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President's Message

President’s Report Spring, 2020

Becoming the CAO President in Fredericton, NB in September 2019 seems so long ago.  And while I recognize that it was seven months ago, it seems like a distant memory. Amazing how things change.

As many of you know, I am a deep-thinker. I approached my upcoming Presidency for an organization that I have come to love in a similar fashion.  I thought about what I wanted to accomplish during my year including what issues faced the CAO and our profession; what impact I could make; and what small legacy I could leave for those who will succeed me.   What I came up with was a long list: finalize insurance protocols, enact the new CAO strategic plan, promote more excitement and volunteerism into the organization, successfully represent the CAO as the strong voice it has become to our international orthodontic and national dental colleagues and finally…celebrate at the Kelowna Scientific Session before I pass the torch to Eric Selnes, our President-Elect.

Fast forward to the present and it might be expected that I would say that I was disappointed Covid-19 derailed all my best laid plans.  Instead, I can say that due to the inspiring people that I work with on the CAO Board and staff, all but one of my objectives are becoming reality…with more being ramped up to move forward over the next couple of years.  In some cases, it is BECAUSE of the global pandemic, I have seen Canadian colleagues step up at every turn to ensure that the CAO continues to be the voice of the orthodontic specialist in Canada.  So, indulge me for a moment, as I use this time to check up on my goals:

  1. Insurance – I have reported to you that the CAO continues to move forward with the modernization and inclusion of a predetermination code.  This will allow digital submission of predetermination with the option for those who wish to begin making the move to direct billing to do so.  Not without recognized controversy, this decision has been made to support all orthodontists.  This endeavour will offer more options for our patient base and our practice. 
  2. Strategic Plan – Designed and integrated in 2019, the CAO Board and staff have worked quickly to enact the plans to engage more members in its organizational efforts.  The new committees, with your help, have started to form.  Thanks to all who have answered the call to contribute in meaningful ways; we look forward to presenting a new structure in the fall. The strategic plan is a chance to become part of your CAO by bringing together more voices and ideas than ever before. Inclusion is the most effective way to make our profession stronger.
  3. Stronger Voice – I have had the pleasure to speak with many dental colleagues by phone, digital conference and online chat instead of in-person. Thank goodness for modern technology! The CAO has bridged strong relationships with international colleagues to work on Safe Work Guidelines during the pandemic, has strengthened local relationships with the provincial organizations and has ensured the orthodontic voice is heard by the CDA and DRA’s. I am proud of the work being done on all levels.
  4. Celebrating in Kelowna – well…this is the only one I won’t be able to achieve.  The decision to cancel this meeting was one of the toughest yet.  Our Scientific Session has become a central event in the orthodontic calendar, and its cancellation will leave a void this year.  I can’t change that.  However, it was the right decision to protect our members, our staff, our industry partners and our profession.  It also means that I get to crash Eric’s party in Quebec City in September 2021!

The CAO continues to thrive despite what happens around us all.  The CAO, and the entire orthodontic profession has risen to the challenges over which we have very little control (hard for a Type A). It has been humbling to witness members provide support and ideas to fellow colleagues by phone, text, and social media. The offers of continued volunteerism and membership support to the CAO have never made me more proud to serve as your President. The long hours and hard work continue, but seeing the fruits of our labor has enabled our profession come together as a united voice during the toughest of times has inspired me to reach higher than I ever could have imagined.

Thank you for your trust. Thank you for your friendship.

I am truly humbled.


Dr. Mike Wagner, President