Dear Fraters and Friends,
As we move into 2018, following a wonderful convention in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, it is appropriate to review the past year and look forward to this coming year and beyond. Having had the opportunity to help Past International President Mervyn Druian (a Londoner) cover North America, I visited with many chapters - both student and alumni - and represented Alpha Omega on many different missions.
Alpha Omega was represented on Capitol Hill in April, as over twenty of our members met with staff people of both houses of the American Congress to make familiarize them with the Alpha Omega Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program. Two months later, at the University of Pennsylvania, this program was awarded the Shils Award for its delivering of care to those survivors requiring dental care; in August "Reader's Digest" told the stories of the AO members providing the treatment and those survivors who spoke of "having their lives saved twice - once when they escaped death in the concentration camps and once when they were able to chew and smile again.”
Dental students also received attention, spending time with alumni at meetings in Chicago, Columbus, and Los Angeles, where AO has three dental school fraternities - at USC, UCLA, and at Western. In my travels, I also had the opportunity to meet with the Deans of the University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, and The Ohio State University; each of them seem very committed to the mission of Alpha Omega, with two of the Deans becoming "Honorary Members." The growth of the student chapters, including new groups at Tuoro and Western University, portends well for the future!
And speaking of the future, our 2018 Board of Trustees seems well-positioned, with a combination of women and men representing all ages - including ISRs (student representatives), Young Alumni, and International Trustees, from the US, Canada, France, and Israel. This committed group will stay in contact with our 100 chapters, while working diligently to provide the fraternity with non-dues income from sponsors, foundations, and the membership itself. Recognizing the importance of continuity, the board promises to work closely with our student members, helping to support them both financially and educationally, exposing them to leadership skills and mentorship/residency opportunities.
While respecting our history and our past leaders, Alpha Omega must continue to work to bring our membership closer, through regional/face-to-face meetings and by making greater use of the web/internet. Members will continue to work on and publicize community oral health projects, including those supported by our world-wide AO Foundations. With this combination of talent and direction, we can preserve our 110-year legacy and provide for our future, respecting our core values of Professionalism, Fraternalism, and Judaism!
L'Dor va Dor.
Steve Marsh, DDS