The Week That Was: January 4-8

Happy New Year – The Vexing Vaccine

While everyone was happy to see 2020 pass into history, it’s most treacherous legacy, the Coronavirus, is far from being over. Last year ended with optimism as the first wave of vaccines were released. However, the reality of the ballyhooed rollout was far from pristine. The bottom line is that demand far outstrips supply. This understandably has many people a little anxious—especially dentists who both warrant receiving the vaccine as frontline providers working in a highly transmissive atmosphere, and as frontline providers able to speed the vaccine distribution to others. Not since the first wave of chaos surrounding the shut down of dental offices last spring have I seen the MDA  staff (mainly ED, Vicki Wilbers) work so feverishly. The effort to assemble and distribute information felt like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall. MDA trustees from all regions of the state sent in widely different reports of access and distribution. Faulty and incomplete information from the state and feds made it difficult to have a consistent message. This was not as easy as most messaging to membership because it felt like the Wild West with every person for themselves. This scenario repeated itself state to state. Patience (always a reliable, albeit elusive virtue) appears to be key. Thankfully the end of the week was rosier than the beginning. Let’s work together as we still have a long way to go. You can find all Vaccine resources on the MDA site, including ADA guidance “COVID-19 Vaccines in the Dental Workplace: FAQs for Practice Owners,” posted this week.

Happy New Year – A Better Way to Storm a Capitol

I’ll offer no political commentary on the amazing scenes from this week’s events at the U.S. Capitol. Historic and flabbergasting are the adjectives that come to mind. I think there’s universal agreement that it’s not the best way to run a democracy, so let me offer you an alternative. Register for MDA’s Virtual Town Hall on January 26 at 6pm. Show your support for the profession, learn more about the MDA’s 2021 legislative agenda and hear from Captiol leadership including Lt. Governor, Mike Kehoe, Senate Majority Leader, Representative Dean Plocher and Senate Majority Leader, Senator Caleb Rowden. A virtual event allows for more member participation than ever without the hassles of winter weather, travel and missing work. Plus as an extra incentive, all who participate in the Town Hall and respond to the follow up VoterVoice action request will be entered to win a custom MDA/MDIS Yeti Backpack cooler. Make your advocacy active and register today.

Happy New Year – A Generous Gift from MDIS

I’m continually amazed at the valuable partnership we have with MDIS. Jerri Wildhaber and her team do an awesome job providing reliable insurance products and excellent service for members. In fact last night, they hosted a webinar touting the DVH plan. MDIS exists to provide member benefits while generating revenue that helps keep dues lower. They had a very good year in 2020 and that bounty spilled over to the MDA’s Foundations. As Foundation Director, I was overjoyed with the news of MDIS’ donation of $11,053 each to the MDA Foundation and the Dental Well Being Foundation. I was able to slip down the hill and visit MDIS President, Dr. JC Standlee for a photo op. It’s these kind of moments that bring some much needed sunshine into the world. Thank you MDIS!

Happy New Year – Raise the Roof

We need a party where we can gather together again and raise the roof with joy, but until that time comes, we will settle with raising / replacing the roof at the MDA building. It was time after 20 years. Thankfully good stewardship and a rainy day fund made this project simple. But it is quite noisy here today.

The Week Ahead

It’s pretty much rinse and repeat on the above items. We are focusing on more vaccine assistance and prepping for legislative action as the Missouri General Assembly began on Wednesday of this week.

Quote of the Week

All great changes are preceded by chaos.” – Deepak Chopra

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