One Year Later: AAE Reflects on the COVID-19 Pandemic
In March of 2020, our lives were upended by the global pandemic. Now a year later, we are undoubtedly experiencing a new reality – or – what many have dubbed – “the new normal”, but there appears to be light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccines have been developed, and they’re being distributed across the U.S. and worldwide.
No matter how much the world around us changed this past year, the AAE’s commitment to supporting its members and the patients they treat is unwavering. In the beginning, the AAE sprang into action by developing and launching a dedicated member resources page and a patient focused page.
To help members keep up to date about the latest pandemic related news and developments, the AAE developed and issued dozens of electronic newsletters known as the Briefing. (The AAE continues to issue these critical communications on a bi-weekly basis).
The AAE also developed a free webinar series around COVID-19, and held a free virtual conference last summer. We also pre-published several important research articles so that our members could get the information quickly rather than have to wait for publication in the JOE.
The Association launched a grassroots campaign to urge governors and their state health officials to recognize endodontists as essential health care providers to qualify for appropriate and effective PPE. It launched a second grassroots campaign to urge Congress to support endodontists in various COVID-19 related stimulus packages. It also provided interim practice guidance, as well as writeups and a featured expert series to help members learn more about government programs that may be available and provided free COVID-19 related webinars. For endodontic educators and residents, the AAE provided virtual didactic education each week, which now continues on a monthly basis.
At a time when patients experienced increased anxiety about receiving dental care, the AAE took to the radio and TV airwaves to reassure the them that seeing and endodontist is safe, vital during a dental emergency and important to their overall oral health. AAE Past President Dr. Keith V. Krell completed a successful media tour and current AAE President Dr. Alan H. Gluskin also completed highly successful news media tour over the summer. Dr. Gluskin’s appearances aired on TV 387 times, aired on 146 radio broadcasts, and were distributed in 1023 online video platforms. The AAE’s team also worked to secure favorable press coverage on CNN and other mainstream news organizations.
At the start of the pandemic, the AAE effectively pivoted to provide members a virtual AAE20 meeting and now anticipates a putting on a highly informative and successful virtual AAE21 packed with over 50 CE offerings.
Through these tough times, endodontists continued to provide services to their patients, and, undeterred by the pandemic, the AAE has continued to provide valuable educational, practice, and advocacy services to its members. Regardless of what this “new normal” and its future derivatives have in store, the AAE stands ready to be nimble and diligent, to adapt quickly to continue to serve the needs of endodontists and the patients they serve.