Prof. Henryk Skarzynski, M.D., Ph.D., dr. h.c. mult, is a world-renown otosurgeon, specialist in otorhinolaryngology, audiology and phoniatrics, pediatric otolaryngologist. Since 1994, National Specialist, then National Consultant in Audiology and Phoniatrics, since 2011 National Consultant in Otorhinolaryngology. He was the first surgeon in Poland to perform cochlear implantation (1992), brainstem implantation (1998), and middle-ear implantation (2003). In 2002, for the first time in the world he developed a partial deafness treatment program for adults, and in 2004 he operated a child with partial deafness for the first time in the world. This method is considered a Polish specialty known as “Skarzynski’s method” and was implemented in numerous cochlear implant centers in the world. For the purpose of this method, Skarzynki developed a new electrode and clinical procedure. In addition, he introduced over 150 new clinical solutions, which contributed to the development of the field of auditory implants, otosurgery and audiology in Poland and in the world. He was an initiator and organizer of the second in Europe Center for Deaf and Hearing Impaired People “Cochlear Center” (1993), and then of the Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing (1996), the International Center of Hearing and Speech (2003) and the World Hearing Center (2012). Thanks to the work of Prof. H. Skarzynski during the last 20 years, Poland is now one of the world’s leading countries implementing hearing screening programs in children. For 16 years he has been performing the most surgeries to improve hearing in the world.
Skarzynski is the author and co-author of over 1000 publications in Poland and over 3,000 foreign conference scientific reports. He leads an extensive teaching activity for students and physicians in Poland and abroad. Honorary Professor of Provo University, USA (1998), doctor honoris causa of the Academy of Special Education (2011), Warsaw University (2012), Maria Curie-Skłodowska University (2014). Associate Professor of the State Medical and Pharmaceutical University Nicolae Testemitanu in Moldova, Honorary Professor of the National Center for Mother and Child in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
He is the member of most prestigious national and international scientific associations – Chair of the Committee of Clinical Sciences of the Polish Academy of Sciences, honorary member of the Polish and Slovak Otolaryngologist Association, the first ever Polish member of the American Otological Society and the American Neurotology Society, member of CORLAS, POLITZER, ISA, IAO , EAONO and EFAS. He has been awarded with over 150 state honors, such as the award of the Prime Minister, Minister of Health, Minister of Science and Higher Education, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Economy, Minister of Education and Science, Minister of Development, as well as numerous awards in the field of medicine and other prestigious honours in Poland and abroad. He has been decorated by the President of the Republic of Poland with the Knight’s Cross, Order of Polonia Restituta, by the king of Belgium with two national orders, and also orders from the Presidents of Georgia and Ukraine. Honorary Citizen of Warsaw, as well as of the City and Commune of Czyżew. The Man of Freedom awarded on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of Polish Day of Freedom.
Treating deafness with implant surgeries performed by prof. Skarżyński was also recognized in the plebiscite “Science is Freedom”, organized by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education to be the most important scientific event of the last 25 years. Professor Skarżyński is also awarded by the ecclesiastical community: the Medal “For merits to the Archdiocese of Warsaw” awarded by Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, the Primate’s Medal granted by His Eminence Archbishop Wojciech Polak, Primate of Poland, and Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Medal, granted by Pope Francis. He was awarded the Order of Smile and the ECCE HOMO Medal by the International Chapter. In 2016 and 2017, in the “List of 100” ranking published by the editors of “Puls Medycyny” he was considered the most influential person in Polish medicine, and in other rankings organized so far he ranked in the first hundred taking places from 46 to 2. In addition, prof. Skarzynski received the title of the Golden Engineer and then the Honorary Engineer from the technical environment. From among approximately 150 awards granted by various environments, there are: Business Mace awarded by the Polish-Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce, Special Honorary Pearl awarded by the editors of Polish Market, the title of “Outstanding Pole” awarded by the Chapter of the “Teraz Polska” Competition, Medal of the National Education Committee, Medal of the Senate of the Republic of Poland, Medal of prof. Jan Nielubowicz of the District Medical Council in Warsaw, the title “Benevolenti” for supporting pro-social initiatives of the Pro Seniore Foundation, Medal of Tytus Chałubiński, “Bene Meritus” Badge, LAUDABILIS award granted by the District Medical Council and the title “Trustworthy” for special merits for the benefit of the Medical Self-Government, Medal Gloria Medicinae awarded for outstanding services for medicine by the Polish Medical Association, the statuette of the Wiktor Television Academy in the category of Personality of Science and Culture, Honorary Oscar of Polish Business, the main award at the “21st Century Achievement Award Winners” in the category of healthcare for the Remote Fitting and Telerehabilitation System in Washington, Special Prize and Medal of Professor Zbigniew Religa granted by the Foundation for Children “Zdążyć z Pomocą” (On time with help). For merits and cooperation, he was awarded medals by the University of Warsaw, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Warsaw Medical University, Warsaw University of Technology, Fryderyk Chopin University of Music, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw.
In the name of Polish science and medicine, he and his team organized a screening program in 20 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.
He initiated and coordinated the program “Equal opportunities for children with communication disorders in European countries”, which was part of the priority of the Polish presidency in the EU. He was the main initiator of two scientific European consensus on hearing screening in pre-school and school children, and on screening tests for hearing, sight and speech in pre-school and school children under the name “European Consensus Statement on Hearing, Vision and Speech Screening in Pre-School and School-Age Children”. Following these activities, which were carried out jointly with the Ministry of Health, “EU Council Conclusions on early detection and treatment of communication disorders in children, including the use of e-Health tools and innovative solutions” were endorsed on December 2, 2011.
His greatest research, clinical and educational achievement was concept preparation, construction and launch of the World Hearing Center in May 2012.