“When we first began planning the team programs for Annual Session 2021, we considered how to balance business knowledge and personal development,” says Dr. Dale Anne Featheringham.

Dr. Featheringham and Orthodontic Staff Program Co-chair Dr. Anthony Puntillo developed the Collaborative Concepts for Doctors and Team program as well as the Orthodontic Team Program. They were aided by Mrs. Susan Roberts, who also serves on the Annual Session Planning Committee and provided input on the Collaborative Concepts All Team lecture track.

“When COVID-19 hit and most practices were closed for a time, we realized our colleagues were finding time for reflection on gaps in their knowledge of practice management,” says Dr. Featheringham. “Many orthodontists were realizing the need for high-level leadership skills to collaborate with their teams to reopen, trying to quickly ramp up their tech knowledge to make virtual appointments a reality, and trying to address concerns about mental health and well-being for themselves, their families and team members.

“In many cases, our relationships with our teams deepened as we navigated the crisis together,” adds Dr. Featheringham. “So, we took another look at our Annual Session program and began refining to provide the most helpful and current lecture content in all of these areas.”

A lecture by a widely regarded speaker who addresses mental health and well-being topics is expected to be an Annual Session highlight for many.

Jessica Rector was the Number One requested future speaker from recent Annual Session team program evaluations,” says Dr. Featheringham. “This year she will present, ‘Fire Up Your Thinking:  Manage Your Mental Health Through Change, Uncertainty and Challenges.’ This lecture is part of the Culture, Coaching and Leadership series in the Collaborative Concepts Program. Some of the other great lectures in this series will include Dr. Courtney Dunn presenting, ‘How to Establish a Culture of Teamwork and Change Your Practice for the Better,’ and Dr. Jamie Reynolds speaking on ‘Team Incentives.’”

Many leadership ideas pertaining to COVID-19-related challenges and beyond will be explored in the Team Building series in Collaborative Concepts, and in the Human Resource series in the Orthodontic Team Program.

Dr. Anil Idiculla will kick off the Team Building series with his lecture, ‘The Boston Team Party,” says Dr. Featheringham. “In the HR series we will have several interesting presentations including Dr. Ann Marie Gorczyca speaking on ‘One Team, One Score: Effective HR Management and Teamwork for the Orthodontic Office.”

Inclusiveness at all levels is a key topic in many of today’s workplaces. Offering expert insights on this topic will be Joanne Lipman, presenting, “Developing a Healthy, Inclusive Workplace: Process and Measures, a Featured Lecture in the All Team series. Ms. Lipman is the author of THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID: What Men Need to Know (and Women Need to Tell Them).

“This lecture was planned by the AAO Special Committee on Women Orthodontists, which is working on initiatives to help the AAO ensure that the needs of our rapidly growing female membership are met,” says Dr. Featheringham. “Joanne Lipman is excellent at helping audiences learn to bridge communication gaps. She offers rich insights into working relationships for both men and women.”

Ms. Lipman will be joining attendees during the networking session and reception following her lecture.


Emerging Technologies Offer Opportunities and Challenges

In keeping with a wider spectrum of technology interests than might have been expected before COVID-19, the 2021 Collaborative Concepts and the Team Program both include heavy emphasis on technology across many lectures.

“We wanted to help attendees keep their practices on the cutting-edge, but also offer information targeted to those just getting their feet wet with new technologies and those who already have some expertise,” says Dr. Featheringham. “In all cases, we are emphasizing pragmatic questions like, ‘Looking at the overwhelming number of tech choices that are available, how do you make decisions about what is realistic and desirable for your practice? What will be the return on your investment?’

“For example, in the Collaborative Concepts All Team series, Drs. Katie Graber and Lee Graber will present ‘A Technology Based Practice: How We Balance Benefits, Costs and Approach the Future,’ adds Dr. Featheringham. “The Clinical series in the Team Program also includes many lectures that will incorporate tech expertise, such as Dr. Jep Paschal’s presentation, “Bringing In-House Aligners to Your Practice and Leveraging Technology to Improve Treatment.”

In addition to Dr. Paschal’s lecture, the Team Program will include a half-day Aligners for the Team series to update team members on clear aligner treatment.

“The Aligners series will include speakers with expertise in presenting processes to orthodontic staff, including Drs. Sandra Tai, Don Spillers and Sean Holliday,” says Dr. Featheringham. “The series will have a heavy emphasis on digital workflow.”

Team Programs Offer Expert Knowledge for Practice Growth
In addition, Drs. Featheringham and Puntillo realized that marketing would take high priority for many practices seeking to quickly rebuild and revitalize patient bases for the foreseeable future following last year’s closures.

“The marketing needs will likely continue to be intense for many practices going forward,” says Dr. Featheringham. “We want to help orthodontists build ‘bullet-proof’ practices that will sustain themselves in case of other challenges like another pandemic or a recession. Our three half-days of marketing content in the Collaborative Concepts program will feature well-known, excellent speakers like Dr. Cole Johnson, Dr. Grant Collins and Ms. Beth Leach, and newer speakers like Dr. Ben Fishbein. These lectures will span everything from updates on branding and social media management to innovative marketing strategies.”

Featured Lecture Will Share a Decades-Long Fitness Journey
While orthodontists may choose a wide variety of personal fitness solutions and options, AAO President Dr. Chris Roberts has a unique perspective after having combined a successful orthodontic career with high-intensity training.

“Dr. Roberts will be giving a Featured Lecture in the All Team Program, ‘Hopkinton to Boston in 65,500 Steps: Boston Marathon History and Reflections of a 21-time Finisher,’” says Dr. Featheringham. “Whether you’re seeking inspiration or simply want to know what it is like to complete a world-famous marathon numerous times, Dr. Roberts will have great stories and interesting observations.”

Rosemary Bray to Deliver Hunt Memorial Lecture

Widely regarded orthodontic consultant Rosemary Bray will give the 2021 Sharon Hunt Memorial Lecture as part of the All Team Program in Collaborative Concepts for Doctors and Team.

Now planning her retirement, this may be Ms. Bray’s final lecture at an AAO Annual Session. In conjunction with her lecture, the 2020 Orthodontic Staff Achievement Award will be presented to Stephen Pierce, who is employed by Dr. Mel Collazo. The 2019 Orthodontic Staff Achievement Award will also be presented during the lecture, to Judy Coltman, who is employed by Dr. Thomas Jusino.

Registration Discounts for Your Team
Register team members by the Early Registration deadline (April 30) and save $150 per person on registration. In addition, save an additional $25 per person on registration if your team is enrolled in the Orthodontic Staff Club.