The Week That Was: August 31-September 4

Surprise Visit for MDA Award Winner

Every year the MDA Board selects winners for four prestigious statewide awards: Dentist of the Year, Distinguished Service, Outstanding New Dental Leader and Legislative Excellence. The honorees are usually feted with family, staff and colleagues at the annual House of Delegates award banquet in November. However, cruel COVID has forced the House to be virtual this year and as a result, there’s no banquet. But that doesn’t mean there’s no celebration for these wonderful members.

The Board took a vow of silence and left it to the MDA staff to covertly arrange a surprise visit to inform each winner of the honor.

This past Tuesday, Melissa Albertson and I loaded the Prize Patrol van and set out to surprise the New Dental Leader winner, Dr. Megan Lenahan. Thanks to some covert communication at the last minute, we were able to include Dr. Lenahan’s parents (dentist father, Dr. James Lenahan and office mother, Jean), her husband, Chris, her staff team and Greater St. Louis Dental Society ED, Meg Stagina in the surprise attack. In a ruse, Dr. Lenahan had been told to stay for a late-arriving emergency patient. With balloons, flowers, cupcakes and gift in hand, I stormed into the office yelling “emergency” while Melissa filmed it all. Dr. Lenahan’s reaction was priceless and it was a great moment for all.

Dr. Lenahan (UMKC 2011) got her pediatric training at the University of Tennessee SOD in 2014 and practices with her father at Lenahan Smiles Pediatric Dentistry in St .Louis. Her CV is extensive and includes strong efforts to engage New Dentists in organized dentistry both locally and statewide. Anyone who knows her, knows her humor and spirit are uplifting. She’s a great asset to the MDA and the profession. In fact she’s so committed that immediately after the surprise, she hosted us at her house for a Zoom call with the MDA New Dentist Committee. Congratulations to Megan for this well deserved honor.

We have three more surprises to pull off in the next month, so stay tuned as the Prize Patrol van rolls along.

The Virtual Vortex

While this brief escape to St. Louis for some masked and distanced interaction with Dr. Lenahan’s team was a breath of fresh air, most of the MDA’s work is a web of webinars and a lot of on-the-fly adjustments to existing plans. It’s not a sexy story, and it’s hard to share with a photo but nonetheless it’s how we roll to keep on mission for helping all members succeed. Keep your eyes on the MDA homepage or the App for all the latest info.

The Week Ahead

We are closed for Labor Day and wish you all a wonderful weekend. The rest of the week is in the virtual vortex including a Central Dental Society meeting next Friday.

Quote of the Week

The unexpected moment is always sweeter.

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