The Week That Was: March 25-29

Missouri New Dentist Excellence

We have two more reasons to stand a little taller this week because MDA members, Dr. Amanda Fitzpatrick and Dr. Danielle Riordan, were selected for the prestigious honor of being named winners of ADA’s 10 Under 10 Award. This recently-developed award focuses on those new dentist leaders across the country who display exemplary leadership and shine in many areas. To have two winners from 120 outstanding nominees nationwide is a real coup for the MDA. You can read all about the winners and the process here. I don’t need to read the official wording because I have worked with both of these outstanding dentists in a variety of capacities and they are first-rate people in addition to being great dentists, volunteers and community leaders. They join last year’s selection, Dr. Jon Copeland, as excellent representatives of the MDA. Way to go everyone!

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Membership – The Right Thing to Do

While we are lauding Dr. Danielle Riordan, be sure to check out her article featured in the ADA News recently. She gives a convincing argument for being a dues paying and engaged member of organized dentistry. Can I get an Amen?!

St. Louis New Dentists Gather at The Shack

Speaking of new dentists and members, the St. Louis group gathered for fun last night at “The Shack”, where their new dentist event was filled with a healthy balance of food and drink, networking and CE, and of course, games and prizes.

A Visit with the State Dental Director

On Tuesday I had a chance to stop by DHSS and Dr. John Dane’s office. He’s the State Dental Director for Missouri and he was sharing some intricate and informative maps related to access issues in Missouri. I found Dr. Dane to be very welcoming and helpful. He has his hands busy with a variety of issues like fighting fluoride battles. It wasn’t too long ago that we did not have a state dental director, but our advocacy and collaboration efforts led to establishing and funding the position. It really opens more doors for federal money and it’s a huge win to have an oral health advocate working inside state government. Dr. Dane also serves on the Dental Well Being Foundation Board. Thanks for your time, Dr. Dane, and thanks for working on issues important to members.

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Advocacy in Action in Kansas City

We preach about the importance of influence in successful advocacy. Influence flows from relationships with state representatives. Relationships often flourish from good support. That’s exactly what happened last night when Drs. Jeremy Bowen (BOT Legislative Chair), Merle Nunemaker and Kirk Opdahl attended a fundraiser for Representative Jon Patterson. This trio, who also worked together to lead MOMOM 2016, put shoe leather to their influence and in the process helped us all. Thank you doctors!

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Central Dental Society Installs Leaders

Today in Columbia, CDS members gathered for OSHA training and a business meeting over lunch. MDA President, Dr. Dan Kessler, MDA ED, Vicki Wilbers, CDS ED Stacey Kloeppel and your truly were all in attendance. The agenda was far-ranging from budget approval to delegate selection. I was there to recruit MOMOM volunteers (Registration Now Open) and sell C4$ tickets. But the big item was installing new officers. We bid farewell and thanks for a job well done to outgoing President Dr. Scott Dear. And we welcome new officers, President, Dr. Lori Henderson; President-Elect, Dr. Ron Wilkerson and Secretary/Treasurer, Dr. Bryan Foote. Volunteer leaders are the life blood of local components. Thanks everyone for stepping up.

The Week Ahead

Members gather at the MDA office tomorrow for the annual MERIT conference. I’ll provide an update next week. Plus we have tons of travel to Kirksville, St. Louis and St. Joe. There’s a webinar on teledentistry via Missouri Coalition for Oral Health on Wednesday. There’s an EFDA training in Chesterfield. The Northeast Dental Society has their spring meeting in Macon. The legislative session rumbles forward and much more. I’m already tired.

Quote of the Week

Author’s privilege as I head toward Kansas City for the Sweet Sixteen – “War Eagle! Go Auburn, Beat North Carolina!”

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