AO Cleveland Alumni Chapter

2019 International President's Message


Happy New Year!


Having just returned from the AO annual international convention in New Orleans, I am excited to move forward and begin my tenure as International President. Alpha Omega, an organization made up of individual chapters throughout the world, is brought together by one international body whose members are connected by a complex, deep-rooted belief in doing good through Judaic values, brought together by dentistry and oral health, and a passion towards healing the world together.
This year, you honor me with the opportunity to lead this organization. As the New Year is a time to reflect and to recommit ourselves to our goals, my AO goal for this year is to ask, discuss, and communicate with as many individual members as possible, why you, chose to be a member of the oldest and most significant international dental organization.
Steve Anderson, of Total Patient Services, Inc. during his CE program at the convention, spoke about a cluster of Aspen trees, in Utah, known as the Pando Clone: the largest living organism on Earth. In his book, Never Stand Alone, Steve describes how an intricate, massive single root system makes one tree many, allowing thousands of trees to thrive as they work together as one giant organism. This concept made an impression on me and the visual aspect of that ‘web’ that flourishes and thrives, unseen yet substantial, is Alpha Omega.
Alpha Omega is connected through a unique network of dentists throughout the world, doing good locally and internationally, supporting each other, and sharing the growth in every aspect of the dental field. As it stands, every AO chapter is involved in a charitable program and, although unique to their local area, and all are connected worldwide. This connection we share is what I would like to focus on:
Standing together, or Omdim b’Yachad.
Standing together, we make a difference in the world, on each continent we reside. In repairing the world, as an organization, many of our fraters have taken part in a tremendous program, the Alpha Omega Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program. This program has, to date, treated over 1,300 Holocaust survivors across North America, with the donated treatment of over two million dollars. As a very vulnerable population, the Holocaust survivors living below the poverty line is rising, although the number of survivors is dwindling. I’d like to personally invite you to make a difference with those who genuinely need it and contact us at AO.org for information.
Additional programs making an incredible difference in the world, the Ziv Hospital Oral Surgery Center, located in Israel on the Syrian border treating Syrian refugees in need of care; Special Olympics Special Smiles is a USA program supporting children with special needs with mouthguards and oral care instruction; The Tooth Fairy Program in Israel helps the at-risk populations such as the handicapped and those recovering from substance abuse; and our French chapters worked hard to raise funds and purchased a much-needed ambulance, in Israel. Moreover, there are so many more. Over the next year, with your help, I hope to communicate the successes of every chapter, event, and program taking place, to showcase what we are doing and, maybe, where you can add your expertise to another chapter.
Locally, there are many programs in which our individual chapters are involved: Toothday at Fenway is a chance to educate baseball fans on oral health and provide oral cancer screenings, the dental students at NOVA University raised $12,500 for a child who was going through oral cancer therapy, and in Louisville, Kentucky, the students and professors have been making plaster molds of hands to raise money for charitable projects for years. Together, Alpha Omega members are continuously looking to heal the world.
So, what does AO do for its members? With AO, membership has its benefits: we have strategic alliances with Henry Schein and our members receive special pricing - Ask your Schein rep for your AO discount. For the last year, and, hopefully, for years to come, we have partnered with The Compendium, where AO members have published and where you, as AO members, can find important professional articles. With your subscription, you have access to their website, webinars, and more. Brunswick Insurance company has put together a fantastic package specifically for AO members. During their talk at the convention, they enlightened us on serious protection issues that many of us may not have been aware: keep an eye out for their upcoming webinar. Gradifi Loan Consolidation and Repayment Program allows our recent graduates and parents to make affordable payments on their student loans, and GoJo, the creator of Purell, has also been a great partner, working with our members, to put easily accessible hand sanitizer in your office.
"We can talk about making a difference, or we can make a difference." Anonymous
Let’s make this a year of making a difference and positive impacts. Let’s go forward into a great year, one with positive communication and good deeds. Let’s stand together and make a difference in our world.
Smile Always,
Steven Spitz
International President