The Week That Was: October 7-11

Surrounded by Smart Women

This headline could double as a working title for my biography, given the fact I grew up with three whip-smart sisters, wed a first-class winner and I currently work with eight talented females. However, in this particular instance, I am referring to my company this past Monday night at the UMKC Scholarship dinner. This is an annual event for me, as I am honored to represent the MDA Foundation and celebrate the recipients of our scholarship program. The first smart woman was my road companion and MDAF Chair, Dr. Danielle Riordan. The next three smart women each received $5,000 toward tuition this year as our 2019 winners. As pictured from left, they are Mikayla Stevens, Bryce Boyd and Katie Hayes. Despite a big week of tests, they all put on their fancy clothes and joined us for the celebration. Dr. Riordan held court and seemingly knew everyone and readily identified with having been a female dental student. I did my best not to spill anything on my tie. It was a great evening! All these ladies are excellent representatives for the profession and the MDA. I wish them the best as they move through school and into their careers.

How Long?

Perhaps more than asking why did something happen, people in pain and suffering seem to universally ask “how long will this go on?” It may be something as simple as a car in the shop or something much more imposing like a battle with cancer. To the dental patient, this question of how long often refers to the length of ever-present discomfort due to some oral health issue. This week I encountered that reality in a new way when I visited a free clinic in Mountain View. They told me about a nearly two-year long waiting list for extractions that encompassed people from 26 counties across the southern third of Missouri and northern Arkansas. It was heartbreaking to consider when I think how annoyed I can be when I have to deal with smaller issues for shorter periods. And I don’t have to miss work or school because of it. To further drive home the need, I noticed how endlessly the clinic phone rang during a three-hour planning meeting. They told me this was a typical day. Anyway, the Foundation is exploring how we can fulfill our mission of Improving Missouri Smiles through a partnership. More news will trickle out in the months ahead.

Red, White and Yahoo!

While this title sounds patriotic, it refers to this week’s New Dentist social for the Northwest Dental Society. Jerri from MDIS joined me for this adventure in St. Joe. Our first stop was the NWDS business meeting over lunch where MDA representatives like component president, Dr. Fallon Stiens, MDA President-Elect, Dr. Mike Berry, and NWDS trustee, Dr. Bob Ruwwe, provided updates on all things related to the House of Delegates, Legislative Day and more. These meetings are surprisingly short and chock full of good information. They’re also open to all members, so consider attending the next one in your component.

The Red wine and the White wine and the Yahoo of gameplay all came about in the ensuing social at the 503 Winery. While the real value was in connecting with colleagues, there still was much the New Dentists could learn about the benefits of organized dentistry through the competitive prism of silly games. Congrats to all our winners including Dr. Chris Ostendorf who won the coveted Yeti and Dr. Bryce Szczepanik who snagged the stylish Keurig. It was another successful event!

Horsing Around the Correct Way

As a city boy, I marvel hearing about our MDA team member Melissa Albertson’s childrens’ adventures in rodeo. Both Gus (15) and Kate (12) are quite active and successful rodeo competitors. They compete on horses raised and trained by Melissa’s husband, Bart. When we swap weekend stories at the office, most are pretty blasé until Melissa talks about horse trailer travels and rodeo competitions all across the state (and sometimes, country). In fact, yesterday and today Gus was competing in a state rodeo finals at the National Equestrian Center in Lake St. Louis. Since I know we’re all proud of our kids and their many interests, I thought I would peel back the curtain a little on family life here at the MDA. Good luck, Gus!


Kloeppel to Hemmel

Staying on the family side of things, we know you all join us in wishing MDA’s Stacey Kloeppel and her freshly minted husband, Paul Hemmel, all the best for a great life together. The big wedding is Saturday, October 12. I will have photos and a safe-for-retelling summary next week.

stacey paul

The Week Ahead

Vicki and Jerri travel to New York for a major annual conference with MedPro. MedPro is a huge partner in liability insurance and one of the premier products offered through MDIS. You should really give MDIS a close look when considering your insurance or financial planning needs. Their service is exceptional and the whole design is to be a member benefit for you. Don’t leave money on the table. Check it out!

Quote of the Week

Sometimes I think life is just a rodeo, the trick is to ride and make it to the bell.” – John Fogerty

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