The Week That Was: May 18-22

Dental Student Webinar

It’s not just the licensed providers and their staff who are struggling to find their footing amid the COVID pandemic. It’s also our bright and eager future professional members—our dental students. Usually the spring is a whirlwind of travel with Food for Thoughts and special National Signing Day activities for the D4s. It’s a time of joy, pride and great connection. Sadly, all those traditions have looked a little different this year. Students could feel overlooked and more than a little apprehensive about board exams, licensure, schedules and more.

We chose to step into this chaos and try to offer a little support from organized dentistry. And we did it at all three levels. The idea germinated after Dr. Megan Lenahan, NDC Chair for St. Louis and the state, informally polled several students to uncover their concerns. From here we designed a webinar and provided the latest resources and news. Tracy Hollenbach, Senior Dental Student Manager at the ADA, delivered a presentation. Then Vicki Wilbers and Dr. Emily Mattingly discussed the MDA’s recent actions with the DLOSCE and the Missouri Dental Board. Then Stacey pumped up our National Signing Day activities and then Dr. Lenahan shared her personal story and really connected with the emotion of the situation. It was a swift and positive 45 minutes and I believe the 60 students who partook know that we are here for their success. Next week we will email a link out to all 680 students at UMKC, ATSU and SIU.

Counting 1, 2, 3

With MOMOM and special access clinics on pause for the rest of 2020, I’ve been endeavoring to get an accurate inventory of clinic supplies. This is painstaking at times, and humorous at others, as this non-dentist tries to describe all these tiny and bizarre items that you people put in patient’s mouths. I’m developing a solid stash of items that will expire before the next clinic and that the MDAF can donate to local outreach efforts. I like the process because it reminds me of all the good you’ve done to help your neighbors across the state. It also makes me giggle to think about how much effort we go to organize this efficiently and then to watch controlled chaos take over as volunteers unload the truck. Anyway, it’s all in safe keeping until we gather again in colorful t-shirts.

Farewell Shantel

Today is Shantel Smith’s final day with the MDA. For three years she did an excellent job with the MDA’s legislative agenda and representing your profession to our state leaders. She’s moving on to work her magic for the Missouri State Medical Association which often is an important ally on healthcare-related legislation. Plus she’s getting married in August. We wish her well, and are thankful we could actually have lunch together as a team to send her off. I think she’ll miss the MDA as much as we’ll miss her.

Memorial Day Salute

To all those who made the ultimate sacrifice and to all those who continue to serve and defend our freedom, we salute you with deep respect. May all of you have a great Memorial Day weekend.

The Week Ahead—More Counting

But this time it’s counting dollars. On Tuesday the staff will work through the first draft of the 2021 budget before we send it to the Board.

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