Christopher Hartnick, MD
2011 Team Eye and Ear member
Raised $19,662 for Pediatric Airway Research
As a Pediatric Otolaryngologist at Mass. Eye and Ear, I feel incredibly fortunate to meet and help care for children with a wide variety of breathing, speaking, swallowing, and hearing disorders. Many of the children who come to see me have been elsewhere before and are coming for a second, third, or fourth opinion when no easy answers are evident. They see me, but also see our entire team of pediatric health care professionals, and together we strive to find a cure or best solution for that particular child and his or her family.
It is this team concept that makes Mass. Eye and Ear special. It is also what made this year’s marathon a special event for me. Our pediatric marathon team included (besides myself) a pediatric anesthesiologist, a pediatric nurse, a child life specialist, as well as many of my former pediatric otolaryngology fellows. The seven team members came from all over the country to run for Team Eye and Ear. We ran to raise funds for ongoing research that will allow us to better image and inspect areas like vocal cords where currently, when we will need to perform biopsies, we are forced to cause damage. We are in the final stages of developing laser microscopy which will allow us to accurately look at and within these vital structures with such an accurate eye that we will no longer need to biopsy. This noninvasive technology will help us understand how better to treat children who have trouble speaking. The technology will also help guide us how best to restore speech in those children who have had airway reconstructions either to remove a tracheotomy or for treatment of head and neck cancer where their vocal folds have been damaged. We hope this technology will help guide us to know how "deep" we need to treat diseases so that we can children may have to endure treatments fewer times a year.
Together our marathon team of seven raised more than $53,000. I could not be more proud of the team or hopeful for the future for children with airway disorders.