The Week That Was: November 18-22

Strategery Advancements

Some of you will recall President George W. Bush’s misspeak in 2000 when he created the word strategery. I’ve always endorsed creative license with language so this word kept coming to mind this week as the MDA staff met with ADA staff to continue to refine the action steps to our new strategic plan, Navigating the Future 2025. This five year plan will chart our direction and priorities moving forward. The plan development process has been extensive starting last summer with input from members and leaders across the state. Staff did a thorough review based on their areas of expertise and gave suggestions for implementation. The MDA Board discussed it thoroughly before giving the green light. And now with some talented assistance from our ADA representative, Jeanine Pekkarinen, we have refined the plan as a manageable tool to help us intentionally pursue our goals. It’s not super sexy and it’s not really tangible or visual for sharing but SP 2025 definitely plays a big role in the allotment of staff resources as we work with leadership to shape the MDA to be the best it can be. 

Chicken and Rural Dentistry

Don’t get any crazy ideas. This title just refers to our most recent Food for Thought yesterday at UMKC. Longtime member, Dr. Doug Burch, drove up from Neosho, MO to give the dental students an insightful and persuasive presentation on having a rural dentist practice. We always get a good turnout when we offer Chick Fil A and this was no exception. With so many practice models emerging and with accumulating debt a major concern, it was nice to offer a different viewpoint. It was also fun to hear an audible gasp when Dr. Burch shared that his housing rent for a place two blocks from the school was only $70/month back in the mid ’70s. Thank you, Dr. Burch! Good questions were asked and of course we doled out the cash prizes as always. We even took time to acknowledge D4 Aliah Haghighat for her calm and poise while helping to deliver a baby on the first day of her externship. Read the full crazy story here. I think everyone prefers to stick to pulling teeth!

MDA Member to Lead National AGD

Congratulations are due to Dr. Connie White for her recent appointment as President of the Academy of General Dentistry. I know very few members who bring such enthusiasm to their volunteer service. I’ve watched Dr. White make lively and thoughtful contributions at UMKC, at the MDA House of Delegates, at local Greater Kansas City Dental Society events and at MOMOM to name just a few of her activities. Read more here and join me in congratulating Dr. White!

The Battle for Wellness

As Director of the Dental Well Being Foundation, I’m very concerned that we continue to offer a top notch program to help dental professionals in need. Our Voluntary Wellness Program is there for you when seasons of life get difficult. This could include substance abuse that threatens your life, family and practice but more often than not, it can include dealing with mental health issues related to stress from all manner of factors internal and external. Sadly this was evident this week with tragic news in Joplin. Don’t go it alone and don’t wait too late. Our program is confidential and can point you to some amazing resources. 

However my observation is that not many of you are familiar with the program. It’s funded primarily through your donations and it runs on a very streamlined budget. Just today, the DWBF Board held its annual meeting and wrestled with the future survival of the program and will explore what structure makes the best sense to serve you. Please remember the DWBF on your dues this year. It’s often out of sight, out of mind, when it comes to these tough issues. If you are not in a tough season, be thankful. If you know someone who is struggling in any shape or form, encourage them to contact the program at 314-435-1101.

Do Your Dues Online and Win, But Act Quickly!

The value proposition of MDA membership is a slam dunk in my mind but there’s still that administrative transaction of keeping your dues current. It’s almost time for 2020 dues. To help make it easy, to help save paper and time, and to help pad your wallet, the MDA is offering a drawing with three $100 gift card winners to those who pay their dues online before November 27. You probably saw the email but if not visit here and get in the mix. We accept credit cards or ACH. Act now to enter and good luck!

The Week Ahead

It’s a short one for many of us with the Thanksgiving holiday ahead so there will be no blog. I for one will be among the many lemmings bumbling through airports on the way to see family. The key will be to keep a grateful attitude toward all the many blessings we share as Americans, Missourians and friends in the dental family. If you wish to help your patients in a practical way share this list of the best Thanksgiving foods for your teeth with them. For more free resources for your patients, visit

The MDA Staff and Board wishes all of you a relaxing and wonderful Thanksgiving with family!

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