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Spring 2020 Newsletter: Message from the President

Welcome to the spring 2020 newsletter!

So much has changed in our world since we last met. We regretted having to cancel our wonderful spring meeting in Orlando FL, which had extraordinary events scheduled to celebrate our 75th Anniversary as an Academy. We are grateful to Dr. Craig Hatch for so swiftly pivoting and allowing us to escape penalties for cancellation. For those who were so much looking forward to returning to The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, not to worry, Dr. Hatch has secured this as our spring meeting site in 2024. For those who are longing to get on the road again and explore, please look forward to our future meeting destinations of Hyatt Seattle, WA in 2021, The Peabody Memphis, TN in 2022 and Hyatt Savannah, GA in 2023.

Much of the spring 2020 program will be moved to our next annual meeting however, some components that the Scientific Session Chairs, Dr. Arwa Farag and Dr. Alessandro Villa, could not move are being considered for virtual offerings this summer. Abstracts Session Chairs Dr. Kentaro Ikeda and Dr. Bhavik Desai are working with submitters to determine best methods to present material. OOOO will be publishing the abstracts that were accepted for publication from the cancelled spring 2020 meeting.

You all received the wonderful news in March of our recognition as the 11th new ADA Specialty by the National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards. The ABOM, led by President Dr. Cesar Migliorati, is busy at work polishing their Certifying Board application that will be submitted this August for review at the next National Commission meeting in March 2021. Our specialty recognition has been followed by requests to appoint Oral Medicine experts to various ADA committees. We are grateful to Dr. Michaell Huber for representing us on the National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards and Dr. Wendy Hupp for representing us on the Appeals Committee for the National Commission.

As time has progressed other requests have come to us so we have charged Dr. Miriam Robbins to lead a Task Force that likely will become a standing committee to design a process for handling these appointment requests that have various specific requirements and conflict of interest restrictions.

One of our exciting new initiatives as we move into a world of virtual learning is the AAOM Webinar Series overseen by Dr. Jaisri Thoppay. Our first offering features Dr. Michael Glick and Dr. Craig Miller sharing their expertise on COVID-19: The Known and the Unknown in Dentistry and Oral Medicine, and has over 600 attendees registered for the 11:00 am EDT Friday May 29, 2020.  This series is planned to continue through the year with a diversity of topics that are important to our members and can highlight the expertise we provide in Oral Medicine in caring for patients and expanding science and knowledge.

We are truly looking forward to the AAOM Fall meeting at the University of Pennsylvania, hosted by the team of Dr. Sunday Akintoye, Dr. Katherine France, Dr. Eric Stoopler and Dr. Tom Sollecito. The meeting theme is an Update 2020: General Medicine for Dental Medicine.  Speakers include Penn Medicine faculty paired with Oral Medicine faculty covering a variety of diseases we manage in common. The current plan is an in-person meeting but the alternative of a virtual meeting is possible.  Increasingly we may see hybrid or blended models for our meetings where some attendees are on site and other joining sessions from the comfort of their home or office by video conferencing.

At our Board of Trustees virtual meeting May 27, 2020, the Trustees approved renaming our Academies highest honor The Diamond Pin Award, the Craig S. Miller Diamond Pin Award. At this same meeting, our Trustees voted to hold the current officers in place for the coming year, given no official in person meeting to allow the swearing in tradition. This COVID era temporary pause in leadership role transition is in keeping with the plans of our sister group, the ABOM. That being said this year Immediate Past President Dr. Eric Stoopler and President-Elect, Dr. Andres Pinto will be serving with me in a “Presidential Triumvirate.” This structure has been working well over the past few months and provides you, our members, with additional expertise/experience, insight and creativity in your leadership team to help move the Academy forward in these challenging times. We look forward to strategic planning as an Academy in honor of our specialty recognition and 75th Anniversary when some “COVID-19” dust settles.

Finally, I want to thank our SBI management company and Ms. Michele Reeder, our executive director, for their continued excellence in providing support and guidance to our Academy.

Stay safe, stay healthy and enjoy your summer!

Kind regards,
Lauren L. Patton, DDS
AAOM President