As I view the daunting task of the Presidency of the Academy of Osseointegration, I am extremely pleased looking back on the progress we continue to make. While maintaining our key focus on the Annual Meeting, which I feel has become the premier implant conference in the world, we continue to expand our influence and brand both at home and abroad. For the first time after years of discussion, we are establishing programs I feel will play a key role in fulfilling our vision to be "the world's premier organization for implant dentistry". Our first Charter Chapter meeting in England orchestrated by Dr. Michael Norton was a great success, and both he and I have written articles for the Academy News as a start in promoting interest for future Charter Chapters around the world. Dr. Norton will be taking over my position as Chair of the Global Program Development Committee to pursue this along with educational outreach initially to India with help from Dr. Romanos, and our first FDI involvement sponsoring three speakers at the world meeting in Istanbul this August based on the work of Dr. Taylor.
Exciting new developments bring value and relevancy to a global audience
Our Task Force on improving our Annual Meetings has concluded its work and we have received strong support from all fronts on the New Technology Forum and International Symposium to be integrated into our annual meetings during the next two years. We started this year in Tampa with a "New Product Showcase" to allow our exhibitors the opportunity to highlight recent developments in techniques and technology both for their benefit and that of our meeting attendees.
Next year, we will continue this along with our First International Symposium to be held Friday morning during the 2014 Seattle meeting dedicated specifically to our colleagues from Japan. It is assumed that all of the lectures will be in Japanese with English translation. This will allow key leaders in the implant field from Japan to present here in the United States in their native tongue. English to Japanese translation will then be provided from the main podium through the rest of the meeting in hopes of encouraging more international attendance. We hope to provide the same forum for our other international colleagues in future meetings. It is interesting to note that 25% of our membership and annual meeting attendance is from countries outside of the United States already.
AO maintains its dedication to increase membership and enhance member benefits
Nationally, we are working to promote the AO in both membership and meeting attendance through regional meetings for dental schools and residency programs, sponsored symposia at other key dental meetings, expanding the JOMI to include even more cutting edge articles and research on implant dentistry, and of course providing the best in continuing education through our annual meeting and online CE courses.
Based on the work by Dr. Gian-Grasso, we now have a "rapid response" team for media concerns. This should help the AO in dispelling misinformation regarding implant dentistry, as well as help position the AO as the leader in this area. The AO continues to organize consensus conferences approximately every two years to evaluate treatment techniques and technology through an exhaustive review of the literature so we can provide the best in care to our patients based on all the evidence available.
Looking back to our founders as we embark on an exciting future
Our immediate challenges ahead lie in continuing to focus and fine tune our international outreach, while being cautious to not dilute our concentration on the annual meeting and the benefits to our existing members. I am in the process of setting up a Task Force which was approved in October, to evaluate how to integrate GPs into the AO as active members and committee participants, while maintaining our focus on the team approach to treatment. We also need to develop and integrate a plan for public relations including media connections, website enhancement, social media, and public awareness. I feel we need to continue to foster communication with our corporate sponsors while maintaining control of our programs so that they will always be driven by research and experience, not by marketing. As we continue to promote summits and white papers, I feel the AO will establish itself even more firmly as the leader of this field.
It has been enlightening to me to review the video that looks back 27 years with interviews of our "founding fathers". This video has been two years in the making and the editing is ongoing. I hope to work with the AO Board of Directors and our strong committee structure to build on the shoulders of those who have worked so diligently in the past to continue the vision of making the AO the premier organization in implant dentistry.