The AAE Board of Directors arrived in Washington, D.C., for its Interim Meeting on Nov. 5-6, 2015, energized to move the specialty forward by undertaking major new initiatives. The meeting, which was held in conjunction with the ADA Annual Session and House of Delegates Meeting, also provided AAE leaders a chance to meet with AAE members serving as representatives to the HOD and to engage with ADA’s senior leadership, including ADA President Dr. Maxine Feinberg, President-Elect Dr. Carol Gomez Summerhays and Executive Director Dr. Kathleen O’Loughlin.
A recurring theme in the Board’s discussions was maintaining the AAE’s relevance for our members at all career stages and in all career settings. Strategic discussions began with the task of selecting a new AAE logo. As part of a rebranding initiative approved at the 2015 Annual Meeting, the Board was asked to give feedback and direction on three logo designs proposed by a Special Committee, in partnership with a branding and design consultant. The Board is excited to unveil the AAE’s new “look” at AAE16!
To be effective, a rebranding effort must be accompanied by consistent and effective communication to different audiences. Accordingly, the Board approved moving forward with other communications efforts, including an integrated communications strategy focused on optimizing social media and reaching younger members, and the creation of an online interactive community for AAE members, with an emphasis on mobile platforms. The Board agreed that the community will launch at APICES 2016 in July.
The Board also approved a new young leadership development program to be held in 2016-2017 and again in 2018-2019. The one-day program in Chicago will aim to identify and energize young endodontists for leadership roles in the AAE through participation in strategic discussions and education on different paths to leadership. A Special Committee has been appointed to plan the details of the program, including the application process, dates and final program agenda.
The Board discussed ongoing concerns regarding adequacy of training and outcomes in undergraduate endodontic education. These concerns relate to competency in performing nonsurgical root canal treatment, including treatment involving molar teeth. The Board approved the appointment of a Special Committee that will develop an endodontic curriculum template with recommendations on enhancing endodontic education at the predoctoral level. Guidelines will focus on educational content, teaching methods and the management of advanced training for the predoctoral student.
At the Board’s annual luncheon for AAE members who also serve as delegates to the ADA House, the AAE was pleased to host Drs. Feinberg, Gomez Summerhays and O’Loughlin. Reflecting on the end of her presidential year, Dr. Feinberg discussed the challenges facing all of dentistry. The AAE Board members and delegates enjoyed the opportunity to talk informally with the ADA leaders during lunch and share concerns about issues impacting specialists. The AAE also hosted another successful cocktail reception attended by key members of the dental community.
Board members wrapped up their responsibilities by attending ADA House of Delegates Reference Committee hearings. The most-debated issue related to proposed new training standards for enteral sedation, and the issue was referred back to a committee for further study. A number of resolutions passed that are aimed at helping the ADA respond quickly to the changing practice environment.