The Week That Was: October 10-14

Member Visit – Dr. Jayne Scherrman

My travels this week had me back in Cape Girardeau for a special assignment at the office of pediatric dentist and long-time MDA member, Dr. Jayne Scherrman. She has a beautiful building and a booming practice. She has also been a Medicaid provider for some time. Due to MDA’s legislative success at getting the provider reimbursement more than doubled, I suspect (and hope) there will be more providers statewide who choose to see Medicaid patients. However, the system can be complex – even to veterans like Dr. Scherrman. My task was to film a testimonial video about how the MDA helps its members find answers and navigate the system. To a provider, it’s a lifeline you can’t find anywhere else. We work hard to provide that value to members, and I hope our video project helps tell that story. Thanks to Dr. Scherrman and Sherry, the office manager, for making time in a busy schedule to accommodate me. I love these member interactions.

Exploration Visit in Dexter

From Cape, I headed over to Dexter to interact  with the volunteers at the Smiles of Hope dental clinic. For a $20 appointment fee and $5 per extracted tooth, patients come from all over SE Missouri for care. Usually this clinic (that started as a vision of Dr. William Kane and now is in its 13th year) is only open one Saturday per month. However, twice a year a fabulous team from MOSDOH led by Dean Dr. Dwight McCleod and veteran program specialist, Dr. Herb Silva, bring a cadre of students and volunteer dentists for a few consecutive days of treatment. It’s amazing to see how the LightHouse Church cares for the people in their community. Local members volunteer like it was a MOMOM and get the job done. I loved my interactions with Debbie Smith at patient intake, Zena Burns at x-ray and supplies and Kevin DeArman, dental minister who steers the ship. I enjoyed seeing their vision for the future and dreaming about how the MDA Foundation might be able to advance this vital clinic in a high need area. I also enjoyed dinner with the students and profs after a hard day’s work. The next morning I donated a van load of supplies to Zena and the clinic before heading home. I wish everyone could see what I saw. It’s compassion in action. For a more detailed story about how this clinic works with MOSDOH to help treat veterans read this local story.

Assembly in Houston

Currently MDA ED, Vicki Wilbers and MDA Director of Professional Affairs, Halie Payne, are in Houston for the annual ADA SmileCon and House of Delegates. They are joined by a host of other MDA members and I hope to provide a great report next week but things are just starting this morning with a meeting of ED’s from other states. They are addressing common concerns like membership trends and structural hurdles. You can see Vicki voting in the positive for something. They also are learning about the ADA App which is being rolled out this week. This event is always a truckload of information and activity so stay tuned next week for more details.

The Week Ahead

I look “fore”ward to an annual association gathering golf tourney on Monday. The ADA conference continues for another week. Team Travel heads off to UMKC for a Food for Thought and Vendor Fair. And Greater Springfield Dental Society hosts a social for New Dentists next Friday.

Quote of the Week

“Houston … we have an opportunity!” – Unknown

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