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Periospectives October-December 2015 : Page 36

ENHANCING INTE RNATIONAL MEMBERSH IP Over a quarter of the AAP’s membership resides outside the United States. In 2016, under the guidance of the Membership Advisory Committee (MAC), strategic efforts will be made to better understand the needs of the Academy’s International members in order to provide enhanced value and encourage expanded international membership. MAC Chair Dr. Diego Velásquez talks with Periospectives about what is planned for the upcoming year to enrich International membership. What does the MAC hope to accomplish in 2016? Well first, it is an honor to be appointed to this position. One of the goals that I believe we would like to accomplish is advocating for members of the Academy. The Academy wouldn’t be the Academy without its members, and this group will help to be the eyes and ears addressing the needs and concerns of the members. Three important areas that we will focus on will be new periodontists, international members, and hygienists. What does AAP’s International membership composition look like? International members play a very important and vital role in the Academy. About 25% of all Academy members live and practice outside of the United States. This demonstrates that there is an interest from members abroad and that AAP is looked at as a leader within periodontics. The AAP has a great potential for growth, and hopefully we have the opportunity to engage additional international dental professionals who have a strong interest in periodontics. Speaking of engagement, what initiatives and programs are being developed to address the needs of International members? The Academy has taken the most important first step which is to form the Membership Advisory Committee. To assist the MAC with providing direction related to international engagement, we are collaborating with an organization called GLOBALSTRAT. They are helping to identify the needs of the AAP, its International members, and non-members within the international community. By working with GLOBALSTRAT, we can pinpoint services that the Academy can perhaps offer to achieve the wants and needs of international periodontists. We look forward to receiving this information. AAP Perio spectives | 36

AAP International Update

ENHANCING INTERNATIONAL MEMBERSHIP

Over a quarter of the AAP’s membership resides outside the United States. In 2016, under the guidance of the Membership Advisory Committee (MAC), strategic efforts will be made to better understand the needs of the Academy’s International members in order to provide enhanced value and encourage expanded international membership.

MAC Chair Dr. Diego Velásquez talks with Periospectives about what is planned for the upcoming year to enrich International membership.

What does the MAC hope to accomplish in 2016?

Well first, it is an honor to be appointed to this position. One of the goals that I believe we would like to accomplish is advocating for members of the Academy. The Academy wouldn’t be the Academy without its members, and this group will help to be the eyes and ears addressing the needs and concerns of the members. Three important areas that we will focus on will be new periodontists, international members, and hygienists.

What does AAP’s International membership composition look like?

International members play a very important and vital role in the Academy. About 25% of all Academy members live and practice outside of the United States. This demonstrates that there is an interest from members abroad and that AAP is looked at as a leader within periodontics. The AAP has a great potential for growth, and hopefully we have the opportunity to engage additional international dental professionals who have a strong interest in periodontics.

Speaking of engagement, what initiatives and programs are being developed to address the needs of International members?

The Academy has taken the most important first step which is to form the Membership Advisory Committee. To assist the MAC with providing direction related to international engagement, we are collaborating with an organization called GLOBALSTRAT. They are helping to identify the needs of the AAP, its International members, and non-members within the international community. By working with GLOBALSTRAT, we can pinpoint services that the Academy can perhaps offer to achieve the wants and needs of international periodontists. We look forward to receiving this information.

However, in the meantime, we have implemented a variety of efforts targeted towards our international colleagues. This includes adding Google translate to perio.org to make our online content more accessible to those whose first language is not English. To date, there have been over 3,395 unique translations in Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish, among many other languages. And that, for me, is huge. In addition, the AAP International Update, the page that you are currently reading, has been added to each issue of Periospectives.

There were also several important initiatives that took place during the 2015 Annual Meeting. The International Attendee Reception was once again hosted during the meeting and sponsored by Colgate.Over 150 registrants attended! We also offered, for the first time, an International Lounge in the Exhibit Hall which was very popular. This dedicated space allowed International members the opportunity to network, share their feedback with staff, and participate in fun activities like taking their picture for a photobook. Lastly, the AAP voting membership approved adding a new International Student membership category. This new category allows any dentist who is enrolled in an advanced specialty education program in periodontics as defined by their country of residence to join the AAP.

Why are you a member of the AAP?

The Academy is that source of oxygen that keeps us going. When we take a look at everything that has to do with perio, the Academy is fulfilling a very important role which is advocacy. It is keeping us informed about what is going on with our specialty, not only at the educational level but also the political arena; things that concern periodontists in the way that we practice, that we live our lives as professionals in this specialty. I cannot conceive being a periodontist without the Academy.

What do you see as the benefit for International members?

I think that members look to the Academy as the primary source of information. Membership in the AAP has no geographical barriers. Periodontists are always going to be looking for the best information out there to grow as professionals, and the AAP can be that primary resource for them, no matter where they live or practice.

How do you envision the future of AAP for International members?

I see the AAP connecting and communicating more with international societies. I envision more international periodontists joining the movement to enhance the way they practice and enhance the relationships they have with the dental community and their patients.

Dr. Velásquez is originally from Colombia and maintains a private practice in Fenton, Michigan.He is an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor at the School of Dentistry of The University of Michigan and is a Difplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. He holds many volunteer positions, has lectured nationally and internationally, and has published a number of articles on prosthodontics, periodontics, and dental-implant related topics.

Read the full article at http://onlinedigeditions.com/article/AAP+International+Update/2364933/286894/article.html.

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