The Great Lakes Association of Orthodontists (GLAO) is a constituent of the American Association of Orthodontists. Components of the GLAO include: Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Ontario (Canada), and Pennsylvania (west of the Alleghenies). The GLAO advocates on behalf of its members and promotes the advancement of the Specialty of Orthodontics.
A MESSAGE FROM THE GLAO PRESIDENT...
As an avid endurance runner, I’m known to be in it for the long haul. As your GLAO President, I’m in it for the long haul and encourage you to join me on my journey. I see many similarities between my relationship with running and with organized orthodontics. The more I put into my relationship with running, the more I get out of it. The more I put into my relationship with organized orthodontics (component, constituent and national level) the more benefits I have received and the more I have grown as an orthodontist. I encourage every member to get involved with organized orthodontics. Not sure at what level you want to be involved? Start with your state component (5K) and you may find yourself itching to further your experience and get involved on a larger level with your constituent (13.1 mile - half marathon) or you might be "all in" and want to serve the AAO (26.2mile - the marathon). Regardless of the level of commitment, take the first step and you will not regret the experience.
Things are constantly changing in our profession and being involved helps you keep abreast of the most current information. As your new GLAO President I want you to know how hard your leadership has been working to bring our message to the public and to help you deliver the best orthodontic care possible. Below I have highlighted a few current topics we have been addressing. Before I highlight those topics I want to acknowledge Dr. Dale Ann Featheringham. It has been a pleasure to work with her and I am honored to be following in her Presidential path. We are all fortunate to have her serving our organization.
The CAP (Consumer Awareness Program) has seen tremendous growth in consumer access to our message. This is likely due to our new campaign which is much more efficient at reaching our target audience through an all-online digital approach. Be assured that your leadership continues to monitor how your membership dollars are spent and we are looking forward to more access to our message (through our social media strategies) and more patients in your offices (media helps direct them to our members). We are educating the public about our specialty and how we have specialized education beyond dental school and are specialists in straightening teeth and aligning the bite.
As you know DIY (Do It Yourself) orthodontics is an alarming new problem that we are seeing more frequently. This is an important topic that our consumer awareness program is addressing. Our organization urges consumers to beware of Internet videos and websites which encourage people to try and straighten their own teeth. By educating the public that moving teeth is a medical procedure and needs personal supervision by an orthodontist we help prevent the DIY orthodontics that can result in expensive and lifelong dental problems.
Another important development that you want to keep on your radar involves the consensus conference on Sleep Apnea. The AAO will develop a white paper outlining any relationship between sleep apnea and orthodontics. It will evaluate what is proven and what research we still need. Many of our members have been faced with questions and treatment modalities involving sleep apnea and this paper will answer many of your questions and help strengthen your knowledge on the subject.
Yes, we are striving to get information to the public and to our members as efficiently as possible. The current change in CE courses will also help with these goals. Providers who wish to offer courses of shorter spans, such as a 30 minute podcast (think TED talk), will be able to offer credit in .25 hour increments. This will open new opportunities for our members and will likely be utilized in upcoming meetings.
In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to Toronto, September 13-16, 2018 for the GLAO/MASO joint Annual Session entitled “Reel Smiles”. Our members will have the opportunity to attend a series of fine lectures and gain some essential and required CE. There is absolutely something new and worthwhile for even the most experienced among us. In addition, the staff and joint sessions will be great, so bring everyone along for a team building experience. At the same time the Toronto Film Festival (www.tiff.net) will be in full swing (hence “Reel Smiles”). Toronto is a fantastic city with much to offer both our Canadian and American members. Come prepared to open your mind to great lectures and fill your soul with great company.