The Week That Was: October 17-21

SmileCon 2022 Highlights

Everyone may have a different engagement level with the ADA but as our national partner in your tripartite membership, you’d be surprised at all the ADA does to promote and protect the profession and allow for many wonderful leadership avenues and interesting programs. All of this is on full display at the ADA annual session, SmileCon, which wrapped up this week in Houston. Vicki Wilbers and Halie Payne were MDA staff on site and provided some photos and stories. Hopefully this brief summary gives you a sense of who and what was going on.

10 Under 10 Honors for Dr. Emily Mattingly and Dr. Lisa Bosch. We covered this national honor when it was announced last spring. It’s given to 10 dentists who are less than 10 years out of school and have made significant contributions to organized dentistry. Part of SmileCon is recognizing their achievements before their peers. You can tell by the smiles that this was a big moment. Congrats!

Caucus and Delegate Action. While SmileCon is open to any member, many MDA members attend in an official role to represent Missouri and vote on important topics. This starts with discussion in the Sixth District caucus. Outgoing ADA President, Dr. Cesar Sabates dropped in to speak. Among other items, Missouri’s own, Dr. Bob Butler, announced his candidacy for ADA 2nd Vice President. This is a key role at the national level, and Dr. Butler hopes to put his years of service and experience to work. You can see Dr. Butler visiting with ADA Treasurer, Dr. Ted Sherwin. Good luck to Dr. Butler! After the caucus, delegates hit the floor to debate and vote on resolutions. It was great to see newer delegates like Dr. Robyn HayesDr. Jen Wheeler and Dr. Jay Brown participate in the governance side of dentistry. Thanks to the whole MDA delegation for their hard work.

Leadership Changes. ADA leadership roles are far from being just a figure head. These men and women manage major responsibilities while living out of a suitcase for two years or more just to serve the profession. SmileCon is a time to look forward as they launch new adventures. Meet your new leaders, ADA President Dr. George Shepley, from Baltimore and ADA President-Elect, Dr. Linda Edgar, from Washington state. Dr. Shepley spoke to the MDA House of Delegates last year, and Dr. Edgar will do the same in just a few weeks.

Congressman on the Scene. Having a dentist as a member of Congress is a huge benefit for passing legislation important to the profession. It’s pretty cool that Dr. Brian Babin is a U.S. Congressman for the 36th District right there in Texas. He stopped by the delegation as well and we snapped photos of him with MDA Past President, Dr. Prabu Raman and MDA President Elect, Dr. Jeremy Bowen.

Humanitarian Award. How cool is that the ADA National Humanitarian Award went to Missouri’s own, Dr. Jeffrey Dalin for co-creating and continually guiding the ADA’s signature access to care program, Give Kids A Smile, for 20 years. “This award is not mine. I want to share it with everyone who has ever volunteered,” Dr. Dalin said in the video that aired honoring him.

Social Time. SmileCon is not all work. It’s also a good time to network and interact with colleagues in a setting and time frame that you can’t find back home with busy schedules. I see that the Missouri delegation enjoyed dinner out together and then made sure they took in the Monday Night Football game featuring the mighty Kansas City Chiefs. It was a great game but a rare loss for the home team.

MDA Viewpoint. From Halie: As a first-time HOD attendee, it was admirable to see dentists truly care about the progression and state of their profession. Several resolutions were passed through the house, and I felt there was a theme to better the association, the profession and improve oral healthcare across the country. From Vicki: It is great to see new MDA team members thrive at events like this and get to build their relationships with MDA dentists, Sixth district dentists, ADA team members and colleagues from other states. The ADA took some significant action by passing a different type of governance structure, the first time in my 30 years there has been passage of something this significant in ADA structure. With the change, the goal is to have the ADA be more nimble and able to connect with more members through a variety of subgroups that will fit into a larger structure of governance. It will ask a great deal more of members of the House, dental members across the country, the state dental associations executives and more. It is a little complicated to explain but the work is to have more grassroots action from members across the country. One of the events we attended was the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) champions network meeting. The ADA continues to be strong in showing how they wish to implement change in their organization which shows inclusion for all and also how they strive to have inclusion and oral health care essential for all citizens—equity in membership but also equity in health; it was a great panel with leaders from ADA, ADSONational Dental AssociationHispanic Dental Association and more.

Fairways and Fun

On Monday, I played in the Missouri Society of Association Executives (MSAE) annual golf tournament. This is a great networking event with several tourism folks in attendance including our friends from Margaritaville Resort, which hosts MDA’s Connect4Success Conference in June. I had an interesting conversation with someone from the Missouri Academy of Family Physicians. We discussed membership trends, member benefits and engagement levels and then realized we have some similar challenges. He did remark that they see the need to promote the profession’s future and start as early as middle school. Interesting. It was a brisk day for golf but I enjoyed playing with Mark Tenholder, Director of Sales for St. Charles Convention Center. We scrambled our way to par but lost in a scoreboard playoff. I took solace in winning the St. Charles Tourism raffle basket of goodies worth $350.

UMKC Food for Thought & Vendor Fair

Yesterday Team Travel was back on the road for our October Food for Thought gathering at the UMKC SOD. The attendance is always good when we serve Chic-Fil-A but the real treat was hearing from Dr. Caitlin Rosemann, a 2021 graduate of MOSDOH. She shared about the transition from active dental student to finding engagement as a new associate in St. James and Bourbon. Really it boils down to just jumping in. It’s always cool to see students bridge from their school involvement to “real world dentistry”. After Dr. Rosemann’s presentation, we set the stage for our Wheel of Winners. This cash and prize roulette has gained quite a reputation on our visits. Later that afternoon MDIS and MDA exhibited at the school’s vendor fair. This is a good venue to meet and chat with more students than we have time to do at lunch. Plus, I enjoy seeing other vendors and asking about their efforts. I had some positive interactions with organizations we historically don’t have much connection to. We are all in this profession together and there’s always room for growth and mutual learning.

The Week Ahead

I hate to miss a good time, but I will send my cheers from afar to the fine folks at Greater Springfield Dental Society who are having a New Dentist Social tonight. Our far-flung staff will reassemble on Monday for a needed staff meeting. And then the rest of the week is FFT at ATSU St. Louis campus and then exhibit and visit at the 80th Mid Continent Dental Congress hosted by Greater St. Louis Dental Society. It should be quite the gathering. Due to the late week schedule, you will have to wait a week to get a full blog report on it.

Quote of the Week

Golf – the classy way to avoid responsibilities (lol!)

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