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CAO Membership Report

As Chair of the Membership Committee, I would like to recognize Drs. Rick Odegard and Jay Philippson for having the insight and the determination to reformat the CAO Board trough the implementation of the committee structure.  Rick and Jay recognized the need to disperse the workload into teams that could work autonomously outside of formal meetings. The committees have worked efficiently throughout the many challenges presented by COVID-19 and have provided the opportunity for non-Board members to volunteer in a variety of areas that were previously exclusive to the Board. The committee initiative has been a monumental change in the structure of the CAO Board that will continue to facilitate greater growth and efficiency into the future.  

The Membership Committee is a small team that includes myself, Dr. Kris Currie, Dr. Lindsay Robertson, and a number of volunteer orthodontists. However, there is also an enormous amount of support from every one of our CAO provincial representatives and from the CAO’s new management company, TouchPoint AMC. Together, this group of individuals ensures that all orthodontists across the country have the opportunity to become members of their national organization.

In 2021, membership numbers have remained strong at just under 700 orthodontists nationwide. These numbers are virtually identical to those seen over the last few years. The fact that our members continue to fully support our national organization, even in a year as challenging as this one, is a testament to the dedication of the members, the CAO Board and the new management team. 

The Committee is focused on the core foundations of membership already in place while it continually addresses the future needs of the organization. The Committee is currently working with some of the graduate programs to construct a research proposal that will study the changing demographic of orthodontists in Canada. This study will determine the number of orthodontic specialists practicing in each province as well as define the manner of practice (solo practitioner, group practice, corporate office, etc.) of each respondent. This information will help the Membership Committee identify the needs and wants of its members.

The Membership Committee is working on projects that involve the student members to create stronger bonds to the organization and to provide a conduit for students to voice their concerns about, and recommendations for, the future direction of the CAO.  The Committee aims for greater student involvement at annual meetings, at the committee level and with peers and practitioners. The objective is to assist student members form the meaningful bonds with the profession that may have been lost through the Zoom meetings of the COVID-19 era.

Most importantly, the Membership Committee wants the members to be informed on how it works on their behalf. Over the last 24 months there has been an unprecedented effort by the serving CAO Presidents to keep the membership informed of Board operations and committee projects via numerous email blasts. 

Membership is the foundation of our organization. Every decision made by both the committees and the Board is done so with the best interest of the membership in mind. We are all proud to volunteer on your behalf and welcome your insight and opinions. Thank you for your continued support of the CAO through what has been an extremely stressful time in our profession. 

We are excited to move forward and hope to see you all at the upcoming events in Saskatoon and Walt Disney World, Florida!

Dr. Brian Phee
Membership Committee
Canadian Association of Orthodontists