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ARCHIVES: February 2014



MDA Legislative Day 2014

Posted by Paul on 2/26/2014 3:51:00 PM

It was lovely day today to setMDA members loose on the Capitol to meet with their legislative representatives and advocate for your profession. In total20+ members came to Jefferson City to make rounds and talk up the MDA's legislative agenda from a provider's viewpoint.
I was so busy shuttling these committed politico's backand forth from the MDA office that Ionly had a chance to grab one photo of some of the Springfield group. Above you will see Drs Castleman, Vance, Struble, Stone, Kessler, Haley, and Bates as they finish their briefing at the MDA office. Perhaps later I will have some photos to share of our members with elected officials at the Capitol.
Thanks to Patrick Baker, MDA Legislative Director, for designing and executing a very prepared and efficient plan. All the reports I heard while shuttlingwere very positive about good meetings that were on time and expected by the legislator, being well prepared to present our issues, and having agood profile as a profession at the Capitol.
Momentum is good but it takes all hands. Please consider supporting MODentPac and attending Legislative Day in the future. Any time you are in town, let Patrick know and he can try to arrange a meeting with your legislator. Advocacy wins for all!

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Burritos and Wisdom at Food for Thought

Posted by Paul on 2/25/2014 3:32:00 PM

Today, after winter break and a schedule snafu, we were finally back on track with Food for Thought (FFT). FFT is the MDA's outreach to UMKC dental students. Monthly we provide them with a hearty lunch that they inhale and we also give them a quick shot of "mental dental food". This is designed to instruct and inspire them about "real life" in organized dentistry on the other side of graduation. And to spice things up, we give out five $20 bills to lucky winners who stay the entire time. Cash speaks!
We've been featuring MDA members who are new dentists for the most part and can share recent growing pains. It's been well received and today was no different. Dr David Suchman and Dr Mac Darnall were our speakers and they shared 5 tips to remember as you start your career. I loved it because it endorsed organized dentistry implicitly before making a out of it. And it was based on their experience (good and bad). Here briefly are the 5 points in some order. Thank you Drs Suchman and Darnall!
1. Find a mentor
2. Take advantage of CE in person
3. Get some kind of post graduate training
4. Take care of your health
5. Organized dentistry enriches your career and protects your profession
We will be back in just two weeks for another FFT featuring Dr Jon Copeland from St Louis. Watch for photos and news!

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The Value of Training

Posted by Paul on 2/14/2014 3:21:00 PM

An event as large as MOMOM held smack in the middle of St Louis is bound to attract media attention. That can be a wonderful opportunity for educating a variety of audiences that might not know or understand the complexity of issues surrounding the delivery of dental care in modern America. The attention can also be negative if innocent remarks are misconstrued. That's the risk of dealing with media. So what do you do? You train!
Today, the MDA's public relations firm, Fleischman and Hillard (FH), hosted a media training event for MOMOM. I attended as an event coordinator but the real stars were Dr Stu Waite and Lisa Woodfin, co-chairs for MOMOM 2014, and Dr Vince Rapini, St Louis trustee for the MDA Board. They worked on talking points, watched some clever videos about pitfalls, and did some role play under scrutiny.
Amy Bollinger (above) and Brandy Barker from FH are a great resource to help us frame our message and handle curveball questions. Their experience with media and especially media local to St Louis is invaluable as we prepare to host MOMOM in 10 weeks. It's wonderful to have good partners!
I spared the participants from painful role play photos but rest assured they were doing the heavy lifting and embracing this aspect of their volunteer leadership. Kudos to them and maybe you will see their smiling face on TV in May!

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Give Kids A Smile at UMKC

Posted by Paul on 2/7/2014 3:58:00 PM

Single digit temperatures curtailed some of the student turnout today but nonetheless many kids were given a smile today thanks to the hard work of Dr Michael McCunniff and a host of dental students, local dentists, and happy volunteers who cam togetherfor National Give Kids a Smile Day.
Kids filed off buses to be greeted by friendly faces in pink GKAS shirts. They were screened and went off to various areas of the school's clinic for hygiene and treatment. After getting their TLC and new smile, they went upstairs to enjoy books, games, videos, face paint, clowns and lunch. Who doesn't want to be a kid?
There was strong local news coverage and it's great to see such a united community from the 5 year old receiving treatment to the 25 year old learning to deliver treatment to the 65 year old veteran supervising and giving of their time. It's dentistry at its best.
I'm sure many of you may have had your own local GKAS outreach. According to the ADA web site yesterday, there were 1,519 events nationwide scheduled with more than 9000 dentists participating to treat 345,700 kids. Now that's cool seeing much of the country get behind this event.
Salute to all those who gave of their time and talent today!

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AHECS, Pipelines, and Opportunities!

Posted by Paul on 2/3/2014 4:30:00 PM

It's still winter but a little crosspollinization was going on the MDA office today. The Missouri Area Health Education Centers (AHECs) were using our downstairs conference room for a meeting. This statewide group works tirelessly to promote healthcare careers and create workforce development programs to nurture and facilitate those careers at all stages. They are led by Michael French out of the Kirksville office. That's him in photo #1. The rest of the gang is in photo #2. I apologize for the bad light and boring setting but I merely wanted to document their welcomed presence at the MDA.
The crosspollinization came in when Vicki, Stacey, and I joined them for a full hour of introductions and idea sharing on ways we might collaborate. At the 2012 House of Delegates, the MDA was charged to look into the promotion of rural practice dentistry. Our research revealed there was no need to reinvent the wheel because the AHEC's were doing a solid job at many levels. What we learned today were a few ways that we can enhance their work and in turn enhance the opportunities for young people to pursue dentistry and eventually return to practice in rural areas.
Primarily the focus was on the need for mentors and internships. There are eager students who need just to shadow/silently watch a dentaloffice at work to seeif thatturns their crank. Other pre-dental students need a mentor to help with studies, etc. Still others who are locked in need internships to foster their chances at success. The MDA will investigate how to best create awareness of these needs so our interested members can participate. Like most things, the best entry point is the local level so we will keep the components aware and try to connect them to the right AHEC reps in their areas.
We learned a lot and I won;t try to repeat it all here. Just be alert and know that we are working on your behalf with other smart and motivated partners to promote careers in dentistry.

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