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 Speciality of Orthodontics.
A MESSAGE FROM THE GLAO PRESIDENT…
Thank you to Greg Oppenhuizen for a wonderful year of leadership at the GLAO! The annual session in Grand Rapids was exciting and rewarding on all levels. Metaphorically speaking after Greg’s year as president… the house is in order the dishes are clean and put away, there is a place for everything and everything is in its place. Greg quoted Willy Nelson in his first presidential message…hopefully I won’t be evoking Jimmy Buffett’s song “Gypsies in the palace.” It’s a bit intimidating following such a well orchestrated administration!
Looking to the future there are several items that I believe are significant to the specialty and to our organization. Making sure that orthodontic specialists are recognized by the public as the most qualified source for straightening teeth and aligning the bite, is the emphasis of the AAO CAP (Consumer Awareness Program). Thanks to GLAO efforts in the HOD there is now also an easy option for making voluntary donations to the CAP. The HOD also approved a CAP matching program that allows for component organizations to implement advertising with financial help from the AAO.
The GLAO leadership believes that professional advocacy is a key element of organized dentistry. The AAO HOD recently approved a legal assistance fund intended to help components at the grass roots level dealing with legislative concerns related to the practice of orthodontics. The GLAO is also working on a legislative communication network to facilitate access to legislative advocacy for our membership.
The GLAO believes in actively engaging its members and we’re especially interested in engaging our new and younger members. One way to achieve more meaningful interaction with our younger members is to connect with them while they are still residents. GLAO leaders are establishing university liaisons at each orthodontic school within the GLAO. These liaisons will be directly engaged with residents and the leadership of the GLAO to make sure residents voices and concerns are known, and so that action can be taken to serve them effectively. A specific goal of our organization should be to have all residents attend each of the GLAO annual session meetings when held within our geographic constituent. We hold residents receptions, and provide financial incentives to residents who attend the GLAO annual business meeting, however there is room for developing more meaningful connections with residents and new and younger members. The GLAO believes in seeking input from its membership in order to provide the best service.
At the GLAO we believe that cutting edge educational programs and sharing of information between colleagues are critical to our profession. Making sure that our annual sessions are rewarding and relevant to our members is a core value. There is an ongoing committee seeking to improve the quality and inspire innovation of future annual session experiences for our membership. Longitudinal planning combined with new and younger member participation will insure that future annual sessions will be filled with creative learning and member networking opportunities.
Finally, I believe excellent communication is the key to organizational effectiveness. Please make sure that your electronic contact information with the AAO is current at all times! There is an effort at the AAO as well as within the GLAO to update the way we connect with our members. We plan to start sending shorter messages with easy access links to expanded resources. This shortened message format will allow you to quickly filter the messages you receive, focusing on the content you find valuable. Look for more communications about the 2016 GLAO annual session September 22-25 at the Arizona Biltmore hotel. This meeting will provide excellent learning and growth opportunities for both Doctors and staff. Looking forward to seeing you when we “Connect, Grow, Energize… in the Valley of the Sun!”