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Survey after survey, members have expressed a desire for the AAE to do more to build awareness of the need to save natural dentition and see a specialist when requiring endodontic treatment. In response to a recurring and high-priority need highlighted by members — more advocacy on behalf of the endodontic specialty and specialist —several initiatives have been launched to bolster our response to these member needs.

Most recently, it became clear that the combination and alignment of interdisciplinary advocacy and advanced training/academics under one department/staff director was needed. Thus, a new department, Advocacy and Professional Relations, has been created to manage relationships in pre- and post-doctoral education matters, specialty recognition, governmental and regulatory affairs, practice affairs, and dental benefits. This new department will be led by the Assistant Executive Director, Advocacy and Professional Relations.

“This is an exciting time for the AAE and the AAE Foundation,” said Executive Director Ken Widelka. “This new structure will position the association for more potent advocacy on behalf of patients, the profession and our members.”

Our realignment arrives on the heels of a series of organizational enhancements launched in recent years to advance our standing with patients and dental professionals. The primary organizational imperative was the development of the new AAE Strategic Plan. This plan sets forth the organizational direction, and staff’s role is to advance the plan and achieve the plan’s goals.

One component of the Strategic Plan is for the public to value saving their natural teeth and seek endodontists—the specialists in saving teeth—for their care.

In order to achieve this, through the effort of the Board of Directors, the Public & Professional Relations Committee, staff and other members, the AAE is on its way to developing a new consumer engagement initiative to address the patient/public. This new campaign will launch in January 2019.

We’ve also introduced new white papers on Endodontic Competency and Treatment Standards intended to address the minimum level of care that any clinician performing endodontics, regardless of education or training, is expected to meet.