Howard W. Francis, MD, has been named the new chair of the Department of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences, effective immediately. Dr. Francis has served as interim chair since July 2019 when the Division of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences in the Department of Surgery was elevated to department status. He formally served as chief of the division.
Dr. Francis is the Richard Hall Chaney, Sr. Distinguished Professor of Otolaryngology. He joined Duke in 2017 after serving as professor and vice director of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (OHNS) at Johns Hopkins University. He also served as director of the Johns Hopkins Listening Center, director of the OHNS residency program, and inaugural co-chair of the Johns Hopkins Ambulatory Patient Safety and Quality Task Force.
Dr. Francis is an internationally recognized expert in ear and skull base surgery with over 20 years of experience in this field. Starting with the elucidation of sensory and neural mechanisms of hearing loss, his research interests and contributions have evolved over the years. These include the development and evaluation of best practices in acoustic neuroma treatment, the study of functional, psychosocial, and quality of life outcomes of cochlear implantation, and the development of best practices in surgical education.
His organizational roles include president of the Society of University Otolaryngologists and director of Education for the American Neurotology Society. He serves on the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Institute for Deafness and Communication Sciences, the Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Residency Review Committee of the ACGME, and the Board of Directors of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. He has served on the editorial boards for JAMA Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Otology & Neurotology, Operative Techniques in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, and the World Journal of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, and is a senior editor of the Cummings Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery text.
Dr. Francis received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health, Science, and Technology. He completed his residency in OHNS followed by a fellowship in neurotology and skull base surgery at Johns Hopkins Medical School. He received his MBA from the Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins University.