Some AAO member practices recently devoted a week to highlighting the many contributions of their staff members. While the activities and methods of providing recognition varied, participating doctors worked to show their deep appreciation of their employees’ work with patients and other tasks essential to orthodontic practice operations.

The AAO designated June 1-5, 2015 as the first Orthodontic Staff Appreciation Week. The AAO provided materials via, including social media copy, graphics, a customizable flier, a patient comment card and other items for member practices to use in celebrating the important contributions of orthodontic staff members.

Several member practices provided the AAO with overviews of how they celebrated Orthodontic Staff Appreciation Week:

OX Orthodontix in Ellicott City, Maryland

Over the course of the week, Drs. Wayne Hickory, Sandra Selnick and Mitra Derakhshan provided their staff with wine-themed gifts, two lunches and invitations to an after-work crabfest at a local pub. A hula hoop contest, with prizes, added to the fun.

“Our patients also shared in the activities by completing several VIP notes of appreciation* and that made the staff and doctors very proud,” said Susan Selnick, marketing director for the practice. “The hula hoop competition was a great chance to show how teamwork contributes to the success of our organization and of course, the staff was laughing and dancing all through the day.

“We appreciate the framework provided by the AAO and the chance to highlight how we are serious about our profession, and also very serious about finding time to enjoy our work and to appreciate our fellow staff members and our patients,” added Ms. Selnick.

Dr. Kellyn Hodges/Orthodontic Care, Suburban Philadelphia

Drs. Kellyn Hodges and Sonal Dave treated their staff to a session at painting studio Painting with A Twist.

“After a continental breakfast and meditation session, the staff spent two hours painting, with step-by-step instructions provided by an artist,” said Nagat Ali, clinical manager.

After finishing their paintings, the staff enjoyed lunch together and discussed their artistic creations with plenty of humor.

Busch and Musich Orthodontics, Schaumburg, Illinois

The staff of Drs. Matthew Busch and David Musich enjoyed a different theme each day of OSAW.

“Our office manager, Elizabeth Barrett, put together a wonderful staff appreciation week,” said Melissa Carstens, clinical assistant. “At the start of the week, we came in to find the office decorated with our ‘Born to Smile’ theme and we enjoyed some goodies. At the end of the week, each staff member was given a customized trophy based on our unique talents during our ‘Grinny Awards’ ceremony.  We also used the AAO Dear VIPs (Very Important Patients)* forms and displayed them on the wall throughout the week.”

State College Orthodontics, State College, Pennsylvania

Dr. Diane Ray began the week by giving her staff gift certificates for pedicures. She also used the Dear AAO VIPs (Very Important Patients) forms* placing forms completed by patients next to flowers for the staff member being complimented.

“”Dr. Ray had our favorite lunch delivered on Thursday,” said Sheridan Sheehan, marketing coordinator for the practice. “We posted photos on Facebook and Instagram of our staff and what makes them smile. It was a very fun week!”

Plan to Observe Orthodontic Staff Appreciation Week 2016

The 2016 Staff Appreciation Week will be June 6-10. Watch your e-mail in-box starting in April 2016 for announcements and links to updated materials that the AAO will provide.

* The Dear VIPs (Very Important Patients) form invited patients to comment on their positive experiences with orthodontic staff. The forms were available for download at