Big Events Usher in March
The month kicked off with at least two big conferences, plus a number of other interesting stories. Buckle up and read on.
American Student Dental Association Annual Session
St. Louis Union Station played host to the 49th ASDA Annual Session. It was my first time to attend, and I tried to soak up the experience. The Mid-Continent Dental Congress will be held at Union Station this October, so I wanted to check out the scene and snap some photos to help you envision the fabulous setting, which includes a cool aquarium, a ropes course, putt-putt, fire and light show, and the amazing Wheel. ASDA kicked off with a welcome reception in the Grand Hall where attendees were treated to a laser show featuring the Beatles music. Sadly, some of the students did not know who the Beatles were. Much of the ADA leadership was on hand to participate including Dr. Chad P. Gehani, ADA President, Dr. Daniel J. Klemmedson, ADA President-Elect, and Dr. Kathy O’Loughlin, ADA Executive Director. Also on hand was one of our own, Dr. Emily Mattingly, chair of the ADA New Dentist Committee and uber-involved local and state member. She’s very well received and a great representative for us Missourians. It was great to welcome all of them to the Show Me state.
Thursday morning kicked off with two sessions of the House of Delegates and featured an address from Dr. Gehani. It was also entertaining to hear the candidates’ speeches for next year’s president as well as the outgoing speech of the current president, Craig McKenzie. There were 120 delegates from 66 chapters on the floor and another 200+ alternates. I was very impressed with our young leaders and the passion they have for the “best week of the year”. Special kudos to our various Missouri delegates. I was able to snap photos of 8th District Trustee, Dylan Weber and ATSU delegates, Taylor Little and Hailey Speck. After the morning session, everyone soaked up the exhibitor expo. I was not able to stay through Saturday and will miss the awards banquet, officer election and more, but I felt privileged to represent the MDA and see our future leaders engaged and passionate about organized dentistry.
Missouri Coalition for Oral Health Annual Conference
While I was in St. Louis, Vicki and Shantel represented the MDA at the MCOH conference along with several of our members. Dr. Nathan Suter serves as MCOH president and ran the festivities. There were many presentations given from frontline groups across the state like the one Dr. Aaron Bumann made on providing Medicaid in private practice. Attendees also celebrated five oral health champions including a former MDA President, Dr. Bruce Collignon, and state dental director, Dr. John Dane. Showing support were many other partners and coalition members like SE Trustee, Dr. Mack Taylor and Courtney Garland, dental director for Comtrea. Hats off to Executive Director, Gary Harbison, for convening such a diverse group of people all with a passion to improve oral health in Missouri.
Members on the Move
Two quick samples of member interactions this week: First up is Dr. J.C. Standlee offering testimony on Wednesday alongside Representative Mike Henderson regarding HB 1697 which would hold the insurance carrier and not the provider responsible for the collection of overpayments. We talk about advocacy all the time and, believe me, testimony like this stands out when we’ve had such a big presence at Legislative Day. Thank you Dr. Standlee!
On Monday I stumbled on to a unique find when delivering some materials to the home of Dr. Lori Henderson. Dr. Henderson has served in many roles with the MDA in her career. She is a stout fluoride advocate and a past MOMOM chair. Dr. Henderson is recently retired but still very engaged with local dental charities like King’s Daughters. She kindly took a minute to show me her stress relief hobby of building with Legos. Look at this large and intricate city she has created in her basement. I love seeing this personable side of our members. Send me more photos of you and your hobby, and I’ll put them in the blog.
Good Info to Know
These items caught my attention this week. Check them out if they do the same for you.
- RAM. Today I visited with Remote Area Medical staff, Brad Hutchins and Alton, Mo. volunteer, Brenda Ledgerwood, about a clinic in Alton coming up May 17-18. This will be a medical/visual/dental clinic with a goal of serving 450 patients. I salute all those working to provide access in high need areas. I certainly understand their need for volunteers. If this tickles your fancy, click here to register. Let me know how it goes.
- Dental Assistant Recognition Week was March 1-7. I sure hope you treated your assistants well. I love the enthusiasm and patient care they bring to MOMOM, so I can only imagine their worth in your practice. Kudos to you, assistants!
- Pledge to celebrate World Oral Health Day on March 20. Organized by the FDI World Dental Federation, it is the largest global awareness campaign on oral health. The official theme of the 2020 campaign is Say Ahh: Unite for Mouth Health. Read more at ADA News.
- We hear a lot about student debt but not always a lot about good debt management. I found these stories of new dentists aggressively addressing their debt to be heartwarming.
The Week Ahead
Looks like we have some webinars, a visit from frequent CE speaker and infection control queen, France Wilmes, Stacey and Jerri will attend the ATSU vendor fair, the New Dentists in St. Louis will be swinging away at a Top Golf social, and I’ll be happy to welcome on the excellent board of the MDA Foundation who will be conducting their business which includes selecting three scholarship candidates from 17 worthy applicants.
Quote of the Week
“Life is very short and there’s no time for fussing and fighting my friend.” – The Beatles (a popular band from the 1960s and 70s)