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TOPIC: Travels

Oct

23

Show Me Your Office

Posted by Paul on 10/23/2014 2:03:00 PM


 
 
The practice of dentistry can take many different forms in a variety of different settings. It helps dental students to see some of those settings as they consider their future. That's what makes Progressing into the Future such a popular offering from the GKCDS.  This was my third time to join UMKC students for a tour of offices. Sam Silvey, executive director, Dr. Prabu Raman, KC trustee, and Dr Kelly Suchman did a fantastic job organizing this three office tour on the Plaza. Each stop featured different food options, a brief word from generous sponsors (MDIS, BWTP, and Benco) and most importantly a tour of each office and interaction with a dentist about how they run their practice. This very practical interaction is a highlight every time.
 
Kudos to all and special thanks for those offices that stayed open late to accommodate the students: Dr. Bob Mobley. Dr. Steve Mingos, and Dr. Bruce Barrow.


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Oct

23

ATSU Food for Thought

Posted by Paul on 10/23/2014 1:26:00 PM


 
Today, MDA and MDIS took our popular Food for Thought program on the road to Kirksville. It was our first event of the school year and the first time we had both the first and second year students together. We were warmly welcomed (maybe because we came armed with free palzones from the local pizzeria?). The facilities at MOSDOH are spacious and make for good interaction. Our guest speaker was Dr. Adrienne Lynn, NEDS President, mother of two, and hard working dentist. She authentically shared about life after the diploma and gave some really good tips about working with children and building a patient base. Judging by the volume of insightful questions from the attentive audience, Dr Lynn had struck a cord. 
 
Our goal in the Food for Thought Program is to demonstrate the variety and value of resources offered to members in organized dentistry. We strive to deliver it with excellence so students both enjoy themselves but also are attracted to quality service and connection.
 
Hang tight Rams, we will be back in April with more free food and fun! (And yes, cash prizes!) 


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Oct

21

Stress at UMKC

Posted by Paul on 10/21/2014 1:44:00 PM


 
Stressed? Who, me? It seems to be the modern day plague but stress is everywhere, especially in dental school. That's why we featured Rebecca Mowen, Dental Well Being Program administrator, at our UMKC Food for Thought program this month. She had the students shaking their head in agreement over the symptoms of stress, listening as she read a sobering letter from a recent grad, and actively participating as she taught them the 4-7-8 exercise for stress relief.  The rest of the program featured Chinese food, announcements, and feverish competition over random cash drawings. You can tell lack of money must be a real stressor for these students!
 
Rebecca is a real treasure for the MDA. She's well trained, compassionate, and front line experienced with helping members with all manner of life issues. Having her speak at FFT is one more step in trying to elevate the awareness of the Well Being Program. While we still offer good recovery and treatment programs, our focus is on wellness. We want to develop a whole toolbox of resources that help the dental community with real life issues that impact the office and  quality of life - relationship issues, weight management, ergonomics, nutrition, stress, and on and on it goes. No one, including super smart dentists, are exempt from those struggles. We want to prevent what we can and assist where needed. 
 
To learn more about the Well Being Program or how your help is needed with resource development, fundraising, training, etc.; drop me a line at paul@modentalmail.org.  
 


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Oct

20

WIC Outreach

Posted by Paul on 10/20/2014 8:18:00 AM


 
 
Today I was in Columbia to witness part of the 40th annual Missouri Women, Infants, Children (WIC) Association statewide meeting. MDA was exhibiting as part of our continued collaborative effort with the MO DHSS Oral Health Program initiative to deliver oral health education under a maternal/child oral health grant. The MDA used grant money from DHSS to execute a plan to develop and distribute oral health materials to the front line WIC educators who help new moms in all counties of the state.
 
The materials used were part of a national effort from the Alliance of the ADA, Healthy Smiles from the Start. With permission from the Alliance to use their materials in this effort, the MDA staff worked with state WIC and DHSS staff to coordinate a plan of action. At the end of September, a DVD and brochures were distributed to about 240 WIC clinic locations across the state.
 
The webpage Healthy Smiles from the Start was created to provide additional resources and support for this campaign. Next year, we will continue to offer materials at no charge, but plan to bolster the education effort by having pediatric dentists provide CE on prenatal and children's oral health topics for these local WIC educators who have relationship and influence in the lives of these Missouri mothers.
 
As you can tell from the photos, the conference was well attended with good exhibits and of course the mandatory raffle. Kudos to colleague, Melissa Albertson, for her leadership on this project.  


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Oct

15

Eldon Outreach

Posted by Paul on 10/15/2014 1:41:00 PM


 
 

Today’s blog features a guest contributor: Melissa Albertson, MDA Communications Director.

My husband and I live just outside the small town of Eldon, Mo. which is where my children attend school. Many Missourians probably recognize the town name as a stopping off point before their final destination of the Lake of the Ozarks.

Last year, my son and I were asked to be part of newly formed school wellness committee, one of which would exist for each of the school campuses (lower and upper elementary, middle and high schools). The Committees are comprised of school faculty, parents and student representatives.

All of this wellness business is brand new in the community and its schools. In 2013, the school district received a $100,000 grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health to address wellness, specifically reducing childhood obesity in the community through improved education and awareness, and eventually, changed habits. The grant is renewable each year for five years. In addition, the community applied for a sister grant to address wellness issues outside the school, which has resulted in things like a cleaned and updated community park with new equipment and plans for a more permanent, inviting home for the local farmers’ market to encourage more and local produce consumption.  

Some of the fruits of the school grant include new and better playground equipment, the introduction of salad bars in both lower and upper elementary schools, a more robust Walk to School day, a recently held “Zombie Run” to encourage physical activity, and “Wellness Week” at each of the schools, which is the impetus of this guest blog.

During Wellness Week, the wellness coordinator invites members of the community involved in health and wellness related careers to speak to the kids about healthy habits during their lunches. Because I’m on the committee and they know where I work, I was asked to present as a dental guest speaker at the lunches of both lower (pre-K through grade 3) and upper elementary (grades 4 through 6) for one of the days of Wellness Week.

For each day, my 10-15 minute presentation focused on food choices, specifically candy—and especially sour candy—and soda and sports drinks. I finished up the presentation with oral hygiene, reminding them about “2 Min2x” and a fun flossing skit I happened to find with a Google search. It’s always better when you can have a couple audience volunteers!

We teach and preach about good oral health care and healthy choices … in fact, we’re so mired in it day in and day out, we think “surely everyone knows this … surely parents are talking to their kids about this.” But, there still is the need for education—for kids to continue to hear this message—and from people other than their parents.

Sure, I know I am not going to get them to quit drinking all the bad stuff or eating candy (after all, Halloween is just a few days away), but hopefully they’ll eventually think about it being a sometimes treat and not an everyday occurrence. Mostly, it’s just about being there and being involved. They feel their day has been made more special because they had someone come to visit them from the community. It’s a joy to be with young children who love to show their missing teeth, or confess they’ve had a cavity (I reassure them it happens, but if they take good care of their teeth they can prevent future ones) or boast they get to drink soda as a treat only—or may not even like it!

I’m pretty excited for and proud of my small town for making these strides toward improved wellness—it’s a topic I myself have been passionate about for years. But even without a wellness grant, participating in school education is a delight, and I encourage you to reach out, if the school hasn’t reached out to you yet. If you haven’t already, contact your school about speaking to the students. You don’t have to have a grant to encourage a Wellness Week. There are lots of resources online to help get one started, like this, this, this or this. Any effort you make provides another great way for them to have a positive interaction and message about oral health and to see what an important part of the community—and their total health—the dentist is.   


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Sep

19

SEDS Installation

Posted by Paul on 9/19/2014 10:33:00 AM


 
For the non-golfers, there was a day of CE offerings at the Isle of Capri. SEDS kept the fun rolling that night with their installation banquet. It's a family affair and the theme this year was dress as your favorite sports team. I believe Dr. Bob Fox's office won best dressed office. However, everyone looked good. Even me in my Auburn Tiger pullover. It just so happened my Tigers played on TV that night and won. Woot!
 
There's not much official program but MDA President, Dr. Merle Nunemaker, did present outgoing SEDS President, Dr. Courtney Beussink, with a well deserved plaque commending her for her service. Likewise, Dr. Beussink presented Dr. Michael Bennett with a lifetime member commendation. Dr. Bennett has been an active and engaging member for 35 plus years. Thanks and kudos! Finally, Dr. Nunemaker swore in the new officers. In the photo above from L to R is Dr. Dominique Harter (treasurer), Dr. Trevor Blattner (VP), Dr. Eric Blaich (pres elect) and Dr. Phil Loida (president). Congrats to so many young dentists taking a leadership role.
 
The rest of the night was merriment and blurry photos. See you next year, SEDS!


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Sep

19

SEDS Golf

Posted by Paul on 9/19/2014 10:14:00 AM


 
 
I'm not gonna lie to you. There's no work involved when I get the opportunity to travel to the South East Dental Society for their golf and installation banquet. The weather is always perfect, the course is fantastic and the members are awesome. This year was no exception.
 
First, the golf at Dalhousie Golf Club. The setting is spectacular and the layout is challenging.  The one sign above might as well be the answer to "which way did my ball go?". Of course, the best part of golf is hanging with your teammates. This year I was able to play with Dr. Nathan McGuire, Zach Clark of Clark Supply, and Dr. Eric Blaich. We started slowly and then rebounded with 5 birdies to avoid an embarrassing last place finish. That honor went to my travel companion, Dr. Merle Nunemaker. I'm sure he was graciously sandbagging!
 
I did notice the line for adult beverages in the coolers was longer than the line on the practice range. Needless to say, all had a very good time. A special shout out to MDIS for letting me play on their sponsorship dollar and to Ryan Swift of Patterson Dental who made a hole in one to help propel his team to victory. That's quite a feat and we all enjoyed our "Duck Fart" shots at Ryan's expense. Ryan is also a new board member for the MDA Foundation.
 
After golf, the SEDS business meeting was conducted over lunch. Dr. Nunemaker, trustee Dr John Freeze, and myself collaborated to give a full report on MDA activities. It's good to see engagement and thoughtfulness from a variety of members at this meeting.
 
Fore! And where's my ball... 


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Sep

16

UMKC Salutes its Scholars!

Posted by Paul on 9/16/2014 9:43:00 AM


 
Last night UMKC celebrated the best and brightest at their annual Scholarship Recognition Banquet. I was privileged to attend with MDAF President, Dr. Elwood Rice. That's Dr. Rice above with the three MDAF winners. Each won $5,000 for the 2014-15 school year. From left to right is Albana Kallmi, Corey Hastings, and Aaron Strange. Congratulations!
 
Usually my interaction with students is during the school day or at a large social event and it's helter skelter trying to have a meaningful conversation. It was a treat to enjoy a longer dinner and have time to get to know these students. Their backstories are as interesting as their futures are promising. And I'm impressed with all they juggle in the present. 
 
It's a new world out there with escalating debt, new practice models, and a changing healthcare landscape but these students and their classmates are sharp and will adapt. It's incumbent upon the MDA to find a way to welcome them and serve the profession they will inherit.
 
Kudos to all the UMKC staff for an impressive event. It's fun to see how many people work to fund and give these wide array of scholarships. 


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Sep

13

Cheers to SIU dental students

Posted by Paul on 9/13/2014 9:17:00 AM


 
 
 
 
Certainly you remember the rigors of dental school. You live in scrubs, eat out of a bag, and sleep is a distance dream after class, lab, work, studying, etc. Who wouldn't love a little social break? That's exactly what the Greater St Louis Dental Society provided for third and fourth year students at SIU when they hosted an event at the Grafton Winery and Brewhaus last night. It was a great way to interact with future members and show them a little kindness while having some yummy food and adult beverages.
 
I was delighted to represent the MDA as the state aspect of the Power of 3. I also played Let's Make a Deal games on the bus with the students as an icebreaker. The students were enthusiastic and fun but notice the before and after pictures on the bus above. I think they got more enthusiastic as the night went on!
 
The GSLDS staff  did a great job with this event. They had new dentists share what organized dentistry has meant to them as they launch a career. Plus there were plenty of prizes and goody bags for all. Hats off to Drs. Nouri, Otto, Cherry, Lansford, Wheeler, and Guilfoy for their volunteer service on a Friday night. Tough duty but we all found a way to enjoy it!
 
 


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Aug

07

Is It Safe Being a Patient?

Posted by Paul on 8/7/2014 4:20:00 PM


 
Today I attended the Missouri 2014 Joint Regulatory Patient Safety Conference in Columbia with our Well Being Program Administrator, Rebecca Mowen. It was sponsored by the four regulatory boards housed under the Missouri Department of Insurance and Professional Registration. These boards are the Missouri Dental Board, the Missouri Board of Nursing, the Missouri Board of Pharmacy, and the Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts (medicine). The conference was the first time these entities had worked together in this manner.

 

The objective of the conference was to increase dialogue on the need for greater patient safety measures. This begins with communication and coordination of care across all possible caregivers associated with a patient from diagnosis to aftercare. The concept of a Just Culture was put forth where the focus is on proactive learning from errors and correcting systems rather than punishing offenders. Presentations were given by Becky Miller, executive director of the Center for Patient Safety Center, Steve Calloway, RPh and pharmacy board member, Drs. Les Hall and Erica Otis from MU School of Medicine, Dr Sue Scott, Manager of Patient Safety  and Risk Management at MU Healthcare, and Jim Wieberg, director of MAOPS Physician Health Program.

 

There was also a roundtable report from the four regulatory boards describing the scope and degree of patient safety issues they see in a year. They all gave examples of complaints and discipline as a means of showing how far reaching the patient safety issues can range. Brian Barnett represented the MDB and said they are obligated to investigate all of the approximate 400 complaints each year. Here’s how he broke down the classification and quantity of top complaints.

·         Quality of Care - 96

·         CE Violation - 32

·         Advertising Violation – 30

·         Malpractice Report – 28

·         Fee Dispute – 25

·         10 other categories had less than 20 cases

 

Mr. Barnett broke down the types of discipline into these categories and the number times each was used last year

·         Probation (up to 5 years) – 10

·         Suspension (up to 3 years) – 7

·         Censure – 2

·         Revocation – 2

 

Finally Mr. Barnett mentioned that the current hot topics that were hard to regulate centered around sedation and infection control.

 

There were no significant next steps announced at the conference other than to continue to work to improve collaborative communication and care coordination. The conference was filmed and will be made available for viewing and additional use. The MDA attended to keep abreast of the discussion. There was good content on provider burnout and second victim phenomenen that is of value to the Well Being Program.

 
My takeaway? Healthcare is complex and opportunities for unintended blunders are everywhere. Be careful and communicate!


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Jul

23

ADA Management Conference

Posted by Paul on 7/23/2014 3:49:00 PM


 
This week Vicki Wilbers, Stacey Kloeppel and I were in Chicago for the ADA Management Conference for state and component staff. It may sound rather dry but it is enormously helpful. Much like having all parties together at our MDA planning session helps our state plan, having all parties together on the national level helps our tripartite plan. The exchange of ideas from many veteran leaders and the ADA's open stance to listen and respond makes this conference meaningful.
 
In one intense day we get behind the curtain updates on ADA initiatives from leaders and key staff and we get plenty of opportunity to figure some things out for ourselves. Sessions included Building a Bridge of Success from Dental Student to New Dentist Member. This was so appropriate base on current activities within the MDA. We also learned about branding and how the tripartite can look more like one cohesive unit. This was cool to the eyes to see what some scenarios may look like.  And finally there was an update on  Action for Dental Health.  My head hurt from all the intake and now I'm dangerous because I know a little bit about a lot of things.
 
There are some other wonderful aspects of the conference like the camaraderie of committed leaders. Above you will notice Dr Chuck Norman, ADA President, presenting a plaque to Val Celentano from Rhode Island Dental Association for more than 40 years of service. There's also a wonderful reception (thank you US Bank). This year it was at the Tower Room of the Chicago Tribune building. The views and interaction were magnificent.
 
I won't drill down any deeper with details as I'm still processing it all but I do know the ADA and the states are taking this Power of Three initiative to heart as we seek to meet member needs, solve member problems, and exceed member expectations.


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Jul

21

ADA Management Conference - DPN Day

Posted by Paul on 7/21/2014 3:34:00 PM


 
Today I attended the annual Dental Philanthropy Network meeting at the ADA headquarters. It always meets in advance of the Management Conference. This is an important colleague group for me in my role as Foundation Director. I'm still a newbie with lots to learn and these folks have wisdom to share.
 
Our agenda centered around presentations on "Association Foundation Relationships", "Fulfilling Philanthropy: A Joint Effort" and a Panel Discussion on Engaging Stakeholders. But as you can guess, it was the table talk and real life scenarios from the battlefield that taught me the most.
 
Both our MDA Foundations have great boards, clear purpose, and engaging programs. They are poised for growth as funds are developed and people are trained. If you have a heart to help in any capacity, perhaps as a way to stay connected while in semi retirement, reach out to me and let's plug you in. paul@modental.org
 
Meanwhile thank you to all those who support and promote the work of our Foundations. They reflect positively on your profession and it's an honor to direct them.


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Jul

19

ADA NDC - The Wrap Up

Posted by Paul on 7/19/2014 3:11:00 PM


 
Kudos to you Kansas City! It's been a busy, fun, and successful four days here at the ADA NDC. Only one other conference had higher attendance than this one. Way to rock it!  I can't begin to quantify the impact individual attendees reaped much less gage the invaluable impact of people connecting in so many settings on so many levels. It makes you proud and hopeful to be associated with organized dentistry.
 
While I tried to tip my hat in these many posts to a wide variety of people who were integral to the success of the conference, I'm sure I missed someone. I do want to thank our current MO ND Committee Chair, Dr Sarah Mahaffey and MDA Membership Manager, Stacey Kloeppel for keeping people fired up and handling all manner of details. That's the two of them above confering on high level matters. I also salute all the MDA ND Committee members and local arrangements committee members for their service.
 
As the ADA ND Committee handed out an assortment of fun door prizes (who doesn't like to win cool stuff?), the buzz was about what will happen next year. I think changes are afoot but that's for the ADA to announce. I can tell you, Dr Jon Copeland is taking over the reigns here in Missouri and we plan to continue our networking and development with the return of the highly received Connect4Success conference. Watch your MDA news channels for an official announcement of date and location for June 2015.
 
As I bid adieu I hope any MDA members reading this are encouraged by the changes and growth occurring at the state and national level. Find out how you can join in wherever you are geographically or in your career path by reaching out to the MDA. In fact, just drop me a line at paul@modental.org and I'll hook you up.


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Jul

19

ADA NDC - Award Luncheon

Posted by Paul on 7/19/2014 2:57:00 PM


 
Saturday at the ADA NDC featured the 12th Annual ADA New Dentist Committee Awards luncheon. How cool is it that the year everyone comes to Missouri, we get to celebrate one of our own? Yes, Dr. Dustin Burleson of the Greater Kansas City Dental Society won the Golden Apple Award for New Dentist Leadership. This is no surprise to MDA members because Dr Burleson won the MDA New Dentist Award last November at our House of Delegates. Dr Burleson's career in orthodontics is diverse. His passion for training and mentoring others is commendable. His service to organized dentistry is more than nominal. Currently he's serving as the President of the GKCDS. But knowing him personally and seeing his love for family and his good natured approach to life puts him over the top. Congratulations, Dr Burleson!
 
He's pictured above with GKCDS Executive Director Samantha Silvey and immediate past president, Dr David Suchman.
 


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Jul

18

ADA NDC - The BULL

Posted by Paul on 7/18/2014 2:32:00 PM


 
It's Friday Night in Kansas City and you have a conference full of new dentists, where do you go? To the Power and Light District for a little R&R (rodeo and rum?). Thanks to the generous support of the ADA Members Insurance Plan and Retirement Programs from AXA, attendees had the choice of attending PBR Big Sky for a special event.
 
Naturally, the big attraction is the mechanical bull or the fool maker as some might call it. Throughout the night, gauntlets of challenge to ride the bull were issued between doctors, friends, and associates. Fortified with liquid courage and blinded by delusion and some innate desire in many of us to "see what it's like", the bull had many a rider. Better judgment keeps me from posting photos of all those who rode. However, I'm not above putting my co-workers at risk. Actually, Vicki and Stacey stayed on the entire time. I think the operator was angling for free dental care based on the treatment many received. As for myself, despite my impeccable form, once that belly gets going side to side, my only hope is for a soft landing.
 
The turnout for this event was awesome.  The food and beverage and music were exceptional. The weather was spectacular and KC did us all proud as a host. Now word has it that the official event spilled out into the greater venue and included some shenanigans at the Shark Bar. However my lawyer and employer suggest I keep those photos and stories to myself out of respect for professional decorum. That's a tall order but those who read this blog already know my propensity towards the other kind of bull so I will stop right here!


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Jul

18

ADA NDC - MDA Strategic Planning

Posted by Paul on 7/18/2014 2:20:00 PM


 
Hosting the conference allowed for a confluence of MDA leaders. We took advantage of that gathering and had a full day for the MDA Board to meet and map out the strategic plan for the next three years. Of course this process had started many steps before and still needs a little tweaking before it's officially released but a great deal of work was done today. In addition to the MDA Board, representatives from MDIS and both the Foundations were in attendance. This keeps our many parts focused on one common direction. It's easy to get in a silo mentality and forget how we all function more efficiently when goals and direction are clear.
 
Thanks to Dr Michael Gallery for leading us. That's him above getting the group to word smith our action points. While the day is intense and healthy, sitting in a breakout room doesn't lend itself to great photos.
 
Meanwhile the ADA NDC was focused on courses and sessions for clinical improvement including some hands on courses at UMKC. I heard rave reviews from those who went. This was a unique benefit to our location and a shout out goes to Dean Marsha Pyle and her team for all their cooperation and hospitality regarding the conference.


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Jul

17

ADA NDC Reception and District Dinners

Posted by Paul on 7/17/2014 2:06:00 PM


 
Hosting a conference like this allows for more of our members and leaders to attend. Getting to interact with such a broad spectrum from the ADA level, state and district level, and school level makes for a rich networking environment. Tonight the Wells Fargo Practice Finance folks kindly sponsored the opening reception. After that dinners were by district. Missouri belongs to the 6th District with TN, KY, and W VA. We had quite a crowd invade Jack Stack BBQ for a fun evening.
 
Above is a table full of St Louis folks, an exchange between Dr and Mrs Raman and Samantha Silvey from Kansas City, and an overview of the crowd in full networking mode.


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Jul

17

ADA NDC - Leadership Day

Posted by moda on 7/17/2014 1:30:00 PM


 
Thursday at the ADA NDC was entitled "Leadership Skills Activated! A Day of Enrichment". If  as a non dentist, I like this day because the content and inspiration are appropriate for any type of leader, then certainly the new dentists who are learning about leading a practice and managing a team would soak up the applications and principles.
 
The day begins with introductions from Dr Chuck Norman, ADA President, Dr Kathy O'Loughlin, ADA Executive Director, and ADA New Dentist Committee Chair and Vice Chair, Dr Brian Schwab and Dr Michael LeBlanc. They highlight current issues and initiatives and then open the floor for questions. It's authentic and engaging. The current leaders are accessible and the future leaders are being heard. Later in the day, they have a Hot Topics in the Round session where attendees engage with ADA Trustees on matters of concern to them. I find this type of learning and relationship building essential to success. The message is not contained to one voice and the feedback is not received by just one person. The resulting conversations at the breaks and throughout the conference are much richer due to this kick off.
 
Leadership is also taught through several breakout options. Missouri's own, Dr Guy Deyton was a featrued presenter. I attended Dr Kirk Behrendt's session on Being All That We Can Be. That's him above. His candor and practicality based on real experience as a dentist seem to hold the audience attention throughout. I highly recommend him but beyond that I highly recommend people to stay motivated and sharp through regular exposure to good training on leadership. 
 


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Jul

16

ADA New Dentist Conference - Student Reception

Posted by Paul on 7/16/2014 11:11:00 AM


 
The ADA New Dentist Conference has come to Kansas City! It's quite an honor to be hosting this event. To help you get a feel for all of it, I will post several entries. Let's get started.
 
We kicked off our proceedings with a reception for D3 students at UMKC sponsored by ADPAC. One of the advantages of hosting the conference is the proximity of the dental school to the Sheraton Hotel. Add the fact that Teocali Mexican Restaurant is in between the two and you have a perfect storm for allowing busy schedules to connect in an intimate environment.
 
It's rare that dental students have a chance to relax with national leaders in organized dentistry. To facilitate conversations, students needed to have a card stamped by ADA Trustees or ADPAC members to enter a drawing. The MDA gave away five $50 gift cards and the KDA gave away an iPad. But the real prize was the opportunity to connect. The interaction primed the pump before the official conference launched the next day. By all accounts, the reception was a success.
 
Above, you will see students enjoying refreshment on the patio. That's also Dr Chuck Norman, ADA President, with Dr Merle Nunemaker, MDA President, and the dynamic ADA duo of Jeanine Pekkarinen and Christine Chico.  Jeanine is our 6th District Membership rep and Chris is a driving force behind the NDC. Finally, there's Dr Eve Lofthus, a member of the local arrangement committee (LAC). She's working the parking lot to show folks the way. Thanks, Eve!


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Jul

11

Welcome ATSU's 2nd Class of Dental Students

Posted by Paul on 7/11/2014 9:43:00 AM


 
Today I was in Kirksville with Stacey Kloeppel, MDA Membership Manager, for the Informational Fair for incoming students AT Still University. This included the second class of 42 dental students attending the Missouri School of Dentistry and Oral Health (MOSODOH). There were also 172 new D.O. students running around.
 
Stacey did a great job putting together the MDA informational table. After luring them with candy, we told them about our Food for Thought program and some of the great benefits of organized dentistry like their free life insurance just for being an ASDA member. Then we sealed the deal by having gifts for each new dental student. They got a custom MDA tervis tumbler to tote around campus. SWAG!
 
I met at least 39 of the 42 new students and every last one of them was eager and enthusiastic and appreciative. They asked lots of good questions about MOMOM and service opportunities. It's really fun to meet them on their first day and think about them being student and then professional members for years and years to come. They barely know each other and there's MDA already reaching out to include them and be of service.
 
My casual research identified these stats about the class of 2018. They represent 16 different states including California, Idaho, and Georgia. There were 11 homegrown prospects from MO. I met 17 males and 22 females. In the photo above that's David from Arizona on the left and Peter from Chicago on the right.
 
I look forward to seeing this class again. It's hard to believe the inaugural class at MOSODOH has already completed year one and will be back for year two. Congrats to Dean Halliday and all his staff for an outstanding and whirlwind first year!


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Jun

02

Give Kids A Smile

Posted by Paul on 6/2/2014 4:34:00 PM



 
 
At the risk of sounding like a fat cat golfer, it was a rare privilege to play again today as part of the Give Kids A Smile Tourney. This was the 9th Annual event and it has become a regular stop for me. It's great to support Joan Allen and the terrific work that GKAS does in St Louis. They always have strong support and somehow we dodged the rain clouds.
 
Unfortunately once again I was not of much help as I played with the tourney co-chairs, Jeff Moisan of JL Moisan Construction and Bob Seals of Pro Plas. Ross Niekamp of Bank of America rounded out our under performing foursome. Still we managed to take second place in the B flight and receive a smattering of polite applause and some swag!
 
However a good meal and open bar healed all wounds and once again made this a great benefit for GKAS. As the MDA Foundation Director, I know we were happy to support it.
 
Maybe I'll put away my clubs and focus on the work at hand - unless there are other dental golf tournaments to be played!


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May

30

UMKC Alumni Golf

Posted by Paul on 5/30/2014 4:18:00 PM


 
MDA President, Dr Merle Nunemaker, is known for his golf game. Or just perhaps that he's an avid player. Either way, I was delighted when he took me up on an off-handed comment last year that he should include me on one of his teams. I got the call to the big leagues today when I joined him for the UMKC Dental Alumni Scholarship Tournament.
 
Little did I know I would be placed on the team with tourney organizers and esteemed veterans, Dr Joe Spalitto and Dr Phil Gravino (see above). Let's just say my appearance did not benefit the team. You will notice our name is not on the first page of the leader board. It was perhaps th most expensive three under score ever shot on a golf course. As a result, I don't expect to get invited back unless mediocrity becomes paramount. Nonetheless I was well received and thoroughly enjoyed my time at this important event. Thank you, Dr Nunemaker for including me.
 
One last tale of glory. The pre-tournament activities included a putting contest. Every player had one shot at a tricky downhill putt of about 100 feet. Make and win cash! Dr Nunemaker went first and missed. Then I went and missed. Then Merle decided he would "aw shucks" and practice the shot again. He made TWO IN A ROW. Thus the high five. Too bad we didn't make the putts when they counted!


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Apr

24

First Ever FFT at MOSDOH

Posted by Paul on 4/24/2014 8:08:00 AM


 
We took our popular Food for Thought dental student outreach program on the road to Kirksville today to introduce ourselves to the first ever class at ATSU's MO School of Dentistry and Oral Health. Dean Chris Halliday and his staff have been very welcoming to the MDA and even included student member dues in tuition. All 42 of the first year students were in attendance as we rolled out pizza lunch and then explained our desire to help them throughout their school and dental career.
 
Our first speaker was Dr Lynne Barbour, immediate past president of the MDA. She shared the ins and outs of organized dentistry and sold the value of continued engagement with your professional association. Next up was Dr Amanda Fitzpatrick, a 2009 UMKC grad from nearby LaPLatta. She shared what getting a career started post graduation was like. Based on the questions she drew, it was a topic already on the mind of these young students.
 
We finished the day with cash and gift card giveaways. Who doesn't like that? All in all it was a great first step. I'm excited to see these students and our relationship with MOSDOH grow over the years.
 
Tomorrow they all load buses and head to St Louis for the groundbreaking of the new clinic they will attend for third and fourth year. Never a dull moment and not a minute too soon!


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Apr

15

National Signing Day

Posted by Paul on 4/15/2014 3:13:00 PM


 
Today was National Signing Day at our last Food for Thought Program for the 2013-2014 school year at UMKC. We had activities and prizes galore. There was energy in the room and it was for more than the pizza. As you can see we had a packed house. Jerri Wildhaber from MDIS, our FFT sponsor, introduced our speaker Dr Dustin Burleson. He's an perennial favorite and he did not disappoint. Dr Burleson showed why he's the ADA 2014 Golden Apple winner for New Dentist Leadership by challenging the students to properly manage expectations while striving for excellence.
 
Beyond the great content, we signed up 61 of the 4th year students to transition them from student membership to professional membership. In fact, one lucky male and one lucky female winner were selected as $250 winners for signing up early. Many students expressed plans to stay in Missouri and be involved with the MDA. We are here to help them succeed. Additionally, Stacey gave all 4th year students a Power of 3 Musketeer candy bar to remind them of the advantage of tripartite membership.
 
Over the 6 FFT events this year, we had 724 students in attendance. Jester Paul gave out $20 to 5 students at each event and then gave out all sorts of gift certificates, books, etc. at the big finale. Your chances to win were increased by the number of times you attended. This prize plan plus good food and excellent speakers seemed to make this the best year for FFT in recent memory. Our goal is to get even better next year as we deliver what the students need and request.
 
Thanks to everyone for a great year. I love being around dental students. The lifeblood of your profession. See you next fall!


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Apr

03

MOMOM reaches to Florida?

Posted by Paul on 4/3/2014 9:26:00 AM


 
Part of the joy of Mission of Mercy clinics is the camaraderie and support you find from other states. Ideas and manpower are freely shared as everyone is in it for the patient. Last year in Cape Girardeau, I met Dr. Leo Cullinan, a Missouri native now practicing orthodonture in Naples, FL. He came to our MOMOM to learn the ropes in hopes of leading the first event in Florida. We hit it off from the start and continued via email and phone to swap ideas as he ambitiously set a date for 9 months later in Tampa.
 
As the event drew closer, I felt like I was missing out on the birth of a child. Thankfully, the Florida Dental Association Foundation paid my airfare to have me join them for the weekend. I was honored to put in the long hours and offer some help to Dr Cullinan and his great team. They had a smashing premier and treated 1650 patients over two days. The spark has been lit and Florida now has the MOM bug.
 
Dr Cullinan is gifted and full of energy and an exceptional leader. It was a privilege to be in the trenches with our Florida neighbors (well, I wish they were next door neighbors after the brutal winter!). Plus, I learned a few lessons that should help us in St Louis in 4 weeks when we roll out MOMOM 3 at the Chaifetz Arena. We still need 50 dentists and 200 volunteers so sign up online at www.momom.org before April 14th!


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Mar

18

Festus Rotary and MOMOM

Posted by Paul on 3/18/2014 9:22:00 AM


 
Today, at the request of Dr Nick Marino, I was the guest speaker at the Festus- Crystal City Rotary Club. That's them waving at me above when I said I would put them in my blog!  Both I and my topic, MOMOM, were warmly received by this active and caring civic club. I showed the video and gave some history and ran over a few numbers related to the clinic but in my mind the best part was the endorsement from Dr Marino. He volunteered at Cape last year and has signed up for both days this year to work in oral surgery and extract teeth. His enthusiasm for how well the clinic runs and how much immediate care is provided is contagious. I even had a brand new member dentist in the audience come up to me and offer to volunteer.
 
Equally important was the awareness for possible patients. Festus is not that far from Chaifetz Arena, the host location this year for MOMOM. A number of the Rotarians expressed interest in spreading the word among needy audiences in the area. The response just reinforces the validity of holding a large dental clinic like MOMOM.
 
 


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Mar

07

Well Being Mission Reborn and Rejuvenated

Posted by Paul on 3/7/2014 3:43:00 PM


Yesterday was an important day for Well Being Foundation. Allow me to elaborate and possibly enlist your involvement.
 
For years the Well Being Program has been a vital part of the MDA as a support to dental professionals struggling with impairment issues from substance abuse. In 2009 the Well being Foundation,a 501 C-3,  was formed primarily as a fiscal agent to widen the funding net to enhance the program. While helpful from an administrative standpoint, we failed at that time to hone the mission of the Foundation and give it vitality. While the Well Being program has continued to serve it's purpose, people involved with the Foundation knew there was much more to offer.
 
As the  MDA Foundation and Outreach Director, the Well Being Foundation falls in my area of responsibility. It was clear that we needed to gather the board and refocus our attention. With the help of a facilitator we spent 4 very engaging hours discussing our mission and deciding on our wildly important goals. I admire the passion and experienced insight that Drs Kane and Standlee and Susan Clifford, RDH, brought to the room. Program administrator, Rebecca Mowen, joined Vicki Wilbers and I to round out the team.
 
Most encouraging was the positive vision to change the focus of the Well Being Foundation from illness based (addiction, etc) to wellness focused. You could feel the energy rise as we all talked about the numerous issues beyond substance abuse that dental professionals encounter and that we could offer resources and support for. Here is the new mission statement:
 
To promote a healthy dental professional, dental team, and their families by providing education, resources, and support.
 
Doesn't that sound stirring?! We have a long way to go to fulfill our vision but our path is clear and defined. In fact the first thing we identified as essential to success was broadening the team - both in board members and in interested volunteers and partners who have a passion for healthy living. Could that be you? If so, shoot me an email at paul@modental.org and we can talk about options. Together we can work to improve the health and success of our beloved dental professionals, teams, and families.  
 


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Feb

03

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 dental office at work to see if that turns 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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Jan

23

Signs of Life

Posted by Paul on 1/23/2014 8:33:00 AM


Last night at the Columbia study club I witnessed something that stirred my heart. I saw a vocal and agitated group of  member dentists! For a moment, I thought they may break out the lanterns and hand pieces and storm the castle.
 
There's no need to name names or get into specifics but several people spoke up during Patrick's legislative report with concerns about insurance changes, the ACA, and related issues. The discussion was lively and engaging but respectful as well. Members, rightfully so, wanted to know what the MDA was doing to help them. The answer is plenty but that's not the point.
 
The point is your association needs this level of engagement if it is to thrive. Disconnected and dispassionate members don't create change. It takes PAC donations, letter writing, meeting attendance, phone calls, etc so we can understand what members want and mobilize resources accordingly.
 
A wise older member gave an impassioned speech championing this enthusiasm that has been lacking in recent years. I chirped in and added that if you are unhappy or concerned with the MDA or your profession, don't walk away. That only makes matters worse. Instead, go recruit your non-member colleagues and tell them we need all available hands and voices if we wish to protect and advance the profession you love.
 
So raise your hand or voice (even your lantern and hand piece). We want to hear from you. The MDA Board and staff are working diligently to represent you and they welcome all the input and help they can get.


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Jan

15

MDA Legislative Reception 2014

Posted by Paul on 1/15/2014 5:46:00 PM


A strong turnout of @ 70 guests made their way through the G2 Gallery in Jefferson City tonight to meet a variety of MDA members, trustees, and staff at our annual MDA Legislative Reception. This is a great way at the beginning of session to meet our elected officials and share with them our thanks for their support and express our concerns for issues affecting the profession.
 
Unfortunately a MOMOM conflict kept me from attending the event but I heard good things from those in attendance and my inventory tells me that our guests love leaving with complimentary  paste and brush!. This is a valuable exchange as we seek to actively represent the MDA in all matters legislative. Thanks to all who made it a priority to attend. Let's have another strong turnout for MDA Legislative Day on February 26, 2014. Make sure to contact Patrick Baker at patrick@modental.org to RSVP.
 
I do have a few photos. We have Dr Rob Tait with Senator David Pearce. We have the Springfield group of Drs Kessler, Hume, and Vance (L to R) with Senator Jay Wasson and wife. We have Vicki Wilbers with Senator Scott T Rupp. He was one of two MDA Legislative Award winners (Representative Chris Molendorp was the other). Thanks again to all for coming.
 


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Oct

18

ATSU MOSDOH Student Reception

Posted by Paul on 10/18/2013 10:40:00 AM


 
A new dental school. A new crop of future dentists. A new group to welcome and encourage and support. The first step in this process was a reception hosted by the NEDS. Kudos to President Dr Ed Norman and trustee, Dr Tisha Kice Briggs, for spearheading this successful outreach. They had a good turnout of members and an exceptional turnout of students. I guess "free food and beverage" is a universal appeal for students. Thanks to 3M and Patterson for their support as well.
 
The reception was informal with just a few words about the MDA from yours truly. Our main goal was to welcome everyone and get to know them some. The first class is 42 students from 19 states and even one from Mexico. Diversity is evident but even more evident was energy. Every student I met was sharp and engaging. With so many new transitions (school, living, etc). they have rallied around each other and bonded closely. In fact, they gave me grief when I gave away a gift card to whoever could name the state bird of Missouri. I rejected the correct answer of Bluebird before being roundly booed by everyone. Hey, I'm not from Missouri and I have Cardinal playoff fever so excuse me!
 
There's much to unfold with a new addition of a dental school in the state but it was great to see it up close and to meet the students and encourage and support  their passion for the profession.
 


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Oct

18

ATSU MOSDOH insider look - part 2

Posted by Paul on 10/18/2013 10:25:00 AM


 
Each work station featured a roll out simulated patient. I thought it looked too much like Hannibal Lecter! One feature that Dean Halliday spoke of repeatedly was collaboration. The classrooms are designed to facilitate communication between students while never having to adjust your seat to see a monitor. They have study rooms throughout the building equipped with gigantic white boards, computer hook ups and monitors so students can work together on projects and homework. Even the vending area is arranged like a bar for easy social interaction.
 
It's only been 3 weeks of class and the grand inauguration ceremonies are not until next week but the first class of dental students is off and running. I can't thank Dr. Halliday enough for his generous spirit to show us around and to welcome MDA's involvement with the school.


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Oct

18

ATSU MOSDOH insider look - part 1

Posted by Paul on 10/18/2013 10:00:00 AM


 
Yesterday was Kirksville Day. Vicki, Patrick, and I represented the MDA at two functions. We were part of a meeting discussing ways to promote rural practice dentistry. And we attended a new student reception hosted by the Northeast Dental Society. In between the two, Dr Chris Halliday, Dean of the ATSU Missouri School of Dentistry and Oral Health, gave us a spin around the new building. It was impressive!
 
Above you see Dr Halliday showing us the main classroom which is tricked out with the latest technology so the students can interface with each other and view a variety of media presentations including live web streams. Every student has an iPad and all text books and lectures are available electronically. No more heavy backpacks!
 
The SIM lab is an impressive, well lit, array of individual stations. The professor can choose to project specific information or viewpoints to each individual screen. Not being a dentist, I can't tell you much more but it certainly looked cool!
 
Dr Allison Crutchfield recently moved from AZ to serve as director of the SIM lab.Here she is featured in the sparkling new lab room.
 
Beyond the sim lab are some hygiene instruction chairs with their own sterilization area.


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Oct

01

Food for Thought Relaunch

Posted by Paul on 10/1/2013 2:49:00 PM


 
Yes, that's me in a jester hat with jingle bells on it. But let me explain. It was all for the MDA!
 
Today, we launched this year's edition of our Food for Thought program at UMKC. It's a series of 6 lunch events at the dental school featuring speakers and content of value to students. It's our way of meeting and establishing relationships with our future members and it's one of my favorite things to do.
 
For the students, it's a real bargain. Your $10 MDA student membership entitles you to 6 great lunches plus exposure to leaders in the profession. And we give away money at every event building right up to National Signing Day in April when the prizes and giveaways get really big.
 
At the end of last year, we polled student leaders asking how to make FFT better. The result was that we need to make it quick, high energy, with good stuff to hear and prizes to win. We have done just that. Every speaker this year will be a New Dentist sharing about their experiences "on the other side" of graduation. There are no Powerpoints or lectures. Just real life interaction between member and student member.
 
Today we kicked it off with a class competition to see how much the students knew about the MDA. I'll be polite and just say we have some education still left to do! But Sierra, Cyrus, Seth, and Brett were good sports to compete and everyone learned something.  Plus Brett won candy for his entire 4th year class since he clearly dominated the competition.
 
It was a great start. I;ll post photos and updates after all the other FFT's. Our next one is 10/22 featuring Dr Cyndi Ulrich.


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Sep

17

Association Pride!

Posted by Paul on 9/17/2013 10:16:00 AM


 
When it comes to other member driven associations, the MDA does not stand alone but it does try to stand apart. The MDA belongs to the Missouri Society of Association Executives. This collection of people share a common tie in that they all have similar challenges in recruiting and retaining members, finding non-dues revenue, advocating for their profession, and communicating with a wide range of audiences. The networking and exchange of ideas is very beneficial to all.
 
Each year, MSAE holds an award luncheon to honor commendable association work in several categories: Communications, Creative Funding, Education, External Affairs, and Membership Development. We believe in our work here at the MDA and we seek to stand apart by submitting an entry each year based on one of our objectives. This year we won Honorable Mention for our first ever Connect4Success Leadership Academy and New Dentists Conference.  It was a team effort between the staff and the New Dentist Committee. We were thrilled with the success of the conference and thrilled again when it was honored by MSAE. Pictured above are Stacey Kloeppel and Mandy Lewis from the MDA office accepting the award at the luncheon today.
 
Yesterday I participated for the first time in the MSAE Fun-Fest. It includes lunch, golf, dinner, and prizes. What a unique day away from the office. I thank the Lodge of Four Seasons (host site of our C4S event) for including me on their scramble team. I really thank them for including the golf pro from the Cove as well. We (he) shot 63 during a fun day on the links! Pictured above is Brenda Roling from the Missouri Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Chris Lash our golf pro, yours truly, and Sandy Boeckman, the executive director of MSAE.
 
My kudos to Sandy for always running a great event. In November, the MDA seeks to contribute and benefit again from MSAE by attending their education workshop. These round table discussions allow members to pilfer the best ideas from each other. I'll have the honor of co-leading the round table on Marketing and Customer Service.


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Sep

12

My vote for Miss America

Posted by Paul on 9/12/2013 9:56:00 AM


 
This blog is not a wagering site. Although it would be fun to play Jimmy the Greek and suggest odds for what resolutions will get passed at the House of Delegates or what's the over/under on the number of teeth pulled at the next MOMOM.
 
This blog is also generally a family friendly site so it's unusual for me to post photos of bikini clad hotties. But there's a first time for everything. Allow me to introduce you to a sure bet for this weekend's Miss America contest in Atlantic City, NJ.
 
Theresa Vail is Miss Kansas. She's drawing attention this week for being the first contestant to openly sport visible tattoos. What's really cool about that is that one of the tattoos is the Army Dental Corps insignia. You see, Miss Kansas aspires to be an Army dentist. That right there should make her the favorite contestant for all who read this blog even if they are dyed in the wool Mizzou fans.
 
You can read more about the refreshingly bold (she's choosing to wear Army boots at the Parade of Shoes) Miss Kansas in this article. I now have a legitimate reason to study, I mean watch, the pageant this weekend. Just one more reason why dentistry is the profession everyone envies.
 


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Aug

22

Brushing Up - Awesome School Outreach

Posted by Paul on 8/22/2013 2:21:00 PM


 
Sharing good ideas is one of the main functions of this blog. Today, let's focus on a school outreach in St Louis called Brushing Up. This program grew out of the Greater St Louis Dental Society's strategic plan for public relations (does your component have a strategic plan?).
 
Research indicated that children ages 6-12 did not receive adequate oral health education. Within  that group, high school age kids were most at risk and were developing habits (good or bad) that would extend into adulthood. A target audience was born! Next the GSLDS team developed a program that covered basic dental hygiene but also keenly addressed dangers such as mouth piercings, soft drink consumption, tobacco use, Meth use, eating disorders and the importance of a mouthguard in sports.
 
The pilot program was launched in the Rockwood School District during Children's Dental Health Month in February 2013. "Brushing Up ! Your Future Smile Starts Today" is a 45 minute, teacher-led program taught in health classes which are required in the state curriculum before you can graduate from high school. The two photos above illustrate some of the materials available to the teacher and a page on mouth piercing. You can see how the presentation is designed to be teen friendly .
 
After a great initial response and a few program tweaks, the project is back for this school year and has expanded to target approximately 2,000 students across the St Louis Public School system. There is much enthusiasm as health and gym teachers and coaches are being trained to present the program. The long term plan is to eventually provide the program to all St Louis area students.
 
I commend the diverse and talented team of member dentists who collaborated to develop the program. I salute the GSLDS for finding budget and other funds like a donation from the MDA Foundation to support this program. And my hat is off to Susan Prosperi, GSLDS staff, who has really done the legwork to get the program launched. You can reach Susan with questions at susan@gslds.org.
 
What about the students where you live? How would a program like this work in your community? It took a broad team and some old fashioned grit to get it going in St Louis. I'm sure you can find both in your area of influence.
 


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Aug

22

The Run for the Cheddar??

Posted by Paul on 8/22/2013 1:17:00 PM


 
Looks like fun, huh? That's how we roll at the Mouse Races! Say cheese and circle your calendar for this crazy fundraiser to be held at Mid-Continent in St Louis. Yep, you, your dental staff and family, exhibitors and vendors, and anyone over 21 who wants to join can attend the 2nd Annual Mouse Races and Game Night on Thursday, November 14th. Doors open at 6:30 and racing begins at 7:15.
 
It's all for charity so whether you can come or not, you can still have a presence by sponsoring some aspect of the event or naming a mouse in someone's honor. Explore all the sponsorship options or buy your admission ticket by clicking here.
 
In addition to the mouse racing, we will have a silent auction, blackjack tables, a raffle, and some more fun shenanigans. All proceeds are split between the MDA Foundation, the MDA Well Being Foundation that runs our wellness program, and the Delta Dental Health Theater on Laclede's Landing in St Louis.  Find out more or register online at www.modental.org/mouseraces.


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Aug

05

St Louis New Dentist event - Part 2

Posted by Paul on 8/5/2013 11:36:00 AM


 
What makes for a great event like this? Teamwork. And I'm always impressed with the teamwork see in St Louis. Here are three examples. First, Dr Jane Otto put time in her schedule to come and hang out with the new dentists. That is so key to welcoming new people and giving some sense of community as the local component grows. That's Dr Otto above doing her Danica Patrick impersonation and driving the speedy green car while wearing the final lap cap on her head. Alas, she was on my team and did not fair so well. Next is Dr Eva Lau. She was a good sport to come check out the fun. She represented the Canadians and the vertically challenged - all with a winning smile on her face. Finally, good staff help never hurts. In the midst of a few dozen other things to juggle the entire GSLDS team made time to be present. Laura Breeden, Susan Prosperi, Nikki Sprehe and Meg Shannon went all out to decorate, host, and be cheerleaders all night. Their enthusiasm and commitment were noticed and appreciated not only by the attending dentists but also by the Fun Town staff who said they never had a corporate group get so into the event. Well done!


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Aug

02

St Louis New Dentist event - Part 1

Posted by Paul on 8/2/2013 11:01:00 AM


 
I love to see what the local components are doing for new dentist and member outreach. When I find a good idea, I like to share it so you can steal it! Last night I found a doozy of an idea when I joined the Greater St Louis Dental Society at Swing-a-Round Fun Town for their Amazing Race event with new dentists.
 
Drs. Jamie Paul, Jon Copeland and others worked with staff liaison Laura Breeden to put together a casual but competitive night of fun. Teams were formed and competition was held on the go-kart track, in the bumper boat pond, atop the air hockey table, and in the skee ball alley. Fun prizes were awarded after each event and to the overall winning team. Throw in some BBQ and adult beverages and what's not to like? The relaxed setting helped new dentist connect with each other and learn a little more about their local opportunities. Goetze and Henry Schein chipped in some sponsorship to help fund it and their reps had fun competing alongside their clients and prospective clients. So, you can see it's a winning event on every level.
 
I'll try to refrain from commenting on the teams - oh, heck, who am I kidding. I think Dr Copeland stacked his Duck Dynasty team. They were like assassins who came and conquered and had to leave on the early side. Of course, as you see above, Dr Copeland stayed to the end to collect his plunder and glory. Meanwhile, Dr Jamie Paul should stick to dentistry and not team selection. While she chose a very congenial and fun loving team, she misread our talent levels. My wounded pride had to accept last place! But in all seriousness, it was a different and fun way to spend an evening strengthening relationships and new dentist involvement at the local level. Kudos to all!
 
Above: Dr Copeland accepts his honor for Duck Dynasty team along side Susan, Nikki, and Meg from the GSLDS. What's left of the new dentist crowd at the end of a fierce night of competition poses for a group shot. Dr Copeland an Dr Blake Eyres look like synchronized twins at the air hockey table. The bumper boats exposed us all as poor nautical commanders.
 


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Jul

26

The Power of 3

Posted by Paul on 7/26/2013 1:41:00 PM


 
The churning waters of Lake Michigan were an apt backdrop for the recent ADA Management Conference in Chicago. This gathering of constituent and state staff from around the country were handed some pretty sobering news on the state of association life in general and ADA membership in particular. The message was clear: radical changes are coming to dentistry and we must adapt quickly and aggressively in order to maintain relevance and continue to deliver value in membership.
 
Vicki Wilbers, Patrick Baker, and I split duties and sat in on a variety of presentations but we all agreed that the vibe was the same. How can we improve? How can we make changes for the next wave without abandoning our main base - the baby boomers who have stoutly led and led well for so many years?
 
While all the notes are too much to cover in this arena, we are giving serious thought to a number of issue. Change is difficult. There's no guarantee that new efforts will succeed. But we can't stay the course and expect different results. Our strategies will require input from all and a little bravery and time as well. It's exciting and a little scary all at the same time.
 
I will tip my hat to the ADA. Between the recent ADA ND conference and this event, I can tell that leadership is putting money and energy into addressing this. They have welcomed input from all stakeholders. You can see the round table discussion above. It was lively and well received as everyone shared what they see in the day to day of association work.  I can respect those who take on difficult tasks and motivate others to join. The ADA has an aggressive plan to add 9,000 members in the next 3 years. Those efforts start at the grass root level where we live.
 
Allow me to mention a few items in the works. There is the Power of 3. The tripartite model has served dentistry well as each level offers different resources. But with growth there is often duplication. The discussion now centers on what each level does best. It makes us at the MDA take a hard look at what should be doing and what do we need to stop doing. There are also some new resources to be unveiled soon. One is primarily for new dentists called the Center for Professional Success. Members find value when succeed in their profession. This often updated site will offer all manner of tools and resources to help the new dentist flourish regardless of practice model. Another idea is the Member Service University. This is designed to help the staff provide better direction to every inquiry. Excellent service should be a hallmark throughout the tripartite. And of course the Action for Dental Health continues to grow and develop as the primary strategy "to reduce the proportion of adults and children with untreated dental decay through multiple interventions, early diagnosis and risk assessment, disease management and health education, and by preventing disease before it starts."
 
There may be some stormy seas but I left the conference with a sense that the ship would prevail! All hands were on deck and the challenge should invigorate us all.


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Jul

22

Rockies Game at ADA NDC

Posted by Paul on 7/22/2013 3:31:00 PM


 
While I know Baseball Heaven is in St Louis, it doesn't mean I can't appreciate the fine points of other stadiums and the somewhat entertaining competition between two lesser known teams. Thanks to the wonderful support of the ADPAC, we were treated to a fabulous picnic dinner and baseball game at  Coors Field between the Rockies and the Cubbies (which no doubt thrilled the ADA folks from Chicago [especially since they won!). The stadium offers wonderful views of both the Denver skyline and God's skyline, the Rocky Mountains.
 
It was fun to have a large group outing with lots of time to mingle and relax. Some talked business, others talked baseball, still others talked with old dental school friends. I tried to let the Coors Light do the talking! It was a great night. Thank you ADPAC.
 
By the way, did you know Missouri's own, Dr Charles McGinty is the new chair-elect of the ADPAC? Kudos to him. He was in his element and would make you proud with his commitment and professionalism. These ADPAC guys work tirelessly to track and influence the issues while supporting the good guys. You can join for just $50. It's money well invested.


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Jul

22

Socializing in Denver

Posted by Paul on 7/22/2013 3:14:00 PM


 
You can't have a New Dentist Conference in a place like Denver and not have some spectacular social outings. The first night featured both a swanky poolside reception and a dinner with the fine folks from District 6. Here's a little shout out to Dr Rachel Dasher Hymes (RDH, really?). She's a South Carolina girl working in Tennessee and she showed us all some southern hospitality by arranging a great dinner out. I'll try to play socialite and identify the folks in the photos.
 
The first table shot is Dr Jeremy Bowen sitting across from his wife, Christine. On Dr Bowen's left is Dr Hymes.The rest of the crew are reps from WV, KY, and VA.
 
The second and third shots are from the pool reception.
 
The fourth photo is my wolfpack for the week under the stars on Larimer Street: Dr Dustin Burleson, Dr Mac Darnall, Dr Jeremy Bowen, and Dr Jon Copeland. What generous and funny guys.
 
The final shot is our dinner table with from L-R. Drs Darnall, Copeland, Burleson, Hein and wife Tara, and Charles McGinty.


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Jul

22

Mile High Doings

Posted by Paul on 7/22/2013 2:42:00 PM


 
Last week I attended the ADA New Dentist Conference in the Mile High City of Denver. I was there to scope out the scene since Missouri will be the proud host of the ADA NDC next July 17-19, 2014 in our own wonderful gem of a city, Kansas City. Make plans to join me now!
 
What a spectacular conference! I get so energized by seeing these dynamic young dental professionals. Here comes the next wave and it's impressive. They are bright, passionate about their profession, and a good bit fun. And the conference was set up to capture these qualities. The whole first day was dedicated to leadership both in motivation and skill development as well as in face to face interaction with the current ADA brain trust. I was so impressed to see the whole ADA board in attendance and available.
 
One of my favorite sessions featured a mixed crew at a table. Each table had a New Dentist Committee rep and an ADA Board rep as the host. Four very relevant topics were discussed: workforce, advocacy, corporate dentistry, and business/debt management. With every change of topic, a new set of leaders would rotate to the table keeping the variety fresh and engaging. It's good to eyeball current and future leaders and here their stories. This was followed up by a pretty straightforward Q&A with all the ADA trustees. I really sensed the value and time commitment shown to the NDs.
 
Suffice it to say that while the recent Connect4Success was a great ND event for Missouri members, there are economies of scale and diversity that make the national conference quite meaningful. You'll hear me speak persuasively about this for the next year so just go ahead and block out the dates and let's show the country what makes Missouri a great home to dentistry.
 
The rest of the week had lots of networking and strong clinical CE plus plenty of social time. I'll blog about some of those in my next posts. But don;t just take my word for it, probe these ND attendees from Missouri for a more professional assessment of the conference: Dr. Dustin Burelson, Dr. Mac Darnall, Dr Jeremy Bowen, Dr John Copeland, and Dr Nick Hein.


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Jul

17

The Mice Are Back!!

Posted by Paul on 7/17/2013 9:02:00 AM


 
If you were among the blessed chosen who were able to attend the inaugural Mouse Race event at Mid-Continent Dental Congress (MCDC) in St Louis last year, this news will thrill your heart. If you were on the outside looking in, this opportunity will make your day!
 
Yes, the 2nd annual Mouse Races are being planned as we speak. That's my co-lead, Shannon Woodcock from Delta Dental Health Theater (DDHT), in the photo above at our in depth planning session yesterday. We have many ideas to enhance this crazy and unique night both for your enjoyment and for the greater benefit of the three charities involved: DDHT, MDA Foundation, Well Being Foundation.
 
If you are in St Louis or planning to attend MCDC in November, make plans to join us at the races. It's an open night for dentists, staff. families, vendors, and anyone who loves mice and charity. We have many more sponsorship opportunities plus all the same casino games, entertainment, food, auction items, and silliness from last year. Be watching www.modental.org/mouseraces in August for a chance to buy tickets or brand your company name on one of our race items. You might name the winning mouse that takes the grand prize! Just like SLU STAR did last year (named and trained by Center for Advanced Dental Education).


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Jun

04

Teeing it Up - Part 1

Posted by Paul on 6/4/2013 1:20:00 PM


 
This will be one of those weeks where I relish my role because it starts and ends with golf! Yesterday I had the privilege of representing the MDA Foundation at the annual Give Kids A Smile golf tournament at Bogey Hills inSt Louis. The Foundation is glad to support the fine work that GKAS does and this event is one of their major fundraisers for the year. I heard Joan Allen, executive director, delighting in her choice of weather. It was sunny and warm without being humid and there were no rain delays! Everyone (70+ golfers and a great turnout from supportive vendors) really enjoyed a wonderful day outside.
 
I was placed on a team with long time GKAS sponsors, JL Moisan Construction, represented by Jeff Moisan and Bob Seals (that's them doling out prizes above). Rounding out our foursome was Dr Bob Strathman, a periodontist and a very solid golfer. I enjoyed getting to know about dental office construction and Dr Strathman and I covered a lot of ground concerning MDA efforts.  As a team we were -3 which would have won the B flight by a stroke but alas it left us at the bottom of the A flight. No worries, we were still allowed to enjoy the well attended dinner and auction which capped off a great day for GKAS. Plus I had a chance to return the NOMAD they so generously loaned us for MOMOM.
 
Kudos and all the best to Joan and the GKAS Board as they build on their current success.


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Apr

27

Healthy Kids Day - Year 2

Posted by Paul on 4/27/2013 1:22:00 PM


 
Today was Healthy Kids Day (HKD) at the Carondelet Park Rec Complex in south St Louis as well as at many YMCA's across the state. For the second year in a row, MDA teamed up with local Y's and MO DHSS to being an oral health education component to more than 1,000 kids and families.
 
This year 13 Y's (up from 8 last year) from all parts of the state chose to participate. Previous to the events, local radio spots were aired that combined the MDA Your Mouth Is Talking campaign with promotion of the HKD program. Many commented on hearing the spots and seeing record attendance as a result. That's a win before we even get started!
 
At the event, wonderful, local volunteers commit their time to teach children the importance of brushing twice daily for 2 minutes, eating healthy, and visiting the dentist regularly. Everything the volunteers needed was right out of the box and easy to do. Kids would leave with a goody bag containing brush, paste, flosser, and 2 minute timer. At least 100 goody bags were included at each location. This year participating locations were KC, St Louis, Springfield, Cameron, Mexico, Marshall, Louisiana, Fulton, Lebanon, Sikeston, Boonville, Bolivar, and Kirksville.
 
On behalf of Melissa Albertson and I who co-lead this project for the MDA, I wish to thank all the Y's for their cooperative spirit and being easy to work with. And a big thank you to those volunteers who care about kids and gave up part of their weekend to serve. The pictures above are from my visit to Carondelet Park. A super shout out to the eager and awesome students from Forest Park Hygiene school - Tathena, Amanda, Jaimie, and Kate!


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Apr

26

Brain Busted

Posted by Paul on 4/26/2013 1:05:00 PM


 
As if the MDA Board meeting and the special session of the House of Delegates were not enough to drain my brain for one day, the GKAS Trivia Night aimed to suck out whatever was left. I drove straight to St Louis to partake in this key fundraiser for this awesome clinic. I arrived in time to join Round 3 and to discover a rather rowdy crowd. My trusty table of smarties (including Dr Zust - ADA 6th District Trustee) did a reasonable job to pull off a T-5th out of 26 teams. I would love to congratulate the winning team but since this is my blog and I didn't win, I'll just say some other teams did a little better. (tongue in cheek).
 
Kudos to Joan and Patti and the versatile Dr. Jeff Dalen for all their efforts to put together this solid event. And double kudos for all those who came out and had a good time and spent auction money. Next up is the big GKAS golf tournament on Monday June 3rd. Be sure to jump in on that action. Fore!


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Apr

18

FFT Finale Frenzy!

Posted by Paul on 4/18/2013 1:06:00 PM


 
Today was the final Food For Thought lunch event for UMKC students and we might have saved the best for last. Maybe it was the good food from Jason's Deli. Maybe it was the speaker line up of Dr and Dr Darren and Sarah Mahaffey who shared real life scenarios of what it's like to be a new grad out in the real world. Or maybe it was the fact that it was National Signing Day and MDIS was giving away prizes and MDA was giving away $250 cold hard cash to one lucky male and one lucky female  fourth year student. Whatever it was, the crowd was large and vocal and appreciative.
 
We had a record 45 applications from 4th year students. This is huge for our future. It's key to track with them and help them plug into organized dentistry once they turn the tassel. Congratulations to Amber Valentine and Clark Chaney for being the big money winners. Many others came away with all manor of gift certificates and cash. And a special thanks to the Mahaffeys for their time and the connection they made with the students - many of whom will soon be their colleagues.
 
FFT is a strategic tool in our association's lifeline to future membership and leadership. I always enjoy relating with the "next wave". Mandy, Jerri from MDIS, and I are consulting with student leaders and discussing ways to improve every aspect of the FFT so that next year we will be back better and larger than ever. See you then!


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Apr

18

Kids Dental Health on the Fast Track

Posted by Paul on 4/18/2013 11:40:00 AM


 
Rev your engines for dental health! Let me share about a cool event I attended at J.A. Rogers Elementary in Kansas City today. On the national level, ADA's Give Kids A Smile program teams up with 3M Racing to highlight oral health education. NASCAR star Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series helps deliver a message to children  about healthy habits like brushing for two minutes twice a day, flossing, visiting the dentist, and making healthy food choices.
 
The 3M team was in town for the race at Kansas Speedway. In addition to a large outreach at the track, they scheduled the Show Car for two assemblies at the elementary school. I stopped in to observe the high energy presentation from Tommy Danger and Peebo, the 3M Racing Pit Bull mascot. The students paid great attention to all the speakers and then enthusiastically responded to questions with a chance to win a prize. Then they got to hear the car rev up for top noise impact and get their class picture made with the car. They also left with goody bags. It was quite a day! Thank you, Principal Dr Wendy McNitt for hosting everyone. Your students are well behaved!
 
Of interest was the fact that the elementary school serves as an outpost clinic two days a week for the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center. This model has helped kids get regular care. When asked how many were cavity free, an impressive amount of hands went up.
 
I want to thank and salute the folks who work hard to make all these aspects come together. The first photo features the 3M rep, Mike, with the ADA program coordinator Nicole Catral. The third photo features two staffers at the school clinic, Dr Lauren Andreas the school clinic dentist knows as "Dr A" , Tommy Danger, and Dr Mike Jurkovich, medical director for the Samuel Rodgers Health Center.
 
 


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Mar

01

GKAS - Spring Edition

Posted by Paul on 3/1/2013 3:47:00 PM


 
March got off to a great start today with the spring edition of Give Kids a Smile in St Louis. It was another wonderful day of MDA members and cheerful volunteers treating kids in a well run clinic. These young smiles are infectious and I think the kids are often braver than the adults.
 
I enjoyed escorting patients from dental triage down the hall to hygiene. Dr. Rebecca Carman was one of the triage dentists and she did a fabulous job. She has a very natural way with children and put more than one smile on a young face. As I walked around the rest of the clinic, it was humming on all fronts.
 
I know GKAS executive director, Joan Allen, would join me in saluting and thanking all the sponsors and dental volunteers and a cast of many more who make this twice yearly event such a solid success.


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Dec

14

The History of Dentistry

Posted by Paul on 12/14/2012 10:06:00 AM


 
What a treat it was last night when I heard one of MDA's own, Dr. Kurt Studt, deliver a lecture on the History of Dentistry. Dr. Studt was speaking as part of the Perspectives on Science & History Lecture Series sponsored by the Academy of Science – St. Louis and the Missouri History Museum. The series looks at science throughout history, its relevance to life today, and implications for the future. Rose Jansen, director of public science programs at the Acedemy of Science -St. Louis, asked for a St. Louis area dentist to speak in tandem with the current exhibition, Discover the Real George Washington. The first president was famously known for his dentures and teeth issues. Dr. Studt did a fabulous job rising to the occasion.
 
His far ranging presentation was informative, very visual, and at times light hearted. An audience of just over 50 people soaked up the eccentricites of George Washington's interest in dentistry, learned about the birth and growth of dentistry in America, and cringed at some of the treatments across other cultures and through the ages. After about an hour of fascinating information, Dr. Studt answered questions from the engaged audience. It was a good night for the profession!
 
Two of my favorite stories had to do with colorful characters. There was the first dentist ever, Hesi-Re, an Egyptian from 3000 BC who was called "Chief of the Toothers and Physicians." I think that makes a great business card! Then there was a not so good example in "Painless" Parker, a self trained, charlatan who became a millionaire in the early 1900's with his marketing expertise to extract teeth without pain. In the photo above, the sign over his massive block long practice humbly proclaims, "I am postiviely IT in painless dentistry."
 
It was a good night and I salute Dr. Studt for his thorough research and excellent representation of the profession at this unique opportunity.


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Nov

16

NWDS Officer Installation

Posted by Paul on 11/16/2012 10:51:00 AM



 
Last night I joined MDA  Executive Director Vicki Wilbers and MDA Legislative Regulatory Director Patrick Baker in St Joe for a meeting of the Northwest Dental Society. We were joined by current MDA President, Dr. Lynne Barbour.  It was encouraging to see quite a few new dentists in the audience. There was good engagement and questions after Vicki and Patrick gave an update on MDA's priorities for the next session. Those priorities revolve around health reform, tort reform, and fiscal reform. 
 
Another highlight of the evening was for the installation of officers. Dr. Barbour swore in Dr. Jeff Gardner as Treasurer and Dr. Robin Hildebrand as President. What a great example Dr. Hildebrand is setting by jumping into organized dentistry and showing leadership just 2 years after dental school. There's room for everyone in the MDA and it's never too early to start. Good luck. We are here at the MDA office ready to help!


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Nov

10

Mouse Race Photos

Posted by Paul on 11/10/2012 1:48:00 PM


 
A fun night is best told by photos. Here's a brief recap for those who missed out. Don't let that happen next year! :)
 
Row One: Drs. Ollie Fisher and Richard Haffner battle it out in Heads n Tails. Amazingly, Dr. Haffner won both rounds of this game! Dr. James Schmidt places his bet at the betting table before one of the six heats. Alice from DDHT and Vicki from MDA work the Bank. We make it easy for you to buy chips and play all the games.
 
Row Two: The mouse in lane 5 approaches the hurdle with a big lead. Drs. Craig  Hollander and Charles Poeschl battle it out at the Black Jack table. MDIS honcho Greg Russell enjoys a laugh.
 
Row Three: Shannon Woodcock awards the Money Bags trophy to Cathy Heinson for donating back the most chips after a winning night. The prize table shows the Keller Labs Big Cheese Trophy and the Fastest Alumni Mouse certificate. In a bold sweep of both prizes, "SLU Star" trained by Dr. John Hatton from the Center for Advanced Dental Education was the grand champion mouse of the night. And yes, co-chairs Paul Roberts and Shannon Woodcock try to lead by example!
 
Row Four: Lucinda Shearman checks out the sweet items at the silent auction. Thanks to a host of generous donors and bidders, we made $2670 from the auction. And finally, in a scene that was repeated by many throughout the night, Drs. Schmidt and Hollander cheer wildly because their mouse was a winner!
 
Thanks again to everyone. Please make plans to join us and see me for sponsorship opportunities.


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Nov

09

Mouse Races a Big Success

Posted by Paul on 11/9/2012 1:03:00 PM


 
This was not your typical gathering of dental professionals. It was the first ever Mouse Races at the Mid Continent Dental Congress. In a phrase, we had fun raising funds! Here's some more about our crazy night.
 
About 100 people became instant fans as they experienced this unusual evening that featured mice racing on a track, mouse roulette, a silent auction filled with goodies, blackjack tables, prize raffle, parlor games, and a photo booth. The concept is to hang out with your friends and spend some money on fake gambling (all your proceeds remain with us!). You can bet on the mice, you can bet on the roulette, you can play blackjack. The more you spend, the more you can win and give back.
 
Net proceeds for this first time event topped $7500.  They all go to benefit three solid dental charities: The Delta Dental Health Theater, The MDA Foundation, and the Well Being Foundation.  Thank you to everyone who gave of their time and resources to make this a successful night.
 
A special thanks to our $100+ pre-event sponsors who made sure we would succeed: Delta Dental of Missouri; Drs. Schmidt, Cayo and Hopp; MDIS, BWTP, Pediatric Dentistry of Sunset Hills, the North/Central/West districts of the GSLDS; Northeast Dental Society; Dr Thomas Flavin; Central Dental Society; Dentures and Dental Services; Donald Bastean; Edmonds Dental Prosthetics; The Farley Center at Williamsburg; UF and Shands Florida Recovery Center; Dr. Charles Poeschl; and Keller Labs. You guys rock!
 
Now that people "get it" we will make a few tweaks and we will be back bigger and better next year so plan to attend the Mid-Continent and join us for a fun night. It's open to anyone 21+ so bring your office staff, family, friends, etc.


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Nov

05

UMKC students Progress into the Future

Posted by Paul on 11/5/2012 10:41:00 AM


 
No doubt that dental school can feel like a tunnel vision effort but it does eventually end and then what? How do eager new doctors find the best starting point for their career? How do they balance the need to reduce loan debt and balance ling range dreams with immediate opportunities? I think the GKCDS provides a great service to help UMKC students explore those questions in real life settings. They do this by hosting a Progressing Into the Future event using student outreach dollars from the MDA. The evening provides a tour of three different styles of practices. At each stop, the students get another portion of their meal while quizzing the host about their practice choices. They also get a detailed tour of the office and hear from a vendor sponsor on a certain topic.
 
Tonight, about 15 students gathered at Dr. Prabu Raman's office to kick off the tour. There they heard from Becky Atkinson, a Benco sales rep. She talked about the importance of identifying a supply partner rather than trying to order from an enormous catalog. The students enjoyed ravioli appetizers and quizzed Dr. Raman about his evolution into being a niche specialty in the dental market.
 
Across the street, the tour continued with a main course and a refreshingly candid perspective from Dr. Howard Shapiro who after a few moves had settled into the practice style that fit him best. Ken Smith from UMB Bank, gave a brief presentation and answered many questions about how financing is secured.
 
At the final stop, students saw a large scale practice (18 ops) that was successful in other ways. Students were curious about the management and HR issues unique to that setting. Dr. William Tinsley was quick to answer and a gracious host. Jeri Wildhaber from MDIS spoke about insurance offerings and I spoke about the importance of MDA membership and professional relationships over the course of a long career.  In fact, the theme of partnership wove throughout the night. It applies to dental suppliers, bankers, insurers, associations, co-workers, etc.
 
These are great tangible events and I love seeing our members open their doors and engage their future colleagues. Dr. Kelly Suchman and Sam Sivley from GKCDS did a great job leading the night and making sure it all came together. As I'm fond of saying, "Kudos to everyone!"
 


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Nov

04

Dashing For the Dough

Posted by Paul on 11/4/2012 2:16:00 PM


 
As you probably know, the next Missouri Mission of Mercy will be May 3-4, 2013 at the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau. Yesterday the leadership team down there pulled off a great event called the Dental Dash. This 5k walk/run with about 75 racers was a combination fundraiser (nearly $2400 - thank you sponsors and runners!) and awareness generator. It was a great way to get the word out in the broader community so people can plan to volunteer next May. It will also spread the word through many new civic and faith networks about the services we will provide.
 
The race was exactly 6 months prior to MOMOM. Kudos to the team for this innovative and successful event.


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Oct

26

GKAS Super Clinic

Posted by Paul on 10/26/2012 9:47:00 AM


 
Wow, what a day! I had my first taste of a Give Kids A Smile clinic in St Louis. This is a great example of a local vision to help children coming to fruition but it's so much more than that. Now starting it's 11th year, GKAS is a model replicated around the country. Dr. Jeffrey Dalin works at the ADA level to help shape the GKAS strategy. He's stirring up all sorts of partnerships and funding streams that will help spread the word, educate children about oral health, and provide needed treatment to kids. I had the privilege of volunteering in Triage with Dr. Dalin and his enthusiasm and passion for GKAS is contagious!
 
One of the partnerships that makes sense is the GKAS Institute and Ambassador program. Using scholarship money provided by the ADA, several ambassadors came to St Louis for a first hand look at the national model for GKAS.  They met with the board and staff and had a chance to learn the ins and outs of a successfully coordinated clinic.
 
I can testify to the smooth success of the clinic. It's just not a logistical victory, it's a wonderland for children. From the moment the kids get off the bus, the atmosphere is festive. From registration to the after party, kids were entertained and captivated by sights and sounds. There was a great volunteer army in purple shirts and a wave of volunteer dentists in orange shirts. I was glad to be a part of it and share in the joy of serving children.
 
If you are in St Louis, I know you've been recruited but I will recruit you again. They have clinics twice a year so certainly you can attend one. If you are outside St Louis and have interest in how the clinic might work in your area, I'd encourage you to contact Joan Allen, executive director or Dr. Thomas Flavin, board president.
 
As for the photos, that's Dr. Dalin with the Tooth Fairy and a patient. Then you can see the full line at patient sign in. Then there's a shot of "my team". These were all area hygiene students who escorted kids from Triage to treatment. These lovely young ladies were quick learners and brought a lot of energy and personality to the kids making the day even more fun. I was impressed with the great volume of hygiene students and general volunteers at the event.  Kudos to all involved in giving so many kids a smile!


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Oct

25

The 5 Minute Interview!

Posted by Paul on 10/25/2012 9:26:00 AM


I stayed in Kansas City after Food for Thought because that evening there was an experimental event hosted by the GKCDS. It was an effort to bring together 4th year students who are looking for opportunities in Missouri to be an associate or buy into a practice with MDA dentists who are beginning to plan their transition away from practice ownership. Talk about your practical, felt need subject matter!
 
In order to protect the privacy of those involved, I did not take any pictures but I will try to summarize the event. Dr. Kelly Suchman, president of GKCDS and Sam Sivley, executive director for GKCDS, did a great job of organizing the event so it would flow well. Opening remarks were made by the event sponsors, Dr. Frank Gardner of Practice Transition Consulting, LLC and Dr. Steve Wolff of EMA Dental Practice Sales. Then we arranged for the 5 participating dentists to sit at the their own table. The 7 students would rotate through for 5 minute face to face interviews with each dentist. (I worked the timer which tapped all my faculties!).
 
The set up was great because each doctor could meet and compare a variety of young students to see how they might fit in their setting. Meanwhile the students are learning to ask good questions and can learn about opportunities they can actually consider. When they weren't face to face with a doctor, the students could learn a little more about the services of Drs. Gardner and Wolff. And while 5 minutes may seem short, it was great for keeping the pace alive and respecting everyone's time.
 
It was first ever event of this kind for GKCDS but feedback from all parties was positive and insights were learned for improving future events. I tip my hand to the GKCDS. There's a unique responsibility being in the backyard of the state's largest dental school. They do a great job engaging our future members. I look forward to joining them next week for a Progressing into the Future event that allows students to see three different sizes/types of practices and ask direct questions with the host doctors. I'm sure to blog about that!


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Oct

25

Dr. Burleson provides the thought; MDA provides the food

Posted by Paul on 10/25/2012 9:08:00 AM


 
Several of my favorite things came together today at UMKC - dental students, Dr. Burleson, and BBQ!
 
It was my first Food For Thought lunch n learn of this school year. It's presented by MDA and MDIS and it's a great way for these ravenous dental students to not only feed their gut with a quick break in the day but also to feed their soul with some first rate content from a variety of speakers.
 
Today's speaker was Dr. Dustin Burleson. He really mixes it up with the students as he gives practical and thought provoking insights into the world after dental school. Plus he rewards correct answers with Starbucks gifts cards. Dr. Burleson's topic today was about developing an inspiring workplace. He encouraged students to not just hire and employ staff with routine duties but instead give them something to master, give them autonomy, give them something beyond rules or bonuses, and give them responsibility and purpose. It was well received as eager ears pondered their fast approaching new work places. Way to go, Dr. Burleson. You do the MDA proud!
 
You might notice in the photos above that there was a big crowd! We had 50 new students sign up for MDA student membership. It's a real deal at $10 for 6 meals. You might also notice that the food is delicious and you better be on time! It's never too late to join and Dr. Burleson has offered a $1,000 scholarship to one lucky first year if we get 100% enrollment from the first year class. To find out more, email Mandy at mandy@modental.org.


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Oct

19

Disaster Readiness

Posted by Paul on 10/19/2012 11:04:00 AM


 
"It's not a question of if, it's a question of when." That was the main mantra of Dr. Glenn Farrar during his seminar on "Disaster Planning for Your Practice" which he gave today as an offering for members of the Greater Springfield Dental Society. I wanted to make sure I heard what he had to say after watching our Joplin crew walk through this past year. Worldwide the number of natural disasters each year has tripled since 1980. You don't have to live in tornado alley or a flood zone to be at risk. Age old risks like fire and lightening are now joined by hazardous materials, terrorism, and cyber space as threats to your office.
 
Dr. Farrar's credentials and experience are deep. His message was simple. Have a plan and test it annually. There are all varieties of different plans you need from emergency evacuation to continuity of operation. Many templates can be found on the internet but he has developed dental practice specific plans (His wife is a dentist).
 
I'm glad I made time to join a good crowd in Springfield. The message is sobering and the work is difficult but the peace of mind from readiness is hard to overlook. I hope this stirs your own thinking about the practice you worked so hard to develop and maintain.


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Oct

08

NEDS Officer Installation

Posted by Paul on 10/8/2012 12:06:00 PM


 
I was on hand in Kirksville last Friday for the installation of officers for the Northeast Dental Society. MDA President, Dr. Elwood Rice did the honors. In the photo top left you will see Secretary-Treasurer, Dr. Michael Berry of Moberly; President,Dr. Ed Norman of Lancaster and President-Elect, Dr. Matt Theriac of Macon. Congrats to these men and thank you for your local leadership. Additionally, Dr. Rice honored outgoing president Dr. Joel Pratt with a plaque commemorating his tenure.
 
During the business meeting Dr. Rice gave the members a wide reaching update on current issues facing the MDA. I spoke briefly on the activities of the MDA Foundation and made an appeal for MOMOM volunteers. I also mentioned the upcoming Mouse Race fundraiser to be held at Mid-Continent Dental Congress. I spoke of the need for sponsorships and auction items and I'm delighted to report that NEDS stepped right up and made a $250 contribution. With that they earned the naming rights for the Mouse Race Track. All races will be run on "Northeast Downs". Thank you for that generous act!
 
MDA Trustee, Dr. Tisha Kice Briggs, made special note to congratulate Dr. Harlo Donelson on fifty years in dentistry. That's quite a feat! And the members decided that the NEDS would host a Welcome Students Reception when the first A.T. Still class is formalized. This is a great way to step right into building a favorable relationship with the new school. I will help them with details as time draws near. It just goes to show you that although small, the NEDS is active in key roles within organized dentistry. In fact, the MDA President-Elect, Dr. Lynne Barbour, from Kahoka will be the first ever female president of the MDA. Kudos on all the fine news coming from the NEDS.


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Oct

08

AT Still Update

Posted by Paul on 10/8/2012 11:24:00 AM


 
 
It was my pleasure to join MDA President Dr. Elwood Rice for the installation of officers at the Northeast Dental Society meeting in Kirksville on Friday, October 5th. The meeting had a few highlights. Before lunch was served, we had the privilege to hear Dr. Chris Halliday, Dean of the new dental school being built at A.T. Still University there in Kirksville. Construction is coming along as you can tell by my photo.
 
Dr. Halliday said the simulation lab was the prize jewel of the new site and would initially handle 40 students with a maximum capacity of 65. Students will spend the first 2 years in Kirksville before spending their 3rd year in community health clinics in the St Louis region. During 4th year as many as half of the students will leave St Louis for further instruction at FQHC's across the state. The education model is featuring modules that focus on immersion in a particular area for about a 2 week period. They envision the staff  to be about 4 full timers and another 5-8 adjunct professors. They hope to find opportunities for the medical (osteopathic) students to interact with the dental students on campus. They have not had their first accreditation visit and there are still many hoops to jump through as the curriculum and structure get put in place.
 
Dr. Halliday fielded several questions from those in attendance and invited them to two future opportunities to learn more about the new dental school. The school will host events on October 10th and October 16th from 6:00-7:30.  The NEDS and Dr. Rice wish to thank Dr. Halliday for his time and his eagerness to share with the MDA how things were progressing.


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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

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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Aug

17

The Incubator

Posted by Paul on 8/17/2012


 
Do you remember your dental school orientation? Were you wide eyed and idealistic about the journey ahead of you? Did you size up the competition and guess who would be the best dentist in the class? I could only imagine the emotions swirling around the nearly 100 or so members of the UMKC Class of 2016 as I watched like a fly on the wall to some of their presenters on orientation day. How will they ever keep up with the library and security issues and where everything is much less learn dentistry? It was one of those days when you can feel overwhelmed. That's why I wanted to be there and introduce myself and plant the seed that the MDA will be a valuable partner from the cradle to the grave in their dentistry career. It was a fun day and I look forward to how well I might get to know some of these future doctors over the years.
 
The highlight of MDA's part of the day was the outstanding presentation from Dr. Dustin Burleson. He spoke with passion and understanding while giving these newbies some very practical tips for success. Then he pitched the MDA to them as the best investment they could make as students and as future dentists. I was about to re-enlist myself because of Dr. Burleson's eloquent and inspiring case for why he values membership in the MDA. Thank you, Dr. Burleson for your time and your solid representation of the profession.
 
On a fun note, Dr. Burleson promised to donate $1,000 if the class of 2016 had 100% enrollment in the MDA. The donation would go to Dr. Killip's "Mullet fundraiser". And who said dentists can't be fun!


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Jul

13

Checking In - Joplin Style

Posted by Paul on 7/13/2012 3:46:00 PM


 
Earlier in the week I had the chance to be on the receiving end of a check presentation. Today I had the immense pleasure of presenting a check. If you recall from earlier blog posts, it was decided that the proceeds from the Joplin Tornado Anniversary event in June would be donated to the local Joplin Community Clinic which for 20 years has effectively served the short term healthcare needs of the uninsured in the Joplin area. The clinic does not receive any state, federal, or insurance funding to provide services.
 
Dr. Robert Renger, local MDA member, both volunteers in the clinic (along with many others in the community) and serves on the board of directors. He joined me, Dr. Charles McGinty, and several others including a few media outlets to make the presentation to Barbie Bilton, Executive Director of the Clinic. It was quite nice moment when we surprised Barbie with a $3,000 donation. She and her staff and other board members were all very appreciative.
 
Afterward we did a few interviews and shared cake and punch. If you've followed the tornado saga at all this past year, you know how nice it was to come full circle and give back to the community. It makes me proud to represent the MDA! Celebrate with me and the clinic for working together to improve dental health in the community. You can check out some media stories in the links below.
 
 
 


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Jul

12

Hi-Tech Adventures

Posted by Paul on 7/12/2012 4:32:00 PM


 
I made a quick trip to St Louis to support the GSLDS's 2nd Annual Hi-Tech Night at the Sheraton in Westport. The crowd was even bigger than last year and I had a number of great conversations with local members. My, what a difference a year makes. Last year I was just starting in my role and everyone seemed so new - especially me! Now, I feel like a see an old friend wherever I turn.
 
The members (and many guests, or as I like to call them "soon to be members") weren't there to see me. A host of vendors had their latest gadgets and tools on display and the intimate setting made it easy to have deeper discussions. Plus good food and happy bartenders enhance any gathering of dentists.
 
All through the night, prizes were given away by event organizer, Dr. Vince Rapini, to lucky winners. They included an iPad and two intraoral cameras. In the photos you can see Dr. Rapini and GLSDS staffer, Susan Prosperi, fishing out another winner. I was not to be outdone so the MDA gave away a $50 Brookstone gift card. You can see me with the winner, Dr. Shuka Moshiri.
 
Congrats to all on a great event for dentistry!


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Jun

28

Joplin Event - The Videos

Posted by Paul on 6/28/2012 3:57:00 PM


It's been three weeks since we celebrated the one year anniversary of the tornado with the Joplin dental community. My earlier blog posts details that great evening. Several people have asked how they could watch again or share with others the two videos we showed that night.
 
It may take a while to load but these links should let you watch them. To share with others, you can point people to the blog or copy and paste the links to send to other people. I hope you enjoy them!
 
"Reflections" is a tribute to an emotional year in the city of Joplin.
 
"Year of Recovery" is a more linear look at MDA offices that were affected and their road back to seeing patients in new places.


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Jun

22

Staff Retreat - Passion Play

Posted by Paul on 6/22/2012 3:24:00 PM


 
A special highlight of the retreat was attending the Great Passion Play. The area boasts a 130' foot  Christ statue that can be seen from many a vista in the rolling hills. It's held at sunset and under the stars in what I believe they said is the largest outdoor theater in the country. The elaborate set and large cast reenacts the final week of Jesus' life on earth. It's set to a fabulous music track from the London Philharmonic Orchestra. We had an absolutely beautiful summer evening to enjoy this stirring and triumphant story. I recommend it if you are in the area.


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Jun

22

Staff Retreat - Animal Rescue Park

Posted by Paul on 6/22/2012 3:14:00 PM


 
Turpentine Creek WildLife Rescue Park is just 7 miles outside Eureka Springs. It serves as a habitat for all sorts of large animals that have been abused or abandoned. Most of these are tigers, pumas, cougars, lions, and other large cats. They even have a Liger (cross between an lion and tiger - seen above). The tour  was very educational and the park staff were mainly hard working interns who obviously love big animals. Once again, I won't recall all the interesting stories of rescue and funny behavior. I would like to go back and stay on property because they say you can hear the roaring all night. It's a must see stop if you love big cats.


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Jun

22

Staff Retreat - Ghost Hotel

Posted by Paul on 6/22/2012 2:44:00 PM


 
Thankfully, the MDA and MDIS staff are afforded a little team building retreat each year. This year Margie planned a diverse trip to Eureka Springs, AR where we stayed at the Crescent Hotel which was built in 1886. From 1937-1940 it was owned by Dr. Norman Baker who made it the Hospital for Curable Cancer and claimed that the spring water had magical cures. Several deaths have occurred on the property during construction and over the years and this has resulted in a booming ghost tour business.
 
Brave souls that we are, we took the evening ghost tour. Time does not allow me to tell all the tales but our tour guide did show us the room where Theodora supposedly rearranges your things when you leave. We also saw the morgue (questionable doctor skills?) and the guide tested the energy meter on the floor. Watch out, the meter is hot! You can ask the staff next time you see them how well they endured their haunted stay.


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Jun

19

Hidden Secret in Action

Posted by Paul on 6/19/2012 1:50:00 PM


 
You might as well get use to me talking about the Well Being Program and the MDA's Well Being Foundation. I'm a big fan! They offer excellent resources to our members on a wide variety of wellness issues. Perhaps most importantly is the advocacy and support they provide for impaired professionals. Under the able leadership of Rebecca Mowen, the WB program is here for you or to help you with someone you care about in the dental office who might need assistance. Nationwide the pressures of the profession have adversely affected many. That's understandable. What's encouraging is to see how lives and careers can be saved with caring, professional treatment.
 
Today I had the pleasure of hearing Rebecca speak at the Utah School on Alcohol and Other Drug Dependencies Conference. This well established event held at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT draws hundreds of people who have something to do with counseling, treatment, and recovery. Many attendees are in recovery themselves. There is a strong healthcare professional track including a separate dental group that numbered close to 30.
 
Rebecca spoke to this group on the topic of Women, Addiction, and Dentistry. She did a superb job with a very engaged audience. She addressed gender differences and other unique factors that  influence the diagnosis, treatment, and recovery of the female healthcare professional. It was a real honor to see Rebecca shine in this setting.
 
While my trip was brief, I learned a lot about the chemical disease of alcoholism and I met a number of wonderful people who had great suggestions for how we can grow our WB program. I'm excited to see how we can help our members and stably fund this program. Plus it was a blast to get out of MO and see some mountains!
 
For more info on the MDA's WB program, visit www.modental.org/wellbeing.


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Jun

12

The MOM next door

Posted by Paul on 6/12/2012 3:13:00 PM


 
Access to care issues are not confined to our state obviously and last weekend I was able to participate in the IL MOM up in Grayslake, IL. I had several motivations. First these events are so rewarding, it was a pleasure to volunteer my time. Second I owed a favor to my buddy, Jay Landers who is the executive director of  the IL State Dental Society Foundation. Jay was a real trooper serving in Springfield during our first MOMOM last fall. Finally, I wanted to do some recognizance on the event since we are hosting MOMOM 2 in Cape Girardeau next May.
 
After a rather slow start on Friday, Saturday was a great day. The wonderful facility accommodated 850+ people. They partnered with the CURE Network to provide visual and medical services as well. By the end of it all, they had  2,082 dental, vision, and medical patient visits with the delivery of 1.13 million dollars in whole-body care. Kudos to the whole team!
 
I did my best to recruit our neighbors to come join us in Cape next May. They were definitely ready after experiencing the high of pulling off such an event. I also had some insightful discussions with some leaders and took some notes on differences I observed. Each of these events has it's own special feel. I can't wait to see how Dr. Ruopp and her team pull it all together at MOMOM 2.
 
 


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Jun

08

Joplin Anniversary Event - Part 2

Posted by Paul on 6/8/2012 3:58:00 PM


 
Everybody in Joplin was so cooperative and I wish I could show you every office but here's a small slice of some different imagery from a few offices. I know you probably want to see operatories, storage cabinets, and reception spaces but every office has those so use your imagination.
 
Top left is the iconic dolphin that sits out front of pediatric dentist, Dr. Benji Rosenberg's office. Kids of all ages like to take their photo with it. Top right features a nice memorial marking the tornado in Dr. Mike Fitterling's new office. In my opinion what made this event and year special was realizing that offices are just bricks and stone but the dental family is much stronger than that.
 
Bottom left is some hi-tech wizardry in oral surgeon, Dr. Glenn Makowski's office. A whole different kind of art is displayed at bottom right in the office of Dr. Mark Woodin, once again showing you that MDA members are diverse and talented. That's why you want to read this blog because I just might feature your office or talents!


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Jun

08

Joplin Anniversary Event - Part 1

Posted by Paul on 6/8/2012 3:58:00 PM


 
It's not often that you mark the one year anniversary of an F-5 tornado but that's what we did in Joplin last night. The MDA and SWDS along with the assistance of many great sponsors hosted a special event entitled "Reflections on a Year of Recovery". It was a great day for all.
 
We started in the afternoon as over 60 people signed up to take tours of many of the rebuilt dental offices. Then a total of 185 gathered for a nice reception and dinner at the beautiful Ramsay Building downtown. It was awesome to see the dental community gathered together sharing their stories from an unforgettable year. It felt like a family picnic in some ways!
 
Several guests joined us including current MDA President Dr. Elwood Rice; past MDA president (during the tornado) Dr. Mark Zust and his wife, Phyllis; other MDA and MDAF board members; MDIS representatives; and a strong supportive contingent from our sponsors at Patterson, Benco, Carestream, Delta and Goetze.
 
Of special note were our guests, Carthena Green and Peggy Wilson from the Joplin Community Clinic. In true MDA member form, this event was a charity event and proceeds will go to benefit that local organization that serves the needy with dental services. More on that exciting story in a future blog post.
 
The program focused on looking back at the progress made in the one year since the total devastation. We showed some video clips and heard from Vicki Wilbers at the MDA, dentist and local city councilman Dr. Benji Rosenberg, and SWDS president Dr. Brad Laird. But perhaps the most moving moments were when Drs. Mike Fitterling, Ed McAllister, and Charley McGinty shared their stories. It was humbling and inspiring all at once.
 
I'll post some more photos. Thanks to all the local leadership, sponsors, and MDA staff who made this memorable event possible!
 


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Jun

04

GKAS Golf

Posted by Paul on 6/4/2012 3:42:00 PM


 
Sometimes work involves a little fun and today was one of those times. I was happy to represent the MDA Foundation and support Give Kids a Smile by playing in their charity golf tournament at Bogey Hills Country Club.
 
The turnout was great and it's super to see so many dentists and vendors get behind this worthwhile charity. I suspect one of the reasons for the great turnout is the great treatment you receive. Check out executive director Joan Allen (3rd from L) and her fantastic crew above.
 
I played with a fine contingent of Henry Schein guys. You can see Keith Giebe, Brad Corder, and Steve Burroughs above in a dry moment. Our play was rough at times and servicable at times but our capacity for fun never waivered. Mercifully the rain chased us off the course for a bit and I drove on back to celebrate my anniversary. These stout young Henry Schein men were able to finish the round and post even par. I don't think we won! But lest you think I'm always finishing last, I did play in a scramble with my son and his friends and we won with a 14 under score.
 
I could post about golf all day but I'll keep to the point - cheers to GKAS and all those who support their excellent work.


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May

22

Joplin - One Year Later

Posted by Paul on 5/22/2012 3:19:00 PM


 
I had the privilege of being in Joplin on the one year anniversary of the F-5 tornado. It was a gorgeous day with clear blue skies that reflected the hope and future of a town that previously had faced the darkest of skies. My purpose for being in town was to take photos of new dental offices for a special event being held on Thursday, June 7th in Joplin. Luckily, I was able to snap many more photos of commemorative events like the unity walk, the raising of a steeple, and the park ceremony at 5:41 marking the exact time the tornado touched down.
 
It was somber in some ways but I would call the mood respectful optimism. There were many volunteers and others who, like me, have fallen for this resilient town and it's plucky people. The great weather seemed to point toward better days ahead.
 
The MDA will host a special anniversary event for the Joplin dental family called "Reflections on a Year of Recovery". Close to 190 people are expected to gather as we pause to consider an unforgettable year. I know wherever you are, you join me in wishing them all the best.


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May

10

My Day at the Theater, dear!

Posted by paul on 5/10/2012 8:55:00 AM


 
Earlier this week, I made my first visit to the Delta Dental Health Theater (DDHT) located in Laclede's Landing right in downtown St Louis in the shadow of the Gateway Arch. It is very impressive! Shannon Woodcock, executive director for the theater, gave me a quick tour and explained how this small space delivers a big impact. I saw a wide variety of hands-on educational activities mixed with some hi-tech features. They mingle together to offer something for everyone who stops in. I loved the bright colors and kid friendly seating. And who doesn't like a ceiling with a full set of teeth!
 
School groups account for many of the visitors to the theater and I was lucky to witness one live and in person. Raven, a theater major who interns with the theater, can be seen above engaging and educating the kids.
 
I'm working with Shannon and DDHT on a joint fundraising event called Mouse Races (see my earlier blog post). We are planning a fantastic evening of fun for those attending the Mid Continent Dental Congress in early November and for other supporters and public in the St Louis area. Keep watching for more details. This will raise much needed support for the MDA Foundation, the Well Being Foundation, and DDHT.
 
It's been fun to get to know Shannon and see her passion for dental education and growth in opportunities. These types of partnerships make us all stronger. Find out more about DDHT - hours, map, schedule, etc - at www.ddhtstl.org


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May

01

State Champ - Carl Carver!

Posted by Paul on 5/1/2012 9:36:00 AM


 
Today's travels took me 253 miles one way to Mound City, MO as an ambassador for the MDA Foundation. The experience was worth every mile.
 
I was there to present the first place award to the winner of the Children's Dental Health Month Art Contest. Carl Carver, a second grade student from Mound City R-2 School, drew the winning entry in the Rock Your Smile theme contest. As a result he won a $100 Wal-Mart gift card. Additionally, his teacher, Mrs. Burge, won $100 for her classroom and the school won $200 as well. Plus I passed out dental goody bags to all 19 students. They loved their "swag"!
 
It was a festive and fun celebration as I distributed the prizes. I explained that the contest was one way the MDAF promoted good oral health to children and that anybody in the state could enter. When I said the state winner was in their classroom, they sprung up and down, chanting "Carl"! Evidently he's known as quite the artist among his friends. I think Carl's smile grew two sizes when we walked in the room and he saw his mother, Laura Berney, and his grandmother, Lydia Field. Plus the Mound City News was there to cover the big event. It was like Oscar night in Holt County!
 
I was happy to see such collaboration for this effort. The school nurse, Susan Lentz (in purple above) is a real dental advocate and supports the contest every year. Mrs. Burge (far left) was eager to participate and Cate Kenny (art teacher next to me) really helped fuel the creative process. Rightfully so, the superintendent, Scott Eaton, and the principal, Jan Seitz, were very proud of Carl's' accomplishment and the school's prize load. To cap off the celebration, we all went outside and enjoyed ice cream bars! Congratulations, Carl!!
 
Mound City is a small community. The school is 275 kids K-12. Mrs. Lentz was kind to drive me over to meet the first dentist they've had in Holt County in a while, MDA member, Dr. Aaron Hiegert. I regret not grabbing a photo but he was very eager to hear of the hoopla. He gives dental checks at the school and even has art in his office made by Cate Kenny's class. A fairly recent UMKC grad, Dr. Hiegert is passionate about addressing the oral needs and challenges in rural Missouri. Good work, Dr. Hiegert!
 
A special thank you to Adam Johnson and the Mound City News for the photos!


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Apr

28

Healthy Kids Day!

Posted by Paul on 4/28/2012 7:13:00 PM


 
Today was Healthy Kids Day at many Y's across the state. The MDA had a presence at 5 of them including south Saint Louis where I was on hand to witness the action. This event was at the Carondelet Rec Complex and it was impressive. There was a ton of stuff to do and it was well organized. A steady stream of families passed through from 10-2,
 
The MDA was on hand to help kids make the link between a healthy mouth and a healthy life. Dr. Jamie Whitson and Dr. Mike O'Connell were excellent MDA member volunteers. They engaged the kids, encouraged the parents, and actively participated for 4 hours. We saw lots of purple teeth as many kids chewed plaque disclosing tablets. I was real proud of one father of three who chewed a tablet after his children and came out with a winning smile! Parents are critical role models for oral health and they are on the front line every morning and night.
 
Above, Dr. Whitson announces the winning boy and girl who won free electric toothbrushes. Plus several kids opted to brush their teeth right then after seeing where they were missing spots.
 
Besides my location, MDA volunteers worked events in Springfield, Kirksville, Kansas City, and St Joe. The reception was warm and the Y's were great to work with so maybe we can grow the partnership next year to many more locations.


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Apr

27

Springfield Gavel Pass

Posted by Paul on 4/27/2012 4:06:00 PM


 
Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Greater Springfield Dental Society Officer Installation meeting. My co-horts were MDA President, Dr. Elwood Rice, and MDA Associate Executive Director, Aaron Washburn. We joined a good crowd for a fun social hour and dinner. I always enjoy meeting members including my dinner companions above Drs. Cash, Pyatt, and Maus.
 
When we got down to business, Dr. Rice officiated the change in leadership from past president, Dr. Josh Montgomery to new president, Dr. Darren Mahaffey. Those two fine leaders are pictured above. There was some good natured ribbing involved as well and I like to see a society mutually encourage each other. There was a whole host of other inductions and awards including a presentation to Edmonds Dental Prosthetics, Inc as Voluntary Laboratory of the Year from MO Donated Dental Services. At one point there were more people being sworn in than there were in the audience. Gotta love that volunteer spirit! Involvement breeds passion.
 


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Apr

22

Mouse Racing - Sport of the Future!

Posted by Paul on 4/22/2012 4:59:00 PM


 
My three day travel adventure ended on a special mission - scope out this thing called Mouse Racing. Let me just say, mission accomplished. THIS IS SO FUN and a completely new way to raise some money.
 
On Saturday night I went to a Mouse Race at Busch Stadium with Shannon Woodcock from Delta Dental Health Theater. Together we will be hosting a Mouse Race fund raiser during Mid-Continent in St Louis on November 9th. It will benefit Shannon's DDHT and the two foundations of the MDA - the MDAF and the Well Being Foundation. Much more details to come about this event so stay tuned. 
 
The festivities are centered around 6 mice racing in 6 heats on the track above followed by a championship race for the "big cheese". The mice can be viewed and bet on with chips before each race. In between races, attendees bet on the roulette wheel where a mouse is let go to roam until he enters the slot of some lucky winner.
 
Add in some great auction items, casino games, crowd games and raffles, and of course, good food and beverage, and you have a fun evening for everyone. We are planning several rivalry races and there's all sorts of creative sponsorships (like naming mice) available for members and vendors. Watch for more or contact me with questions.
 
 
 
 


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Apr

21

Shred-a-Thon is a real cut up!

Posted by Paul on 4/21/2012 4:31:00 PM


 
Every dental office with any age to it knows the hassle of old files. They are everywhere and they can't just be tossed in the trash. They require a complete and total shred. The entrepreneurial  minds at GSLDS saw this need and came up with a great event for their members - a Shred-a-Thon!
 
I was still in town and able to witness and assist a little in this practical and easy exercise. Members registered prior to the event and listed how many boxes they would bring. Once they reached capacity (close to 700 boxes!) for the three hours, they shut down registration.
 
It was crisp, cool morning in the Delta Dental parking lot and the two Shred-it trucks were humming. Cars were met by cheerful volunteers who unloaded and staged boxes for shredding. Doctors were able to leave with a certificate of destruction. Music and snacks added to the festivity and camaraderie. Plus there was the added dimension of being able to donate old shoes to the Shoeman Water Project. They turn shoe donations into drinking water in underdeveloped African countries.
 
I gotta give a shout out to the whole GSLDS crew for a well executed event that was practical, charitable, easy, and fun. Let me know if your component or club is interested in hosting a shred-a-thon and I'll try to help you put it together.


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Apr

20

A Gathering of the Minds

Posted by Paul on 4/20/2012 4:03:00 PM


 
The frolicking fun continued later Friday night when I drove up to St Louis to join the Give Kids a Smile Trivia Night Fundraiser. This is the 10th year for GKAS and there was a lot to celebrate in the large crowd. The silent and verbal auctions were a big hit and the atmosphere was quite boisterous as teams competed in the intellectual arena of trivia. Turns out, dentists are pretty confident and competitive on all things intellectual - who knew! There was a near uproar over some cooking questions and the science category almost became a wrestling match. All in the name of charity, of course!
 
Dr. Mark Ortinau, a board member with GKAS, was nice enough to include me on his team. I'm not sure what impact I made but we did finish 4th (just outside the money) from among 25+ teams. The food and drink were as plentiful as the laughter. It was great to see the large turnout and to recognize so many MDA members. Thanks for what you do to support GKAS and the fine work that Joan Allen and her team do.


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Apr

20

Losing never felt so good!

Posted by Paul on 4/20/2012 3:47:00 PM


 
My adventure in Cape Girardeau continued the next morning when the fine folks of SEDS invited me to join in their golf tournament and business meeting. (FYI- Pay attention other components. This is my favorite type of gathering.) We were able to get in 18 holes on a nice morning just before the rain rolled in. My team consisted of the talented and friendly Drs. Susan Sheets, Bob Fox, and Dick Swartz. I guess they drew the short straw when they got me! I thought we played well but we couldn't drop a putt.
 
As a result we finished in last place (where good guys reside). In cheeky good humor they gave us basketballs to subtly suggest we may want to explore another sport. My son was happy that my misfortune was his gain. It was all good fun and I enjoyed spending time with the SEDS crew. Stacey Butler from the MDA and her husband Ryan also played. They did better for some reason but I'm suspicious!
 
The business meeting sailed along with good reports on many fronts. They voted to donate $5000 to MOMOM which further proves my point that this whole SE region is up to the challenge.
 
Keep up the solid work SEDS and remember me for Dalhousie in the fall!
 


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Apr

17

Healthy Kids Day Partnership Launched in Joplin

Posted by Paul on 4/17/2012 3:35:00 PM


Last Saturday morning I was at the The Joplin Family Y, the launch site for a new partnership event between the Y and the MDA. A similar event was happening at the Callaway County Y in Fulton.
 
Through some funding from DHSS, the MDA is partnering with select Y's in each of our 8 components to bring some oral education to the Y's Healthy Kids Day program. Kids are already coming to the event to learn about physical and nutrition as they gear up for summer programs so why not seize the opportunity to teach them the connection between good oral health and good overall health.
 
Liz Schuerich from the Joplin Y was a great host and provided our booth space. A fantastic team of staff from the Joplin Dental Arts (Drs. Renger and Kivett) volunteered to man the booth and the MDA provided the YMIT materials, disclosing tab activity, and other support materials including a free electric toothbrush to be given away via drawing to one lucky boy and one lucky girl.
 
I snapped photos and soaked in the scene as parents and kids stop by the booth and engaged the staff in good questions about oral. And everybody walked away with a goody bag that included toothbrush, paste, and a flosser. There was lots of fun energy in the gym. It was a natural fit for a community event.
 
More events are planned for April 28th in St Joseph, Kansas City, Springfield, Kirksville, and St Louis. And Sikeston will host an event on
September 8th. Check with me for more details.
 
 
 
 


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Apr

11

National Signing Day

Posted by Paul on 4/11/2012 4:52:00 PM


If you want to compete at the highest level, you have to recruit at the highest level. You don't wait to rebuild. You constantly reload with top notch talent. Any big time university knows the importance of national signing day and so does the MDA and today was that day.
 
I was at UMKC as part of our National Signing Day where 4th year students can join MDA and effectively transfer their student membership into full MDA membership. This insures they don't pay dues through 2013. There was a buzz of as soon to be graduates signed on while also entering for a chance to win a free iPad. Below is one of the MDA's new recruits!
 
This was all part of our last Food for Thought program this school year at UMKC. Students from all class years filled the room and enjoyed pizza and wings while listening to guest speakers, Drs. Zust and Riordan. They did a lively father/daughter presentation about family practice that drew lots of questions. I was reminded of the need to share real life examples like this to our recruits. It helps them envision their future. And it doesn't hurt that both Dr. Zust and Dr. Riordan made an eloquent appeal to the importance of organized dentistry.
 
Stay active on the recruiting trail. We don't want our home grown talent going elsewhere. Let's reload with a top rated signing class!
 


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Apr

10

The Value of Meals Together

Posted by Paul on 4/10/2012 2:45:00 PM


You might wonder what was the most valuable part of the ADA R&R Conference. There was definitely good data, excellent speakers, new ideas, and challenges to ponder. It's important to interact with others who are working toward the same ends as you. But the real value for me was teamwork.
 
The Missouri delegation had two dinners together in Chicago  - a special delight given the awesome restaurant selection! Meals out have some mysterious power to overcome differences and bring us together. Besides the great food and vino, there was real value in building relationships and grappling together over the issues facing our state and our membership. I discover the passion others have for organized dentistry. I see the thought and work and experience needed to win. I also see more listening and reflection than normal. Sharing together takes the conference from theory to reality.
 
Let me encourage you to do the same in your component. Make it a priority to occasionally bypass the email and skip the brief oral report at a meeting. Instead break bread with some members different from you and make effort to deeply address the issues your component faces. You'll find this approach not only tasty but also fruitful. Bon Appetite!


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Apr

02

Hauling in the Hardware

Posted by Paul on 4/2/2012 4:06:00 PM


 
Let's hear it for the MDA! Our members have put us in the winner's circle. Last week at the ADA Membership Recruitment and Retention Conference in Chicago, our state won awards for "Greatest Net Gain in Membership", "Greatest Net Gain of New Dentists" and the "Most Improved Retention Rate!" Each of the awards is for a state association with 1,001 to 2,000 members.

This was our crew, representing in style, from left to right: Dr. Vince Rapini, yours truly, Laura Breeden, and Dr. Michael Hoffman.

Thanks to each and every MDA member for their continued membership and support of the tripartite and thanks to members who invite a colleague to join and our component societies who do a great job with their recruitment and retention efforts!

A special thanks to Mandy Lewis, MDA Membership and Meeting Manager. She's done a lot of the heavy lifting that got us to this point and she should have been there to receive the awards but she had kindly passed this year so that I could experience the scene. Kudos, Mandy!

My comrades above are all from the Greater St Louis Dental Society. We had a and fun time learning about trends and best practices as we worked together to grow our membership even more. I would love to have someone from every component join us next year so mark your calendars for April 5-6, 2013 and let's bring home even more hardware!
 


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Mar

15

A Tasty Saturday

Posted by Paul on 3/15/2012 3:53:00 PM


Food, fun, and career exposure were on the menu this past Saturday as I joined the Greater St Louis Dental Society for their first ever “Taste of St Louis Dentistry” event. Thirty five eager 3rd and 4th year students from SIU piled on a charter bus and headed out for three member office destinations, each showcasing a different practice style and featuring a favorite St Louis food item furnished by local sponsors. 
 
The first stop was the office of Dr. John and Jennifer Boain sponsored by Goetze and featuring toasted ravioli and veggie dips. Then we rolled on to Drs. Ollie and Perdita Fisher’s office where lunch was provided by GSK. The students loved eating outside in the wonderful pavilion on a fabulous spring day. Our final stop was Family Dentistry where Dr. Lori Roseman was our host and Henry Schein was the sponsor. There we were served gooey butter treats and Ted Drew’s frozen custard. Yummy!
 
Besides the good food (and beer!), the students were treated to in depth tours at each office and could contrast and compare the styles and benefits. They engaged their hosts with good questions and could also bounce off ideas with familiar SIU instructors and MDA members Drs. Seaton, Sokolowski, and Rapini. Drs. Hoffman and Moshiri were also along representing the GSLDS as well as the staff team. Add to that, the sponsor presentations and the opportunities for interaction were endless.
 
The event utilized designated funds for student outreach and was a solid step at exposing students to “real world” dentistry and building relationships. It’s not unusual to expect that maybe a dozen or more from a class of 50 may practice in MO upon graduation. We made sure they knew the GSLDS and the MDA would welcome them with open arms.
 
I loved the interaction with young people who represent the future of dentistry. Kudos and thanks to all involved in pulling off a first class event.
 


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