The Week That Was: February 28-March 4

Wowzers! Some Weeks Are Just Bananas

And this was one of them! When I last wrote, I was heading off to the GSLDS Installation banquet. Meanwhile Vicki Wilbers (MDA) and Jerri Wildhaber (MDIS) joined the faithful at Travel & Learn in St. Martins. Plus we had the Missouri Coalition for Oral Health (MOCOH) Annual Conference and MOMOM meetings and more. There are so many photos and people to mention that I can’t do it all justice without writing an almanac, so hang tight for the highlights.

GSLDS Installation

Due to COVID and schedule conflicts, I had not been able to join the GSLDS crowd for their fancy installation banquet in four years. I was sure glad to make this one. The parade of dignitaries was long and luminous. We had emcee and outgoing president, Dr. Danielle Riordan, receive her honorary plaque from MDA President, Dr. Tom Stone, who attended with his wife, Rachel. Dr. Stone also swore in the officers present – President, Dr. Robyn Hayes, President-Elect, Dr. Megan Lenahan, and Dr. Jennifer Wheeler, 2nd vice president. Incoming president, Dr. Robyn Hayes, gave a authentic and hilarious speech. We had several life members in attendance to receive their pin. Among the award winners at the event were Dr. John Landgraf who won the Humanitarian Award and Dr. Thomas Flavin, who won the Gold Medal Award. Dr. Flavin’s daughter, Molly Flavin, was recognized with the Give Kids a Smile Hero Award. Dr. Jeff Dalin received the Distinguished Service Award and Dr. Kevin Beckmann won the Award of Merit. Whew! Plus there was a live band, lots of happy faces and even two birthday celebrations. Dr. Riordan was sweet to toast yours truly for his 61st and Dr. Hayes honored her son, Hudson Hayes, on turning 13. Thanks to the fabulous GSLDS staff for including me and pulling off a great event!

Meanwhile in the Tropics

Under a much less stringent dress code, a merry band of MDA members, spouses and CE presenters joined Vicki and Jerri as they all ventured out to St. Martins for MDA’s annual Travel and Learn. The news reports that trickled in seem to have a tinge of “wish you were here”. Thankfully good weather and good spirits prevailed. May their sun kissed bodies find safe return to grand old Missouri this weekend.


Coalitions bring a wide range of stakeholders around one major topic to accomplish together more than can be done alone. Mr. Gary Harbison has done a great job the last several years leading the Missouri Coalition for Oral Health. He works with various committees to advance policy and promote oral health for all Missourians. Yesterday and today was the annual MCOH conference. I was only able to jump in at the tail end, but I did capture MDA lobbyist, Ms. Olivia Wilson, presenting a legislative update. Plus Delta Dental’s, Ms. Stacey Harris, accepting recognition for Delta’s work in fighting fluoride. Plus, Dr. Nathan Suter, board member and conference chair, accepting recognition for his service as he steps off the board. I ran into Dr. Guy Deyton, State Dental Director, in the hall and he gushed about the “Future of Dentistry” panel that I had just missed. It featured MDA board members, Dr. Amanda Fitzpatrick and Dr. Mack Taylor among others. There’s plenty more to report and still to come as I look at the agenda. Kudos to all for uniting around oral health.  

I think I better save any other tidbits for next week. It’s great to see the breadth of events and involvement from our wonderful MDA members.

The Week Ahead

It’s all about Dental Day at the Capitol as members rally in person and via VoterVoice to express concern for issues that affect them. Plus the MDA Foundation Board meets virtually and will select dental student scholarship winners among other business.

Quote of the Week

“I’m sure proud of our MDA members.” – all the MDA staff and just about anybody who has ever met one

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