The 2018 AAO House of Delegates met May 4 and May 7 in Washington, D.C., acting on numerous items impacting the association and the specialty.

The HOD directed that the AAO president create a Big Data task force consisting of AAO members, nonmembers and/or consultants who have an expertise and/or interest in data analytics. The task force will assess how the AAO might develop a data analytics program to better position the association and/or the specialty in propelling the AAO’s mission and strategic plan forward in new and/or more effective ways than would be possible without the data. A detailed explanation of the importance of Big Data to the future of the specialty recently appeared in the AAO Tech Talk blog.

Additional HOD actions included:

Newly Approved Strategy Map, Policies Reflect Goal of Diversity in Leadership, Governance

▪  The HOD approved a new AAO Strategy Map developed by the Global Strategic Planning Committee (GSPC), a group of diverse and representative AAO stakeholders. The Global Strategic Planning Committee includes delegates, councils, constituents, vendors, manufacturers, industry consultants and new and younger members. The proposed new strategy map emphasizes inclusiveness as a core value of the AAO. In addition, it focuses on promotion and defense of the specialty and leadership in innovation and transformation in the specialty that will help drive member success.

▪ The HOD encouraged constituents to assemble House delegations that reflect the diversity of members in their geographic region. In addition, each year the breakdown of delegates by race and gender, by constituent, is to be reported to the HOD by the AAO staff, who are also directed to investigate the best method of assessing the racial and gender make-up of the AAO membership and leadership.

▪ The HOD also called for the Council on New and Younger Members (CONYM) to select one of its members to attend each of the quarterly regularly scheduled meetings of the AAO Board of Trustees.

▪ An AAO task force will research issues specific to female orthodontists and specific ways that women may be better served as association members.

Dues, Consumer Awareness Program Fees Set for 2018-19

Dues for U.S. Active Members will be $793.00 for 2018-19 (unchanged since 2013).

▪ U.S. and Canadian active and affiliate members (active academic members excluded) will also be assessed $600 for Fiscal Year 2018-19 to fund the AAO Consumer Awareness Program (CAP),* keeping the assessment the same as that of 2017-18. The CAP assessment for 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 will be $800 per year. The objective of the CAP is to increase the public’s awareness of the value of having orthodontic treatment rendered by orthodontic specialists by exposing consumers to accurate information. The CAP’s all-digital approach for 2017-18 garnered a 6,100 percent increase in monthly visits to the consumer website, A recent Google study (March 2018) showed that consumers who had seen a CAP ad were 615 percent more likely to search for the AAO or an AAO orthodontist than those who had not.
Learn More about the Consumer Awareness Program

Component Legal Support Fund Augmented to $1 Million

The Component Legal Support Fund (CLSF) balance will be increased to $1 million. First established by a vote of the 2015 House of Delegates, the CLSF provides grants to component organizations that enable the AAO to assist with legal and advocacy work on proposed legislation or regulatory changes that would impact orthodontic practices at the state level. Recent initiatives funded by the CLSF have addressed issues in Rhode Island, Georgia, Iowa, and New Hampshire.

AAO Faculty Fellowships to be Reinstated

The AAO Faculty Fellowship Award Program will be reinstated for 2019, 2020, and 2021 with three, two-year funded Fellowships per year for orthodontic educators, and an outcomes assessment to follow. The fellowships are designed to help address an anticipated shortage of orthodontic faculty, data from the American Dental Education Association having revealed high numbers of experienced full-time and part-time dental faculty members are currently age 50+, with a significant number age 60+. AAO Full-time Faculty and Faculty First Fellowships were first awarded from 2007-09, with a total of $1.5 million being distributed among recipients in exchange for specific commitments to orthodontic education. The AAO has tracked recipients’ careers and of the 20 former Fellows, all but one has remained in academics.

Position on Medically Necessary Treatment of Craniofacial Anomalies Clarified

For the purpose of third party reimbursement, the AAO considers serial reconstructive, orthodontic, and restorative therapies to be medically necessary treatment for craniofacial anomalies (CFA) to ensure a reasonable quality of life for affected individuals. Coverage should extend throughout the patient’s lifetime. The AAO supports legislation stipulating that insurers recognize the sequential nature of reconstructive, orthodontic, and restorative therapy for CFA, which requires ongoing coverage for all aspects of the treatment plan.

Additions to Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct Address Harassment, Inapproriate Interpersonal Relationships 
The HOD directed that the Principles of Ethics, Code of Professional Conduct and Advisory Opinions of the American Association of Orthodontists be amended to include:

“Members shall provide a workplace environment devoid of harassment or inappropriate behavior and a workplace that upholds respectful and cooperative relationships for all employees and patients”; and

“Members shall refrain from inappropriate interpersonal relationships or behavior within the orthodontic workplace and shall promote mutual respect, professional communication and cooperative efforts of all team members to enhance excellence in orthodontic care and assure safe and professional relationships with and between employees and patients.”

Leadership Development Conference to Be Held Every Year

The AAO Leadership Development Conference for constituent and component leaders (formerly the biennial President-Elects Conference) will take place very year. The Leadership Development Conference will now also be open by application to emerging leaders who have not previously held leadership positions, with content of the meeting to be augmented to address this group’s needs. Of participants in the 2018 Leadership Development Conference, 97 percent said that they learned about new practical tools or information that will make a difference in their roles as volunteer leaders and 100 percent would recommend the Conference to colleagues.

Component CAP Matching Grant Program to Accept Applications through May 31, 2018 
Components may apply for funding from the Component CAP Matching Grant program through May 31, 2018, with all approved funds to be spent by May 31, 2019. Funds not awarded will be transferred to the Consumer Awareness Program budget for 2018-19. Since the national matching grant fund started in 2015 the media landscape has changed significantly and the national CAP digital program is now reaching all states more effectively than in the past.

View the Complete Chart of 2018 HOD Adopted and Referred Resolutions
* Life Active members pay 50 percent of the CAP assessment for active members in their country. Full-time faculty members are exempt from paying the assessment. Recent graduates within the 1st year after graduation receive a 90 percent assessment discount; within the 2nd year a 75 percent discount; within the 3rd year a 50 percent discount; and within the 4th year a 25 percent discount.