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2017 BEACON OF HOPE AWARD RECIPIENT:

David M. Cognetti, MD, FACS
Associate Professor and Co-Director, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center of Thomas Jefferson University

In recognition of an outstanding individual or agency instrumental in filling hearts with HOPE and shining a LIGHT in the darkness of cancer. We are proud and honored to recognize Dr. David M. Cognetti of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia with our “BEACON OF HOPE AWARD!

Dr. Cognetti was born and raised in Scranton, Pa (where all roads meet.)  He is the second tallest of nine children.  He and his siblings spent their childhood rooting against the Philadelphia Eagles and vacationing down the shore in Ocean City, NJ.  He currently serves as the Co-director of the Jefferson Center for Head and Neck Surgery.  At Jefferson, he initiated (with the help of dedicated colleagues and tremendous nursing teams) programs in Transoral Robotic Surgery as well as Sialendoscopy, both of which are innovative technologies that eliminate the need for radical open surgery. Both programs were one of the earliest of their kind in the United States and are currently among the busiest in the country.

Dr. Cognetti received his BS in Biology from Georgetown University, where he made an unsuccessful walk-on bid for the men’s basketball team.  He received his MD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where his future wife scored higher than him on all medical school exams and achieved a contested victory over him in a 10k race.  He completed a residency in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University before completing a fellowship in Advanced Head and Neck Oncologic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.  Dr. Cognetti returned to Jefferson, his professional home, as faculty in 2008.

Dr. Cognetti has served many leadership roles at the institutional, regional, and national levels.  He completed the Jefferson Leadership Academy and currently serves as the chair of the Operating Room Committee at Jefferson. He serves as the Secretary/Treasurer for the Pennsylvania Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.  He is the chair of the Head and Neck Surgery Education Committee for the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and the co-chair of the History Committee of the Endocrine Surgery Section of the American Head and Neck Society.  He also serves on the Head and Neck Steering Committee Rare Tumors Task Force for the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute.  He has received a Castle Connolly Top Doc Award for the past three years.  Above all, he is tirelessly committed to the care of patients, in Philadelphia, Haiti, and beyond, and he is constantly looking at ways to improve systems and outcomes.   He currently resides in Penn Valley, PA with his supportive wife, Missy, and their three strong and independent daughters, Julia, Claire, and Sophia.

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