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President's Message

President’s Report Fall, 2020

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

If the last six months have taught us anything, it is how resilient we are as professionals and as people.  We have had to adapt to our ever-changing realities both at work and in our daily lives.  The continually evolving orthodontic landscape vis-a-vis staff, practice modifications, patient relations, PPE, and varying provincial regulations have kept us all on our game. We have had to adjust and will continue to do so into the future.

I sincerely hope that the CAO communications and the Return-to-Work documents were helpful when you headed back into the office this past spring (or summer, depending on where you live).  The CAO Board of Directors is committed to stay on point as provincial protocols change to keep you prepared as winter approaches.

The year 2020 has been a challenge.  We have had to live with less social interaction and less fun time with loved ones.  We have also dealt with increased anxiety in regards to patient care, staff issues and office management.  The pandemic closures may have been the only time in the archetypical Type A perfectionist orthodontist’s life that he or she felt that they were not in control of his or her practice life.   We have also had to adapt to having a LOT more “free” time.

Your CAO Board made good use of some of that time and extra energy with an unprecedented collaboration under the leadership of Dr. Mike Wagner.  Your provincial representatives have been hard at work on Zoom to foster a collective understanding of our new regional practice realities.  Your CAO Board is a vibrant and diverse representation of locale, age and background.  Over Zoom, we have seen our fellow members in all their glory: in backyards, basements and living rooms, to say nothing of the occasional Zoom-bomb by a kid or two.

The virtual or digital model of communication thrust upon us by virtue of COVID-19 has been daunting (talk to my wife about homeschooling) but has resulted in some welcome accomplishments.  Look forward to new electronic insurance submission protocols in 2021.  This project was decades in the making.



The CAO Public Relations and Media Campaign is being adapted to the digital model of learning and information.  The message has not changed; the orthodontist as THE expert is still the focus of the campaign.   Orthodontists are not the only ones with more time to spend the online digital sphere. The media campaign is expanding to include more Social Media, solidifying its online presence and message.



I am proud to serve you, with the help of my friends and colleagues at the CAO, to improve our profession and the inter-professional relationships that make it special.  The huge billboard I drive by on my way to work spells out in 100-point font the need for us to work together.  The sign reminds me of the orthodontists in our organization every day.   My greatest hope is for the membership to see the great work the CAO continues to accomplish and to remind their non-member friends that the CAO is our profession’s “together”.

My wife Helene has this way of make things funnier and less dramatic than they actually are.  On that theme, I am going to tell you what I hope for us all this upcoming year:

I wish you and your loved ones good health;
I wish you an abundance of orthodontic supplies and PPE that have not tripled in price;
I wish you high speed, reliable internet and wifi for peace at home and at the office;
And I wish that your wine cellar be well stocked in perpetuity!

Warmest regards,
Dr. J. Eric Selnes

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