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ARCHIVES: September 2012

Sep

28

Springfield School Health Outreach

Posted by Paul on 9/28/2012 4:24:00 PM



 
Today I ran down to Springfield to check out the Springfield Public Schools Dental Day at area elementary schools. What I discovered was a well oiled machine of screenings. The set up is a collaboration between SPS and GSDS. Jean Grabeel is over health services for the school and she connects with Jean Harmison, executive director of GSDS, to arrange a dental screening day.
 
The society picked this Friday and then past the list of @35 elementary schools around so dentists or hygienists could sign up for screenings. The school system provides the forms and keeps excellent records as kids move through the system or transfer schools. The school nurses were valuable allies as they arranged for how the kids would be seen and of course help with follow up.The screening is very basic and meant to identify only urgent needs. Of course, there's encouragement to keep seeing your regular dentist.
 
I was able to stop by Pittman Elementary where Dr. Josh Montgomery (upper left) was moving from class to class in the hallway and seeing students as they were sent to him. At Disney Elementary, Dr. Tara Cash was moved around the school as well to see a variety of kids. My first stop was at Wilder Elementary where Dr. Misty Shelton stayed put in the cafeteria and classes were dismissed to see her. The first photo shows her actually examining Dr. Montgomery's child (how do you think that went!) and the other photo shows the eager students awaiting their turn. My one other stop was to be at Field Elementary but Dr. Nail and the Drs. Buzbee brothers had already whipped through 400 kids in 70 minutes. Talk about good organization and help.
 
It was great to see our members volunteer their time and be on the community front line. You all know the value of education and prevention starting early. It was also good to see such a strong plan. I don't know how other component or communities go about doing health fairs but I would encourage you to talk to Jean at GSDS and figure out how you can create a similar synergy between school health systems, school nurses, and volunteer dentists. It's always easier to step into a well organized day. Good job GSDS!
 
A final note of curiosity was that several members offered "vouchers" to the school nurse so if they identified a severe need from someone who may not have the resources to see a dentist, they could tell the parent how to schedule with a dentist for free care. This puts the responsibility on the parent and protects the time of the volunteer dentist. Just another cool way our members serve others!
 


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Sep

20

Go Cards Go!

Posted by Paul on 9/20/2012 4:20:00 PM


 
It may be fall weather and football season but we all know that also means baseball pennant races. And that means the St Louis Cardinals!
Today was a real treat. Our public relations partner, Fleischman Hillard invited us to share their suite at the Cardinals -Astros game. The entire MDA staff joined the GSLDS staff and two guests from Delta Dental Health Theater for a fun afternoon of baseball and food debauchery. We used the opportunity to also say farewell to Ellen Kessler who is stepping down as executive director and to welcome Meg Shannon to that role. (See my earlier blog post about this transition).
 
The day was gorgeous. The view was unbelievable. The food was decadent. The fun was abundant and the of course, the Cardinals won. Thank you Fleischman Hillard for your generosity!!
 
Photos: Top left is Denise Lehman and Ellen Kessler in the front row and Shannon Woodcock, Nikke Sprehe, Meg Shannon and Laura Breeden enjoying the view. Top right is the fantastic view. Bottom left is Shannon Woodcock and Chris Lampkin from Delta Dental Health Theater and bottom right is the dessert tray that sent us all into a coma.
 


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Sep

18

Awards? It must be the people in the photos!

Posted by Paul on 9/18/2012 4:06:00 PM


 
Ever see a turtle on a fence post? You know he didn't get there on his own effort. That's how I feel about the photo above.
 
I was happy to represent the MDA at the annual Missouri Society of Association Executives luncheon today. The MDA won two awards! MSAE hosts an awards competition annually, and this year, MDA won an Award of Excellence in the Communications category for its blog entry “A Mouthful: Paul’s Tales from the Road—Increasing member Value through Blogging.” That's cool but so many people here help behind the scenes and the real star of the blog is you. People can't get enough of those good looking MDA members in the photos! It is cool to see this fledging blog get some recognition. It is designed to make the MDA smaller and more personal and to reflect the wide array of member activities around the state. Thanks for following me and spread the word!

MDA also won an Honorable Mention in the Education category for its outreach entry “Healthy Kids Day Outreach: Educating Families on Oral Health Care.” I wrote the submissions and attended the luncheon to accept. This is the eighth MSAE Award of Excellence the MDA has received since 2001. We won last year for our work in Joplin. I tip my hat to the MDA staff for the in sync manner in which they all work together for the benefit of all. The recognition feels nice. Celebrate with us!


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Sep

17

UMKC Scholarship Dinner

Posted by Paul on 9/17/2012 3:37:00 PM


 
The MDA Foundation is passionate about education and one way that manifests itself is through a scholarship program for dental and hygiene students. Your generous contributions to MDAF through dues, solicitation letters, and on line giving help support this valuable program that began in 1999 and now has given out more than $177,000 in aid.
 
Last night was the annual UMKC scholarship dinner. I was excited to be joined this year by MDAF President, Dr. Joel Pratt. We both enjoyed a wonderful evening visiting with these bright future dentists. MDIS funded two scholarships and MDAF funded six more. We were part of an enormous number of scholarships. It's exciting to see such great support from others who care about aiding these students who face such escalating school costs.
 
In fact, it was neat to see that one of our members, Dr. James Parrott had just started his own scholarship this year. Dr. Parrott is on the board of the MDAF Board and the Rinehart Foundation so he is very familiar with the need. He's a great example to follow and the Dr. James Parrott Scholarship is established to support an academically gifted student who might not otherwise receive any assistance. This first recipient was Hallie Lillmars. They are pictured in the first photo.
 
The group picture features from left to right, Dr. Pratt and six of the eight MDAF winners: Chase Kelly, Hallie Lillmars, Eve Lofthus, Emily Longwith, Kevin Stock, and Ellen Zust Blattel. Not pictured are Greg Lohr and Emilee Wentz. Congratulations to all the winners!


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Sep

15

Wellness in North Carolina

Posted by Paul on 9/15/2012 2:57:00 PM


 
 
What is Paul doing in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mtns of North Carolina? Suffering, all in the name of research. Okay, so I wasn't really suffering but I was doing research when I partook in the North Carolina Caring Dental Professionals (NCCDP) "Pathways to Healing" Conference in Blowing Rock, NC.
 
The NCCDP is the counterpart to your very own Well Being Program here in Missouri. Both these programs are designed to serve the profession by providing assistance to those dentists and hygienists who are struggling with impairment issues due to illness, substance abuse, or other physical or mental conditions.
 
As I travel the state and talk to MDA members, I'm always amazed at how few know about this valuable program. The struggles and pressures of dentistry are real and can lead to unintended problems. There is help. It's confidential, safe, and effective. Find out more at www.modental.org/wellbeing.
 
Because the Well Being Program is relatively unknown, I'm working to help create awareness and raise funds for the Well Being Foundation so it can grow and be more effective. This was the 7th annual conference for NCCDP so I went to learn what they were doing right and how we might take some steps in that direction. It was very enlightening.
 
First, the conference is for program participants, therapists, and treatment center personnel. There's a tangible sense of community and acceptance even while protecting the privacy of participants. The seminars offer the latest science and trends in understanding impairment and recovery. The pace is relational so people have time to connect. You can see above where group activities and even some fun games add to the productivity of the conference. I was very impressed and wore the staff out assign questions about the structure of the event.
 
We need to crawl before we run but it is our goal to start an annual gathering in Missouri both for our participants and the recovery  field so others know the real value of the program and can offer their expertise. You can help in two ways. First, be familiar with Rebecca Mowen, our program administrator. She's their to advocate for you but she needs to know you. Self-reporting is difficult but can spare you a lot of pain and loss. Don't wait until the Dental Board mandates you into the program. Additionally, if you are concerned about someone in the dental office who might need assistance in this area, contact Rebecca for guidance. Early identification is crucial.
 
Secondly, you can help by contributing to the Well Being Foundation. Many of you did this on your dues and I thank you. You can also support the Mouse Race Fundraiser planned in November in St Louis. To find out the details, visit www.modental.org/mouseraces.


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Sep

13

Installation - SEDS Part 2

Posted by Paul on 9/13/2012 2:42:00 PM


 
After the golf and business meeting, the SEDS component kept the ball rolling that evening with a fun gathering for members, spouses, and office staff. Wisely, they had a closed party at El Acapulco. Everyone laughed about the Hawaiian/Mexican smash up dress theme. The mood was festive and everyone was happy to see their counterparts and enjoy a celebration of the year. I was more than happy to stay and participate.  The more I meet our members and their staff, the more I understand the passion for dentistry and the close knit family feel of many offices.
 
The highlight of the night was the installation of new officers. The lighting was bad for my phone camera but hopefully you get a feel for the event. Dr. Nathan McGuire was the outgoing president and you can see him making his farewell speech above. He's done a great job and I was privileged to represent the MDA while honoring him with a plaque thanking him for his service. Shortly after, I swore in the new officers led by President Jim Fox. It will be  a big year for them with MOMOM next May but they are up for the challenge.
 
This is my second component officer installation meeting and I love the diversity but I also love how connected people are at the local level. It makes your profession better. I'm scheduled for a few more officer installations before the end of the year so watch for more candid shots!
 


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Sep

13

Golf and Meet - SEDS Part 1

Posted by Paul on 9/13/2012 2:10:00 PM


 
I have to tip my hat to the fine crew who make up the SEDS. They know how to treat a guy right. This is my third playing golf with this component and it's never disappointing. Playing on a scramble team really helps me get to know some members better. Plus it's a great way to spend the morning before a business meeting. We had a wonderful morning out on the gorgeous Dalhousie course.
 
How did I do? You want to know if you should invite me to play at your component outing? The answer is yes. Mainly because I'll be enthusiastic but also because a golf scramble is the ultimate team sport. Sooner or later everyone contributes a big shot. My team this year finished right in the middle of the pack - just out of the money but far ahead of the shame of last place. Kudos to my fellow teammates pictured above (left to right): Drs. Omer Petty, Kevin Mitchell, and John Fox. I took the photo and just so you know, we used my tee shot on this hole and then Dr. Mitchell drained the birdie putt!
 
The turnout was great for the golf tourney.  MDA Executive Director, Vicki Wilbers, also played and then stayed for the business meeting where she and MDA President, Dr. Elwood Rice, both made informative presentations on the latest issues. It was a highly interactive business meeting and it's great to see so many new dentists getting involved in leadership.


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Sep

04

ADA Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives and Ad Council Campaign

Posted by Paul on 9/4/2012 8:01:00 AM


Prevention and Education are the hallmarks of good oral health. So many of the tragic situations you see in people's mouths could be prevented or greatly limited with even the most basic elements of good personal oral hygiene. Of course, changing behavior or developing disciplines are difficult tasks when dealing with human nature. But the right thing to do is continue the fight, teach more people the basics, and reach the children when they are ripe for good training.
 
Thankfully the ADA is active in these roles at the national level. I wanted to remind you of some new resources in case you missed them. First is the Ad Council campaign, Kids’ Healthy Mouths, the first joint national multimedia public service campaign designed to teach parents and caregivers, as well as children, about the importance of oral health and the simple ways in which they can help prevent oral disease. The English and Spanish-language public service ads are being distributed to media outlets nationwide. It's the first time in 70 years that the Ad Council has addressed oral health. Here's a link to all the great ads and tools http://2min2x.org/.
 
This campaign is one result from the ADA joining 35 other large agencies to form a coalition called The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives (www.healthymouthshealthylives.org) The Coalition’s primary mission is to teach parents and caregivers, as well as the children themselves, to take control of their own health through oral disease prevention.  It's exciting to see focused momentum as they embark on a long road to implement those hallmarks of prevention and education.
 
Find out more about these emerging issues at http://www.ada.org/7284.aspx


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