Newswise — The American Thyroid Association (ATA) launched its governance year announcing election results of new officers and directors at the 86th Annual Meeting of the ATA in Denver, Colorado.

The ATA installed John C. Morris, III as President for the 2016-2017 governance year. Dr. Morris was elected in 2015 as President-elect after serving as Secretary of the ATA for 5 years. John Morris, MD, is Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic School of Medicine (Rochester, MN) and past Chair of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, and Nutrition. Dr. Morris is involved in clinical practice, education, and research, with a special emphasis on thyroid disease. He directs a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded research laboratory investigating the role of the sodium-iodide symporter as a novel therapeutic gene for cancer gene therapy. Among many leadership roles in the ATA, he has co-chaired the ATA Program Committee.

The ATA newly elected officers and directors, including Charles H. Emerson, MD as its new President-elect and Julie Ann Sosa as its new Treasurer-elect, and the addition of Ralph Tufano, MD, MBA and J. Woody Sistrunk to its Board of Directors. The ballot and election guide were sent to all Active and Senior members and voting took place for the 30 days prior to the 86th Annual Meeting of the ATA, September 21-25, 2016, in Denver, Colorado.

Dr. Charles Emerson is Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Randolph Macon College (Ashland, VA) and his medical degree from the University of Virginia (Charlottesville). He completed his Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine and an Endocrine Fellowship under Robert D. Utiger, MD at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA).

Dr. Emerson is a member of the Endocrine Society, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and the European Thyroid Association. During his 40 years as a member of the ATA, he has served on the Program, Awards, and Development Committees, and as Chair of the Membership and Bylaws Committees. He was a member of the ATA Board of Directors from 2003 to 2007 and served as Treasurer from 2004 to 2007. He was Editor-in-Chief of Thyroid from 2008-2012. Dr. Emerson envisions the ATA as a home and voice for both individuals and groups, for original groundbreaking research and education of health care workers and the public, and for scholarly work by individuals and collective synthesis of the literature by groups.

Dr. Julie Ann Sosa is Professor of Surgery and Medicine (Oncology) at Duke University (Durham, NC), where she serves as Chief of Endocrine Surgery and Director of the Surgical Center for Outcomes Research, as well as Leader of the Endocrine Neoplasia Diseases Group at the Duke Cancer Institute and the Duke Clinical Research Institute, a large transdisciplinary group of clinicians and researchers. Her clinical interest is in endocrine surgery, with a focus in thyroid cancer. Dr. Sosa received a Bachelor's degree at Princeton University (NJ), a Master's degree at Oxford University (U.K.), and her MD at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore, MD), where she also completed the Halsted residency and a fellowship. She serves on the Board of Directors of the ATA and is board liaison to the Finance and Audit Committee and the Internet Communications Committee. Dr. Sosa aims to look for ways to help expand development opportunities while maintaining fiscal responsibility in order to assure a position of strength for the ATA to pursue new and old priorities identified by its members, and to allow the ATA to grow in impact and stature.

Dr. Ralph Tufano is the Charles W. Cummings MD Endowed Professor and Chief of the Division of Head and Neck Endocrine Surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Baltimore, MD). Dr. Tufano earned his medical degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo and completed a residency in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) followed by a fellowship in Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Tufano has served on the ATA Program Committee and the Surgery Task Force, as Co-chair of the Ad hoc Surgical Affairs Committee, and as inaugural Co-chair of the Surgical Affairs Committee. Among Dr. Tufano's goals as a Board member are to strengthen communication and collaboration between current members of the ATA for the benefit of our patients. Using novel technology for timely and effective communication and dissemination of ATA information is critical to getting our message established and out, which will further establish the ATA’s position as the leading multidisciplinary society for defining and revolutionizing care for patients with thyroid disease while also promoting professional development of its members.

Dr. J. Woody Sistrunk is a practicing endocrinologist/clinical thyroidologist in Jackson, Mississippi. He obtained his MD degree from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine, and completed his Internal Medicine residency and Endocrinology fellowship at Mayo Clinic-Rochester. As a member of the ATA, Dr. Sistrunk has served as Chair of the History and Archives Committee and continues in this role as past-chair. He has also served on the faculty for the ATA E. Chester Ridgway Trainee Conference at annual ATA meetings. Dr. Sistrunk has served as Chair of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) Endocrine Certification in Neck Ultrasound (ECNU) Committee and is currently a member of the AACE Thyroid Scientific Committee. He is also President of the Mississippi Society of Nuclear Medicine, and serves on the National Cancer Institute’s Head and Neck Rare Tumor Task Force. Dr. Sistrunk sees a unique opportunity for the ATA to offer teaching for endocrinologists, surgeons, and radiologists in proper thyroid ultrasound imaging techniques, while providing a background in effective clinical management of thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer.

###The American Thyroid Association (ATA) is the leading worldwide organization dedicated to the advancement, understanding, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of thyroid disorders and thyroid cancer. ATA is an international membership medical society with over 1,700 members from 43 countries around the world. Celebrating its 93rd anniversary, the ATA delivers its mission — of being devoted to thyroid biology and to the prevention and treatment of thyroid disease through excellence in research, clinical care, education, and public health — through several key endeavors: the publication of highly regarded professional journals, Thyroid, Clinical Thyroidology, and VideoEndocrinology; annual scientific meetings; biennial clinical and research symposia; research grant programs for young investigators, support of online professional, public and patient educational programs; and the development of guidelines for clinical management of thyroid disease and thyroid cancer. The ATA promotes thyroid awareness and information through its online Clinical Thyroidology for the Public and extensive, authoritative explanations of thyroid disease and thyroid cancer in both English and Spanish. The ATA website serves as the clinical resource for patients and the public who look for reliable information on the Internet. Every fifth year, the American Thyroid Association joins with the Latin American Thyroid Society, the European Thyroid Association, and the Asia and Oceania Thyroid Association to co-sponsor the International Thyroid Congress (ITC).