All Eyes on Kansas City
While there’s always a million things going on with the MDA, it seems like this week is all about events at the UMKC School of Dentistry. Allow me to hit the highlights for you.
Food for Thought – Tuesday was our last visit of the school year so we blessed the dental students with Chick-Fil-A for lunch and a power couple as speakers. Drs. Erin and Aaron Bumann did a nice job sharing their academic journey (six degrees and two certificates between them) and providing insights to consider on post graduate options, dating a dentist, finding your passion in dentistry and more. They are also walking billboards for the benefits of involvement in organized dentistry at all levels. It was well received and we appreciate their time.
National Signing Day – We pull out all the stops to help D4s “Level Up” from student membership to professional membership. This includes gifts and incentives like free malpractice for a year, the ADA’s Chairside Instructor manual, a $25 gift card and a raffle with awesome prizes. It’s fun to see the students’ enthusiasm and diversity of locations for their next step. Many are investing in a grad program to increase their education and confidence. Wherever they go we want them to stay plugged in. Be on the lookout for these awesome dentists when they come to your component. Shout out to Stacey Hemmel, Jerri Wildhaber and Sam Silvey for manning the tables and securing 77 applications from 107 possible students so far. And kudos to those students who won some cool stuff: Adnan Syed, Sydney Zuraski, Miranda Yip, Anna Faulkner, John Allen, Anna Everson, Baylie Carroll, Ryan Greenway, Jared Buescher, Umair Bajun and Dev Patel.
MedPro Social – To cap off a fun day with students, we went to the Brickhouse Bar for a special D4 social hosted by Blake Podschlne from Medical Protective. MedPro and MDIS are great partners in the malpractice arena and new grads can get their first year free. Besides some more free food and drink, everyone enjoyed a more intimate time to visit and of course, more games. We played Deal or No Deal with our super fancy briefcases and the contestants were like hound dogs sniffing out the best prizes in order from a $100 cash to a $10 gift certificate. It provided more laughs and a nice end to an important day with future members.
Midwest Dental Conference – After a three year absence of being together, I expect many UMKC SOD alumni and others will convene for this conference filled with CE, reunions and special events. I’m not in attendance but Vicki Wilbers has joined Stacey and Jerri on site for some key events and a little member interaction time at the MDA/MDIS booth. They sent some photos including them with ADA leaders (from l-r): Dr. Ray Fiddler; Dr. Ray Colhemia, ADA ED, and Dr. Cesar Sabates, ADA President. You can see Dr. Mack Taylor, Dr. Stephanie Copeland, Dr. Jon Copeland and Dr. Ron Wilkerson at the Pouring of the Heart dinner. We also have Dr. Wilkerson alongside Dr. Dan Kessler, Dr. Amanda Fitzpatrick and Dr. Fallon Stiens. Plus we have action shots from the exhibit hall including Vicki’s daughter, Macyn Wilbers, decked out in MedPro gear. It looks like a fun time for all.
A Sad Loss
On Tuesday I learned of the passing of Mr. Greg Russell. Many of you know Greg from his time with MDIS before his departure in 2019. For many years, Greg was the only other male in the building here, and I appreciated his quick wit, good business sense and generous spirit. He served on the MDA Foundation board for many years as well and provided good insight on investments. Greg had been fighting health problems, and I had not seen him in some time. His obituary outlines his prolific career, community service and love of family. His funeral service this morning was well attended and a fitting tribute to a good man. He will be missed by all of us in the MDA/MDIS family.
The Week Ahead
We continue the countdown of the final weeks of the legislative session. We have a staff meeting and an MDA Board meeting. And I will join the Springfield folks for their officer installation dinner.
Quote of the Week (in honor of National Signing Day)
“Conversion is not implanting eyes, for they already exist; but giving them a right direction, which they have not.” – my old pal, Plato