Giovana R. Thomas, M.D., FACS, associate professor in the Division of Head and Neck Oncologic and Robotic Surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has been appointed to a five-year term on the Advanced Training Council of the American Head and Neck Society.
Dr. Thomas joins fellow Miller School faculty member Donald T. Weed, M.D., FACS, on the Advanced Training Council (ATC). Dr. Weed, the W. Jarrard Goodwin Professor, co-leader of the Head and Neck Site Disease Group at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Department of Otolaryngology’s vice chair for academic affairs, also serves as co-chair of the ATC and has been a council member since 2012.
The American Head and Neck Society (AHNS) is the largest organization in North America dedicated to advancing education, research, and quality of care in head and neck oncology. Members of the ATC regulate AHNS-accredited fellowship programs and policies and oversee the highly selective AHNS Fellowship Match Program.
A pioneer in transoral robotic surgery to treat head and neck cancers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Dr. Thomas is co-director of the fellowship training program in head and neck oncologic, robotic surgery and microvascular reconstruction. She also serves as director of the Department of Otolaryngology’s Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery.
Dr. Thomas earned her medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and completed residency training at Georgetown University School of Medicine. She completed a research fellowship and a fellowship in head and neck oncologic surgery/microvascular free tissue transfer at the University of Michigan School of Medicine. Dr. Thomas also was a senior laryngology fellow and a research fellow at the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
“This is a prestigious responsibility. It’s an honor to be part of this council and participate in shaping the AHNS fellowship programs that will prepare future head and neck oncologic surgeons,” said Dr. Thomas. “As a Black and Latina woman, I’m also excited to contribute my unique experiences and perspective to help the council in setting standards for diversity in training.”
For Dr. Weed, service on the committee is a natural extension of his commitment to training future doctors throughout his 25 years at the Miller School of Medicine – including 15 years as director of the ENT residency program. Dr. Weed earned his medical degree and completed residency training in otolaryngology and fellowship training in head and neck and cranial base surgery and microvascular reconstruction at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
“My involvement in training otolaryngology residents and fellows in head and neck surgical oncology and reconstructive techniques is very important to me. I’m committed to that work,” said Dr. Weed. “I consider my work with ATC an important aspect of how I contribute my time outside of the University of Miami to help ensure that patients diagnosed with head and neck cancers get the best care possible.”
The appointment of a second faculty member to a national leadership role with the organization speaks to the caliber and reputation of otolaryngology training at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
“It’s an honor to have two members of our elite head and neck cancer surgery team on this national council,” said Fred F. Telischi, M.D., FACS, chair of otolaryngology. “It’s certainly a recognition of the value of our fellowship program in general, but also an acknowledgment of the outstanding contributions that Dr. Weed and Dr. Thomas have made to the field of otolaryngology.”