Dr. Jerome Hilger: 1979 – 1980

Respect, Growth, Transition

Jerome A. Hilger, MD, served the longest presidential term—18 months. This extended presidency reflected an amendment to the bylaws that changed the date on which presidents would assume office. Previously, this had occurred at the spring meeting; now the new officers would come on board in the fall. Hilger served from the spring of 1979 until the fall of 1980. He fought for respect and support from the otolaryngologists and worked hard to sort things out with the otolaryngology family. It was during his presidency that Jack Anderson, MD, won the defamation lawsuit and donated the proceedings to the Educational and Research Foundation for the AAFPRS. In accepting the gift, Hilger stated, “No one stands taller in the ranks of facial plastic surgery than Dr. Anderson, and his gift demonstrates the high principles he has set for facial plastic surgery.”

There was significant growth of the organization during this period, necessitating hiring an executive director in 1979. Hilger was crucial during this transition. In addition to his presidency of the AAFPRS, he also shared his talent for leadership as president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology, the American Triological Society, the American Council of Otolaryngology, and the Society for Computer Medicine. He was active in the American College of Surgeons, the National Center for the Study of Health Science Liability, the International Institute for Computers in Medicine, the American Board of Otolaryngology, and the American Cancer Society.

Note: Summary taken from Academy printed material