The Week That Was: April 9-13


Organized dentistry loves its acronyms, so what better way to capture a whirlwind week than to spell it out for you in words and pictures.

ADA Lobby Day in D.C.

Vicki and Shantel spent the earlier part of this week in Washington D.C. attending the ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day. With them were eight member dentists and three Missouri dental students, two from ATSU and one from UMKC.

During the lobby day, they took to the Hill meeting with the offices of all of Missouri’s elected officials to discuss insurance reform, opioid issues and student loan repayment plans. These issues should sound familiar, as we battle them on the home front as well. Whereas states have the ability to govern themselves, federal law always trumps state laws. Therefore, it’s just as important to create a national presence as well as a state presence.

It was amazing to see the knowledge and professionalism they showed during these meetings. Missouri also was chosen to be the featured state for this year. So be sure to watch the ADA news for that article to come out.

MOSDOH Food for Thought

On Tuesday, Dr. Amanda Fitzpatrick, President of the Northeast Dental Society, was our featured speaker at the spring Food for Thought lunch in Kirksville. D1 and D2 students enjoyed a taco bar meal and listened attentively as Dr. Fitzpatrick shared her choices and approach to her dental career. As always, this was well received.

MOMOM Locals

Dr. Fitzpatrick and her co-chair, Dr. Tisha Kice-Briggs, came back to MOSDOH that evening for the monthly MOMOM leadership team meeting. Details are rapidly multiplying as we enter the 4 month window. Registration opened this week and we already have 170 volunteers and 32 of our target goal of 150 dentists registered. Join the crowd and register now.


Med Pro and UMKC Food for Thought

The traveling tour for dental students headed west on Wednesday. The next two days featured Panera and Jimmy John’s lunches as students gathered for good content and a chance at prizes. First up, Med Pro rep Taylon Wait somehow made insurance seem exciting. His passion and knowledge on malpractice liability was a big hit and generated good questions. The following day, MDA member and New Dentist Committee rep, Dr. Emily Taylor, gave of her time to present “Starting From Scratch”, a solid summary of her postgraduate dental career. Students actually took notes and asked for the PowerPoint. It was our largest Food for Thought turnout ever! We ran out of food and tickets despite having 150 lunches!

Thanks to Drs. Taylor and Fitzpatrick and Mr. Wait from Med Pro for their valuable contribution to this student outreach strategy. That’s a wrap on this year’s Food for Thought travels, but we’ll be back at it next fall.

UMKC Table Talk and National Signing Day

Our presence at the dental schools is paramount if we are to give students a good foundation for the value of organized dentistry. It is crucial to convert student members into full-time members upon graduation. We do that with some big events for the D4s. First we had dinner and drinks at a nearby bar and Med Pro hosted Table Talk for us. We had four tables in rotation for students to visit with various post-grad dentists for about 20 minutes at each station. This prompted a more intimate dialogue about what’s ahead. The response was off the charts. It’s this collegial atmosphere that makes the MDA shine. Thank you to Drs. Matt Niewald, Garrett Cochran, Katie Oatman, Jack Huebner and Merle Nunemaker for their time and authenticity. It made a big impression on the 20 students who attended.

Our National Signing Day was the next morning. Team Travel (me, Stacey Kloeppel and Jerri Wildhaber) were joined by GKCDS exec, Sam Silvey, as we set up shop in the hallway with computers and swag. Our goal was to have the D4s log on and fill out the form to convert their membership. We had 55 (more than half the class!) convert before we left. Stacey will help chase down the others as well. Each applicant received a swag bag with a chairside assisting guide from the ADA ($100 value), a Starbucks gift card, an MDIS grooming kit, an entry to win some super fun gifts and other assorted goodies. Welcome to all our new doctors. Enjoy the benefits of membership!


EFDA Course, Northeast Dental Society, and Fashion!

The fun goes beyond the student events. Today, Mandy Lewis, MDA Meeting Manager, is in St. Louis for an Ortho Expanded Function Dental Assisting course at the office of Dr. Jacqueline Demko. Thanks to Dr. Demko and Dr. Sherrick and all the EFDA team that make these courses so valuable to our members. And not to be outdone, the Northeast Dental Society is having their spring meeting today in Hannibal. The MDA is so booked we couldn’t send a representative to join them. In fact, Vicki and Melissa from the MDA office just left for Kansas City to attend a “Brush Up on Fashion” auction event hosted by Miles of Smiles Portable Dental Program. They were invited as guests of DentaQuest and Aaron Washburn, and joined by Greater Kansas City exec Sam Silvey and MDA member Dr. Norman Grover and his wife, Deanna of St. James. Of note, the program is a former award recipient of the MDA Foundation grant program. It’s amazing to think of all the dental activity going on in this state.


Walking School Bus

The wife roped me into a local project this week where adult volunteers escorted elementary kids to school each morning as part of a walking school bus. This promotes exercise, social interaction and attendance. School administrators love it. Turnout more than doubled from Monday to Friday. To top of the week, I gave all the kids a bag with brush and paste in it to promote oral health on behalf of the MDA Foundation. The bags were a big hit.


The Week Ahead

In some ways this was a crazy week, but in other ways we are only scratching the surface. Next Monday evening Vicki and Melissa head to Houston, Mo. for the latest fluoride debate. This is when grassroots involvement is essential to oral health. Stacey heads to Chicago for the annual ADA Membership Recruitment & Retention meeting. I’m back in Kirksville for a very important site visit as we address some space challenges for MOMOM. And the week ends with a bang  here in Jefferson City as both the Missouri Dental Board and our own MDA Board have quarterly meetings with full agendas. Membership is more than a decal. It’s every-day engagement for the profession. Come, get involved.

Friday the 13th Quote of the Week

“Friday the 13th is still better than Monday the whatever.”

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