The Week That Was: July 25-29

You Blink and A Month Goes By

Dedicated readers of this blog, of which there are few, will know we’ve been dormant since just after the 4th of July. Trust me, that is not from a lack of activity. In fact, the pace was most intense on days we usually publish. But fear not, we are back in the saddle. Here’s a brief recap to help us all catch up.

MOMOM Returns

Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis became Smile Town USA on July 15-16 when we held the first post-pandemic MOMOM clinic. More than 650 volunteers smiled ear to ear as they lent their time and skills to put smiles on the faces of 857 patients who braved high temps and long lines to get help they could not access anywhere else. As usual, the heart warming stories were abundant. And there is always so many people to thank who made it possible. Watch for a spread in the next Focus, but for now the best place to relive the experience is here.  Also watch for the recap video in the coming weeks.

The Next Wave Arrives

The MDA journey is a continuous one, as every year more students arrive at dental school with big dreams. And we are there to greet them and welcome them to this awesome profession. Besides watching this great welcome video, we also make sure they meet us and get some free swag. First impressions are important. On July 12, Stacey Hemmel and Jerri  Wildhaber went to Kirksville to work the MDA/MDIS booth at the info fair. They met 57 of the 63 students in the new class. In fact they had students dragging other students over to the booth with excitement. We will join NEDS next week on August 3 for a more focused reception with games and prizes. Then we do something similar with UMKC D1 students on August 18. And this time next year we will work with KCU School of Dental Medicine to welcome their first ever class! Please join us in welcoming the future Missouri dentist members. Remember, this was you how ever many years ago.

Driving Change in Chicago

Right after MOMOM, Vicki WilbersHalie Payne and Stacey Hemmel attended the ADA Management week in Chicago. MDA President Elect, Dr. Jeremy Bowen was there as well. The theme was Driving Change Together. Change is no longer a buzz word. It’s every day reality in the profession, and it’s time to be ahead of it. This can be unsettling to some but it’s essential. I’m still hearing bits and pieces about the vision and action steps both nationally and at the state level. Missouri is certainly in the mix with strong leadership and representation. Our move to more digital emphasis with MODental On Demand is just one way we are driving change for the better.

Santa Revealed

Well, not his actual identity. But for the staff teams of MDA and MDIS, we discovered our Secret Santa identity. June was a month of providing simple and thoughtful gifts each week to your special person. Gift cards, candles, food, cosmetics, books, etc. were put under the tree as pick me ups. Earlier this month we had a staff lunch to reveal our identities. It’s always amazing to see how hard it is to pick correctly. Good times!


Last Friday there was a Missouri Dental Board meeting. MDA President Dr. Tom Stone and BOT members, Dr. Mack Taylor and Dr. Wendy Weimer joined MDA staff and MDA Lobbyist, Olivia Wilson in representing your issues first hand. It’s good to see so many seats at the table.

The Week Ahead

Goodbye July and Hello August. Besides what’s been mentioned, everyone is buckling down on change initiatives and preparing for school travel and the BOT meeting at the end of August. Stay locked in with your favorite MDA channel to keep in the know!

Quote of the Week

Some people make things happen. Others watch things happen. And a few say “what happened?” Which one will you be?

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