During the past year as President, I focused on redefining and prioritizing the goals of our strategic plan and implementing methods to ensure success in meeting the goals. Broadly, I focused on improving the national and international impact of Oral Medicine vis-à-vis our American Academy of Oral Medicine. As an association, we have great people with great ideas. We respect each other’s opinions and have a common goal. The Presidency has been very busy over the past year.
I have had weekly meetings with our executive director and our management partner representative. These meetings have been strategic and operational. Toward the second half of my year as President, I have modeled a new system whereby the President-Elect, Vice President have joined me and the executive director in weekly meetings. This will ensure continuity as we move into the future.
Together the entire Board of Trustees, comprised of the chairs of our committees, have committed to and participated in monthly 1 to 2 hour meetings. Our communication has improved as we exchanged ideas by this forum. The minutes of these meetings are now available on our website, to improve communication to our membership.
I have also asked that all Board members review a “Virtual Board Orientation” which is a series of messages sent out by our management company pertinent to our future growth as an association. The purpose of these messages was to reorient our Board to serve more in a strategic capacity, which will again be paramount in our longer-term development. Rest assured, we continue to be fiscally prudent and are continuing to explore/implement methods to expand and strengthen our fiscal stability.
To that end, our Membership Committee launched what seems to be an effective recruitment campaign. We will present to the General Assembly at the 2011 Annual Meeting in Puerto Rico, a slate of 34 new regular members and 7 new affiliate members. The Academy has not seen such a robust class in a number of years. The campaign is multi-faceted and the next step will be to engage students and residents in an effective way, as well as reach out across the oceans and around the world.
The importance of having an international presence cannot be minimized. Oral Medicine is a recognized specialty abroad and the AAOM needs to further strengthen ties with the European Association of Oral Medicine and other like-minded groups. Inroads were certainly made at the September 2010 10th Biennial Conference of the European Association of Oral Medicine incorporating the World Workshop on Oral Medicine. We need to build on this momentum. We are planning a joint meeting in 2014.
The Specialty Recognition Committee has been working strategically on a plan for the next ADA Specialty Recognition Application. The General Assembly will be engaged in this discussion at the upcoming 2011 meeting and now is the time for the Academy to decide how to proceed. If we move forward in trying to gain specialty recognition, there will be much work. You will be asked to participate and I truly encourage your engagement in this process.
Just following the Annual Meeting last year, the Academy began a process to overhaul the existing website. As the face of the Academy, we felt it was time to modernize. The new website will feature some “open access” areas critical to website traffic. We hope to encourage increased traffic to the site by our patient populations (more to come later) and thereby make our site more attractive to corporate sponsorship. It will also have improved flexibility and basic functioning so critical and expected by our members. Part of the new website will be a new online logo for the Academy. The beta site should be ready for an initial unveiling at the Puerto Rico meeting.
The scientific program for our 2011 Annual Meeting, “The Therapeutics and Pharmacology of Oral Medicine: An Evidence-Based Review,” is sound. The Education Committee has found a mix of Academy Member and non-member speakers who will provide 17 hours of continuing education. Also continuing this year is the well-received afternoon program which will provide an additional 13 hours of continuing education. Local practitioners from the Colegio de Cirujanos Dentistas de Puerto Rico and other groups of dental professionals have been invited to attend.
The fall meeting held October 30, 2010, here in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania was a success. This meeting was cosponsored by the University of Pennsylvania with our Academy and was partially sponsored by Kodak Dental Systems and drew approximately 100 attendees. The executive committee had a meeting during the scientific sessions and acted on the business of our Academy. We have made plans to have a fall meeting at Tufts University on November 4, 2011. Mark your calendars and check the AAOM website in the next month or so for more details.
Other committees have also been extremely busy. Please take a moment to read the on goings of our Academy. Please stay involved! If you are not involved, consider this a call to action! We encourage new people with fresh ideas. It is only through the hard work of our membership that we will continue to grow and be strong.
As I leave the post of President, I want to thank all of you that have helped so tirelessly in moving our organization forward.