Yesterday was no ordinary MDA Food for Thought (FFT). In just our third lunch event ever at ATSU Missouri School of Dentistry and Oral Health in Kirksville, we brought out the big guns.
Our guest speaker was none other than current ADA President, Dr. Maxine Feinberg. Dr. Feinberg had wanted to visit the school and congratulate Dean Dr. Chris Halliday. The two had served in the Federal Dental Services together in years past. Dr. Feinberg made an heroic effort to adjust her schedule and figure out the puzzle of how to fly to Kirksville. In return, Dean Halliday gave her the red carpet treatment. She had breakfast with the faculty, toured the campus and met with the ATSU president. Then she took center stage at the MDA FFT.
About 60 of the 82 students enjoyed a potato bar lunch while listening to Dr. Fienberg share her story and report on recent activities at the ADA. Dr. Feinberg also presented some “challenge coins” to Dean Halliday and to the class president from the D1 and D2 classes.
Of high interest was the recent student loan deal developed with Darien Rowayton Bank. Dr. Feinberg gave stats on the first applicants and suggested tips for loan approval like “watch your credit score” and “work your first job for a bit before applying.”
There was good interaction over questions, and hopefully, the students got their first glimpse of the value of the Power of 3 membership in action. While we could have stayed all afternoon, we had to divvy up the cash and prizes to the eager students and let them get back to class.
Afterward, we had the opportunity to have lunch at the Wooden Nickel (local landmark). The dialogue between MDA officers (President, Dr. Joseph Sokolowski; President-Elect, Dr. Jody Vance; and, NEDS Trustee, Dr. Mike Berry), Dean Halliday, Dr. Feinberg, and MDA and MDIS staff provided texture and unique perspectives on the current issues facing dentistry. I wish these organic meals and diverse conversations could happen more often.
Thanks to all who made extra efforts to bring this rare opportunity to pass.