The Week That Was: November 15-19

ADA Changes and Opportunities

It may be easy to think your membership is primarily local or state because that’s where you reside and practice. However, your tripartite membership also includes all the resources and benefits at the ADA national level. A lot of value and assistance for the MDA staff comes through this “Power of Three” approach as we participate in many webinars, trainings and collaborations that influence the programs and services we provide here in Missouri. Over the last 10 days, there have been some good updates and challenges presented. First, we heard from new ADA leadership. Dr. Cesar Sabates, a UMKC grad, is the recently installed president and he is putting a big emphasis on inclusion. Dr. Ray Colhmia, a dentist and faculty member from Oklahoma, is the new Executive Director for the ADA. His passion is to continue to bring the ADA forward to adapt to the always changing needs of members. Best of luck to both these committed leaders as they take the reins.

Additionally I was part of two webinars that were aimed to challenge our own forward thinking abilities. First we are learning about digital transformation. How do we create and deliver meaningful content to members using new technology? Remember, our current dental students are considered digital natives. They have never lived without smartphones. Second we heard from Race for Relevance author, Mary Byers. She addressed the six challenges associations face as they emerge from the pandemic. She says it’s a mistake to go “back to normal” and we must instead think about the “next normal”. Those are challenging thoughts, and change is difficult, but I liked one quote of hers so much, I saved it for the quote of the week.

Evening Zooms

Part of the next normal has been the advent of Zoom. It’s less desirable than being together, but it does allow more interaction while saving travel time and expense for volunteer leaders. However, it does cut into home time, so I applaud those who make that sacrifice. This past week the MODentPAC Board met to review the recent House of Delegates fundraiser and look ahead to the new year. It was a strong year for the PAC, and I thank all the donors for their support. Fundraising leads to Friendraising at the Capitol. Also this week the Dental Well Being Foundation Board held its annual meeting where they elected officers, passed the 2022 budget, heard updates from the program administrator, Rebecca Mowen, and discussed new opportunities. People are being helped through the Voluntary Wellness Program offerings.

Food for Thought Weekly Double

The Road Warriors were on the move this week with trips to both Kirksville and Kansas City to conduct Food for Thought events with our beloved dental students. Part of digital transformation here is we display a QR code when we arrive that allows the students to enter to win prizes at the end. This magically creates a “Wheel of Winners” that we display. It’s all very hip and has replaced our archaic raffle ticket approach. We also fed them Jimmy Johns box lunches while they listened to engaging speakers. Olivia Wilson, MDA lobbyist, reprised her well-received advocacy presentation for the students in Kirksville while, Dr. Suzanne Ebert, VP of Dental Practice and Relationships for the ADA Business Innovations Group hit it out of the park explaining ADAPT, the awesome job matching platform the ADA has built. Lots of questions and practical applications, and she shared this great video, too. We thank Dr. Ebert for making the trip from Florida to be with us. Her husband is from Kansas City and they were staying for the Chiefs game against the Dallas Cowboys, so that made the trip even better.

Focus on the Focus

For years you have enjoyed receiving a colorful, informative and professional publication as part of your membership. I mean, who doesn’t love the Focus! The cover features awesome photographs taken by fellow members. Articles highlight news and thoughts from many perspectives, including yours truly! Plus it’s a great revenue generator and connection point thanks to our advertisers. However, the Focus doesn’t just materialize. It’s a multiweek effort to collect, design, proof and print this baby. And production happens amid all the other duties of association work. So, while they love their work and don’t seek recognition, I applaud Melissa Albertson and Elisha Bonnot for using their skills to bring a quality product to the MDA. Look for your next issue soon!

How Do You Due(s)?

It’s that time of year again. On Monday you received an email launching the MDA 2022 member dues season. Again, on the digital transformation front, we are offering an incentive to pay your dues using ACH (bank draft). It’s simple, safe and prevents credit card issues down the road. You can learn more and get in on the action here. Join us for another exhilarating year as the staff and volunteer leaders work hard to protect the profession, offer great benefits and help all members succeed.

The Week Ahead

It’s a short one with the Thanksgiving holiday. I’ll be on the road and maybe you will as well. Be safe and watch for the blog to return in December. All the MDA staff and Board wish all of you and your family a wonderful and restful Thanksgiving. We have much to be grateful for after some tough sledding the last 20 months.

Quotes of the Week

Discomfort helps midwife the future.” — Mary Byers

Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.” — William Shakespeare

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