Welcome to the Fall! Like everything else, this just doesn’t feel right. No tailgating. No party central around football and baseball. Basketball playoffs?? My head is spinning. I do know that the calendar says it will be October soon and that means Halloween. I feel confident that I have been wearing a very good “costume” in the office ever since this pandemic started. I’ve seen many of you on Facebook, Instagram and in photos showing what we all look like in our PPEs. October also brings with it the 2020 NESOCON Annual Meeting. A virtual Annual Meeting is another unexpected turn for NESO this year, but Jeff Blasius and his planning committee have been working diligently to bring you education, new products and services from vendors and some fun surprises! See you there!
I was planning on giving an update on some of the really positive actions and resources that have been provided members by the AAO to its members over the last several months. For those who do wish to dive deeper, you can view the COVID Resource Center, read COVID-19 Advocacy news and access PPE supplies and virtual consultation resources.
Instead, I want to move forward and focus on a non-pandemic AAO initiative. Addressing bullying in all shapes, ways and forms. How many of our patients come to us because they are being made fun of because of their teeth? How many say it but how many more don’t because they are too embarrassed. The AAO wants to help members play a role in addressing what each of us knows is happening all around us- bullying. Every one of us has patients and likely family members who have experienced being bullied. This is not a geographic or demographic issue. It touches all of us. How can we, as orthodontists, make a difference in our communities.
October is Orthodontic Health Month. How many of you have had that on your radar? Perhaps if you are like me it has never made an impression. The AAO wants to change that. Over the last year the AAO has developed the marketing tools and infrastructure to support members who see anti-bullying as a worthy cause. Fortunately, October is also recognized as Anti-bullying Month. We are partnering with Stand for the Silent. This anti-bullying organization provides educational assembly programs at schools nationwide, which may be sponsored by community members. If your practice is already active in supporting nearby schools or if you would like to get involved, sponsoring an anti-bullying presentation can be a unique way to help kids. Learn how your practice can get involved here.
My vision is to see this expand to a year-round program for each office as they partner in their communities. I’d like to see our communities see the orthodontic profession as the leader in the anti-bullying crusade. We all have our own interests that drive our community outreach, but anti-bullying is a universal cause.
The AAO also unveiled a new CAP campaign earlier this summer that is turning heads and racking up views. As you may remember, the AAO debuted “Happy Mouth Now,” a light-hearted, parody video series in May to address the potential dangers of not seeing an orthodontist in person. AdWeek, an advertising publication frequented by marketing professionals, recently highlighted this campaign, calling it the AAO’s “most significant foray into content marketing.” Read more on this campaign and the attention it is garnering here.
So here comes October. NESOCON 2020. Maybe football, no tailgating, the NBA Finals, yikes! But I know I can count on Halloween (and my PPE costume), and now will focus energy on branding our practice as a community leader in the anti-bullying cause. I hope all members see the same value to their practices and for themselves and their communities as I do.
Please continue to stay safe and be well. You can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org and 315-569-8219.
Dr. John Callahan
Trustee- Northeastern Society of Orthodontists