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TOPIC: Member Mentions

Sep

05

A New Launch for Wellness

Posted by Paul on 9/5/2014 8:51:00 AM


Today was exciting! We did not break a champagne bottle over a ship hull but we did embark on a new wellness path for the MDA and the Dental Well Being Foundation (DWBF). Five new board members have joined the ranks to help us achieve our new mission. Welcome aboard to Drs. Christy Hager, Mike Frede, Stephen Matthews, Rob Tait and Ms Sharlene Rimiller. 
 
Their first task was to join the full board for a long planning day as we assessed where we were and where we hope to be by the end of 2016. Our key objective areas will be increasing awareness of who we are and what we offer, developing a broader offering of resources, and growing our funding.
 
While the DWBF will always offer treatment options for professionals in distress from substance abuse or other mental and physical illnesses, it will now seek to proactively offer resources that can lead to a healthy professional team and family. These offerings will range from nutrition to weight management to family/marital issues to ergonomics and more. We welcome your input on both needs to address and good resources to add to our toolbox. 
 
Our voyage will take time and need a lot of help from others but we are taking small steps like offering a fitness walk at the House of Delegates and a breakfast CE  on ergonomics at Winter Session. Keep your eyes open for new materials and join us in our journey to take care of our members, their team, and their families. 


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Aug

26

Membership Task Force

Posted by moda on 8/26/2014 11:28:00 AM


 
Today was one that I had been looking forward to for some time. We hosted a Membership Task Force meeting in the basement of the MDA building and it was electric. I love working with such a variety of passionate members and smart staff who all care about making the MDA better.
 
Our task was a sober one: How do we address declining membership trends. We can't ignore them. We must have courage to examine causes and look at the landscape and figure out some ways to improve. We had a great team working on it. Here's the genesis of how it came together.
 
The ADA offers Membership Program for Growth grants to assist states with new outreach or membership ideas. We had previously used one to host our first ever Connect4Success conference for new dentists. It was a success that we are still building off. This time our grant request was for funding to pull together a statewide group to address the membership issue. Once we learned that we had the money, we identified a list of invitees. They were selected to represent every component, different ages, both dental schools, different practice models, both genders, ethnic diversity and different member statuses (never a member, non-renew, long timers, newbies). We had 21 dentists accept the invitation to participate at the event. Prior to that we established an email list serve and had some spirited engagement around a few questions. I knew today would be good based on the honest and reasoned opinions expressed on the list serve.
 
Stacey Kloeppel, MDA Membership Manager, and I worked with the ADA to plan the agenda and pull off the event. It was great to see all three levels of the tripartite working together to improve. That's the Power of 3. We made sure the agenda was interactive and filled with movement and discussion. After all these hearty volunteers sacrificed their Saturday for the great good.
 
Jeanine Pekkarinen and Chris Chico from the ADA, joined me and Stacey and Melissa Albertson as facilitators although it didn't take much to wind this crowd up. There was acceptance of the hard facts and resolve to address them. There was plenty of optimism about the resources at hand and the future of the profession. Basically, we just needed to recommit to the number factor of membership growth...personal interaction. Even with all the data and technology, there is no substitute for welcoming a new member, listening to the issues of one considering not renewing, or engaging a fringe member to be more involved and discover all the benefits of membership.
 
I could go on and on but blogs are short form. Just know that we have some exciting and bold goals to be a relevant, vibrant, valuable, and growing organization focused on helping all members succeed.
 
A big shout out to the ADA and especially all the task force members who gave their time and talent to enrich the association.


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Aug

22

MDA Board Meeting

Posted by Paul on 8/22/2014 11:09:00 AM


 
The MDA Board meets quarterly to handle the business of the association. Today was one such meeting and I thought I would give you a brief look at what happens around the table. While no one mistake the work as sexy and must see TV, I do think you trustees are prepared and engaged for a wide scope of agenda items. This particular agenda included voting for membership awards, approving the budget that will be sent to the House of Delegates,  and hearing presentations on the National Dental Quality Alliance, the Missouri School of Dentistry and Oral Health, and the status of oral health in Missouri. That's Dr. B. Ray Storm, state dental director at DHSS, addressing the group in the photo above.
 
In addition there are reports from committees, discussion items,a report from the executive director and various resolutions to consider. It's a mind meld of important information requiring insightful discussion and decision making. The board materials sent out in advance of the meeting totaled 312 pages! Your trustee is far from a nominal figure. They commit considerable time and study to represent you. Thankfully we have chocolate and caffeine on hand to spur the troops when needed.
 
As a reminder, any member may attend a meeting of the board. You might enjoy getting to know your leadership and watching them in action. You need to let Margie Kunzie know of your intentions so we can plan accordingly for space, etc. Margie@modental.org.


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Aug

05

Give Kids A Smile Up Close

Posted by Paul on 8/5/2014 4:00:00 PM


 
You've seen me use this space often to laud the fine work of Give Kids A Smile. This program began in Missouri and is now a top flight effort in many states. I saw a great interview with Joan Allen, the GKAS Executive Director, on the Goedeker's Home Life blog. It goes into more detail than my space ever allows and it has some great photos. I encourage you to check it out and find a way to support this awesome endeavor. Congratulation to Joan and her whole team! Read the fine interview by blogger Liz Carroll here.


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Aug

01

Oral Health Awareness Month

Posted by Paul on 8/1/2014 8:38:00 AM


 
Welcome to August. It is now officially Oral Health Awareness Month for Missouri. This designation is a result of  House Concurrent Resolution 25 that passed during the recent legislative session. The resolution was sponsored by Representative Donna Lichtenegger of Cape Girardeau. Rep. Lichtenegger is also a RDH and champions oral health in many ways. You can read the official resolution here.
 
The dental community certainly knows the value of prevention and that begins with awareness. What can you do this month to increase awareness where you practice? The MDA will post oral health tips through the month on the MDA Facebook page. There will also be links to MDA's Your Mouth is Talking Campaign and ADA's MouthHealthy,org. Both of these offer great education on oral health habits.
 
Here's a month focused on your profession. Make the most of it!


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Jul

28

Dr John Haynes - In Memoriam

Posted by Paul on 7/28/2014 3:14:00 PM


 
Dr John Haynes  1934-2014
 
It's always sad to learn of a member's death. Last week we lost a good man and a Missouri all star. Dr John Haynes was a personable and stabilizing fixture for UMKC, the MDA, and the profession in general for more than 50 years. He always greeted me by name and made me feel welcomed. I would see him at UMKC or at MOMOM and his enthusiasm for people never waned. He was a life giver to all he met.
 
It's not my place to eulogize him. You can read his obituary here. I was moved by what his peers and students said about him in response to an email with the news of his passing. I won't contribute names. You'll see the sentiment rang true in every case. Rest in Peace, Dr. Haynes.
  • I did not attend UMKC. I met Dr. Haynes because he was everywhere. Always involved, always smiling, always a leader. He always treated myself and everyone else as if we were his best friend
  • Being from St. Louis, I relate him as the Stan Musial of dentistry.  Nobody else played the game as long as he did without one person having a negative thing to say about them, and every person that he encountered having a positive memory of him. I bet he wrote between 20-50 letters of rec. per year. Can you imagine how many careers he directly affected over a 50 year career with that?
  • It truly is a sad day. John was a great person and mentor. He always had a smile and a kind word, no matter what was happening around him. Our profession lost a great one!

  • I just saw and visited with "brother John" at the UMKC SOD alumni conference breakfast. He seemed to be the same as he was 30 plus years ago. I even told him that. He will be missed for sure. He continued to do the work he loved to do till the end. That is a great way to live.

 


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Jul

14

Farmington Fluoridation battle

Posted by Paul on 7/14/2014 10:50:00 AM


The community fluoridation issue is not going away and is not to be taken lightly. Over the weekend, we learned that the city of Farmington, MO is  requesting public input on continuing their community wide fluoridation (CWF). The meeting is planned for July 28th.
 
The MDA immediately notified 7 local member dentists in the Farmington area. Their strong and respected voice will be needed at the meeting. It proved quite helpful to have MDA members engage the public with facts and expertise from their field at other similar city council meetings like the one in Columbia and Forsyth last November.
 
This is the sixth Missouri location we know of to take on this issue in 2014. That equals the number of CWF issues from all of 2013 and we are barely past the halfway point of the year.
 
You can read the local article. I won't rehash all of it for you but it highlights the main debate of cost savings vs potential health benefit. It is important for the dental profession to actively educate the public on this issue.
 
The article allows you to vote your preference on the issue. This is one easy way to represent your opinion on this valuable public health practice. I voted and now I'm blogging about it to raise awareness. What can you do to help?
 
I wish to thank Dr Lori Henderson for her vigilant watchfulness and leadership on the flurodie  issue. Dr Ray Storm, State Dental Director at Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is also instrumental on this front in his new role. It takes everyone of us!


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Jul

09

Dollars and Sense

Posted by Paul on 7/9/2014 8:49:00 AM


 
Yesterday was staff budget day as we prepare a draft of the 2015 MDA budget for the Board Finance Committee to review. It's not sexy work going through all the line items but it is interesting to debate where to allocate the money. There are consistent factors like utilities. There are new priorities and issues that require additional funds. There are "age old" items that honor tradition. And there are plenty of items that get thorough debate. Why do we do fund this? Can it be done for less? Is this essential to our mission? Would new investments now make for greater savings later? There are no easy answers but good stewardship demands that we ask the questions.
 
I'm sure if we engaged all our members in the process, the range of opinions would be extensive. As it is, know that the staff constantly work to review our expenses and habits so as to maximize your dues and benefits. Also know that the Finance Committee and Board will go over every item and make hard choices before presenting a budget to the House of Delegates. Thankfully, the MDA is in strong financial health.
 
Money is always a hot topic and with an organization this large, there's a lot to be accountable for. We are grinding through that now and always welcome your input.
 


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Jun

27

GSLDS Hi - Tech Disco

Posted by Paul on 6/27/2014 2:34:00 PM


 
Burn baby burn, Disco Inferno! Well, it was something like that at GSLDS's 4th annual Hi-Tech Event  last night. My heart skipped a beat when I saw a 70's theme. Alas, my schedule did not allow me to attend. Thankfully, MDA Membership Manager and child of the 70's, Stacey Kloeppel was able to disco down and check out the show.
 
While it may not have been Studio 54 crazy, it was a success! The crowd approached 100 and several staff, members, and vendors made the night festive with special clothing and accessories. You can check out groovy Executive Director Meg Shannon and her afro. There's also Stacey, Dr Jane Otto and Laura Breeden looking like the Mod Squad. It looks like everyone had a blast!
 
As for the purpose of the event, members got to check out the latest gadgets and hi-tech offerings from supportive vendors and sponsors. Plus they had a chance to win all sorts of prizes. How you could pass on such dyn-o-mite fun is beyond my Mr. Kotter brain.
 
Thanks to Drs Hoffman and Rapini and the whole GSLDS membership team who work hard to provide great events for the component members. I will mark it down for next year and keep my platform shoes and John Travolta moves on call.
 
 


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Jun

27

Training the Trainers

Posted by Paul on 6/27/2014 2:09:00 PM


 
Good education programs rely on good leadership, strong curriculum, and equipped teachers. The Expanded Function Dental Assistant (EFDA) program is one such program and it was on display today in the basement conference room at the MDA. While my focus is generally elsewhere, you can't work in the MDA office and not encounter something EFDA related almost every day. So I was happy to see this crowd in person. 
 
MDA staff, Mandy Lewis and Melissa Albertson have done heroic work driving this EFDA beast through all sorts of things like the grant process, the curriculum process, the video process, the materials process, the Missouri Dental Board regulations, the scheduling and conducting of classes and the certification process. It is a first rate program that all MDA members can be proud of. Plus it brings in non dues revenue.
 
Today's event was a Restorative II train the trainer class. This was the first rollout of this class which is still pending approval from the MO Dental Board. Dr Ed Kendrick and Dr Rolfe McCoy delivered the goods to about three dozen attendees from across the state including representation from 7 of our 8 components. Attendess were MDA member dentists/trainers  and educators from CODA schools. You can see the teachers and the full class above. And you can see the always thinking Melissa Albertson soaking up the content.
 
I salute these leaders and volunteers who serve the greater membership with their knowledge and time. To find out more about the EFDA program contact mandy@modental.org.


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Jun

24

Are patients afraid of you?

Posted by Paul on 6/24/2014 11:12:00 AM


It's not news to you dentists that there's often a good bit of patient anxiety related to visiting the dentist. Not everyone appreciates the skill you've worked hard to develop and the gentle care you provide. People fashion all kind of excuses to miss or delay their appointment. But this creative excuse is worth passing along! Thanks to Dr Lynne Barbour for sharing the link.
 
Don't be daunted by this story. You keep doing what you do! This would never happen to an MDA member dentist.

12-year-old fakes own kidnapping to avoid dentist

REX Features

5 hr ago By Jack Linshi of TIME

When police found a 12-year-old boy in a French alpine village in May, he insisted he’d been kidnapped—only, he hadn’t.

For someone who wasn’t actually kidnapped, the boy described his abductor with imaginative detail: a 1.70 m. muscular European man in his mid 30s, clad in a black shirt and light jeans with a vertical scar on his right cheek had whisked him away, reports The Local.By chance, he managed to escape after his abductor had taken him to a town nearly 100 miles from his home.

For a month, police searched for the alleged kidnapper, but came up short. Their skepticism grew when they reviewed security footage from the boy’s hometown. Finally, they re-questioned him.

This time, he admitted something different: just kidding. In reality, he was too petrified to go to the dentist, so he staged his own kidnapping to get out of the appointment.

No word yet on what his parents have to say.

http://news.msn.com/offbeat/12-year-old-fakes-own-kidnapping-to-avoid-dentist


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Jun

23

GKCDS Day at the Royals Game

Posted by Paul on 6/23/2014 2:13:00 PM


 
" Let's Go Royals" was the chant of several dozen Greater Kansas City Dental Society members, friends, staff, sponsors, and families last Saturday at the K. They were gathered as part of the annual Day at the Royals game outing put on by the GKCDS. This was my first year to attend and it was awesome in spite of the heat and the 2-1 loss. Hey the team had just won 11 in a row and moved into first place. A let down is not surprising. I didn't notice anything but smiles (and sweat) on the faces of the people I talked to.
 
Thanks to good sponsors (BWTP, MDIS, UMB, Mallow-Tru Dental Studio, and Delta Dental) we were able to enjoy the event and the game at a very reasonable price. The event started with a catered tailgate and a nice breeze under the tent. People enjoyed their BBQ and cold beverages while visiting with sponsors and friends. The kiddos were active with bag toss. It was great to see both the "wise and experienced" crowd and some younger and newer faces as well. I enjoyed introducing myself to a handful of new faces as well as hobnobbing with the familiar ones.
 
The game still had highlights including Alex Gordon's home run and lots of silly between inning competitions. And there's always the amazing fountains. Ok, on to the photos above. That's Dr.Amy Gillihan (in white) with her office staff. Dr Chad Barth, Dr Wesley Christian, Dr Nikki Banwart Christian, and Dr Barth's wife take in the meal while they visit.  The tent shot reflects the windy but hot day that made photo taking less than desired. And the whole crowd enjoyed the shade of Section 425 with an excellent view of the game.
 


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Jun

06

Springfield New Dentist Event

Posted by Paul on 6/6/2014 10:35:00 AM


Few things are more important for a dental society than recruiting and retaining new members. This begins with an open arms policy toward the new dentists in the area. For the society, it's important to welcome new members, show them the ropes, help them get networked, and explain how organized dentistry works. For the new dentist, it's essential that they develop peers and have a safe place to hone their craft. They will be the guardians of the profession for years to come so it behooves them to learn some history and understand the process.
 
I salute the Greater Springfield Dental Society for hosting an event for the New Dentists in their component.  This speaks volumes for the value they place on being inclusive and welcoming. Judging from the photos, it was a fun and successful event. I would love to share more details but alas, my invitation was lost in the mail. Nonetheless, this event should be celebrated and copied across the state.
 
While I recognize some faces, I don't know all the names so I will let you play "who's that?'.
 


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May

31

Special Smiles

Posted by moda on 5/31/2014 3:45:00 PM


 
For the first time in my three years with the MDA I had the privilege of attending the Special Smiles oral health screenings that were part of the Healthy Athletes program at the Special Olympics Summer Games. I was amazed! By everything!
 
First the organization from Johnathon Hankinson and his team at Special Olympics made it very easy for us to participate. Secondly, the athletes and their caregivers are so positive and grateful. You couldn't help but be inspired. Our team of 21 folks were able to screen 230 athletes from 10-3 on Saturday May 31. This is a valuable service for at an risk population that often has access issues. A good dose of prevention and education goes a long way. Plus they each left with a new brush, paste, and other goodies. And lastly, I was blown away by my volunteer team. We were in a hot and noisy gym and they never fatigued and treated every athlete like their only patient. I was humbled by their generous sacrifice on a sunny weekend summer afternoon. Many drove some distance to participate. I salute them all in this list:
 
Dr Bethany Baillargeon, Dr Suzanne Beck, Dr Gary Groff, Dr Kyle Lisenby, Dr Will Marshall, Dr Brad Miller, and Dr Jeff Paska. Plus we had RDH's Danielle Lasater and Natasha Liebhart and our other super sweet gang was Mary Cameron, Alex Foor, Sainy Hassam, Amanda Krajsa, Avis Marshall, Brittany Miller, Kristine Penrod, Parsa Owtad, Leah Roberts, Brooke Sabia, Kerrie Smith,  and Dina Tanbakuchi.
 
I loved this event and will be sure to be back for more. Hope to see you at the next one!


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May

21

Washington Leadership Conference

Posted by Paul on 5/21/2014 3:13:00 PM


 
Advocacy for the profession, consistently ranks as a top benefit named by MDA members every year. They seem to understand how important it is to lobby for laws that protect the patient, the profession, and the business. This process is often slower than we desire but an absence at the table is a worse fate. You can be proud of the work the MDA Legislative team does at the state level. Many of you support that work through MODentPac giving. Thank you!

But this political engagement is just as vital at the federal level and that's where the ADA's Washington Leadership Conference comes in. This past week, the MDA delegation took part in a fast paced conference and paid a visit to MO Congressman, Jason Smith.
 
For a full report on the conference or how it impacts Missouri, reach out to MDA Legislative and Regulatory Director, Patrick Baker at Patrick@modental.org.
 
I was sent some photos and wanted to highlight and thank the Missouri delegation. You will see the team above in the photo by the Capitol. They are from L-R: Drs Charles McGinty, Bob Butler, Elwood Rice, Tim Curry, Cheryl Haley, Mark Zust, and David Struble. The same team is joined by Patrick Baker in Congressman Smith's office. Our very own, Dr Charles McGinty is the ADPAC Chair Elect. We are proud of him! And among the many speakers was Dana Perino, former White House Press Secretary and political commentator on Fox News.


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Apr

28

Healthy Kids Day - Take 3

Posted by Paul on 4/28/2014 11:19:00 AM


 
Last Saturday was the third edition of our Healthy Kids Day outreach in partnership with Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the YMCA. We use grant dollars from DHSS to purchase and ship oral health materials to YMCA's around the state who are kicking off their summer offerings with a health fair. The Y provides the space and the MDA provides the volunteers to man the table and educate the audience while distributing the goodies. This year's theme was 2Min2X and every child received a 2 minute sand timer to help them learn the need to brush twice a day for two minutes each time.
 
With MOMOM just one week away, I was unable to attend an event this year but the numbers were strong again with 10 YMCA's participating and 1700 goodie bags distributed. A special shout out to the Leadership Class kids from Jefferson City High School who came to the MDA and power packed all those bags in 90 minutes.
 
Thanks to all the volunteers who served on this busy Saturday!


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Mar

11

FFT - Dr Jon Copeland

Posted by Paul on 3/11/2014 4:25:00 PM


 
Today was another fabulous installment of the MDA's Food for Thought program at UMKC. The sun was shining. The food was delicious Oklahoma Joe's BBQ, and the speaker was none other than the genuine and engaging Dr Jon Copeland (UMKC '09). Dr Copeland made the trip all the way from Wildwood, MO to share his experience with the 120+ in attendance.
 
After some preliminary remarks about his 5 years experience post graduation, Dr Copeland took a wide range of questions from the students who were curious about everything from student loans to CE to partnerships to  family issues. Dr Copeland was funny and realistic while sharing his opinions. It's the perfect brief, genuine, direct, and positive interaction we want our members to share with their future colleagues. And according to one student's unsolicited feedback, we are hitting the target when it comes to what students want from FFT. Giving out $20 bills to 5 lucky winners doesn't hurt either!
 
April 15th is the last scheduled FFT for the school year. Dr Dustin Burleson, reigning MDA New Dentist of the Year and recent ADA Golden Apple Award winner will be our speaker. We will make a concerted effort to convert 4th year students from student membership to MDA membership and we will have a palooza of cash and prizes to give away. The more events the students attended throughout the year, the better their chances are at winning.
 
Thanks again to Dr Copeland and all who work to make FFT a success. Keep watching for a report on our grand finale!


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Feb

26

MDA Legislative Day 2014

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


 
It was lovely day today to set MDA members loose on the Capitol to meet with their legislative representatives and advocate for your profession. In total 20+ members came to Jefferson City to make rounds and talk up the MDA's legislative agenda from a provider's viewpoint.
 
I was so busy shuttling these committed politico's back and forth from the MDA office that I only had a chance to grab one photo of some of the Springfield group. Above you will see Drs Castleman, Vance, Struble, Stone, Kessler, Haley, and Bates as they finish their briefing at the MDA office. Perhaps later I will have some photos to share of our members with elected officials at the Capitol.
 
Thanks to Patrick Baker, MDA Legislative Director, for designing and executing a very prepared and efficient plan. All the reports I heard while shuttling were very positive about good meetings that were on time and expected by the legislator, being well prepared to present our issues, and having a good profile as a profession at the Capitol.
 
Momentum is good but it takes all hands. Please consider supporting  MODentPac and attending Legislative Day in the future. Any time you are in town, let Patrick know and he can try to arrange a meeting with your legislator. Advocacy wins for all!


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Feb

25

Burritos and Wisdom at Food for Thought

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


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


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Feb

07

Give Kids A Smile at UMKC

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


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


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Jan

20

New Dentist Reception at Winter Session

Posted by Paul on 1/20/2014 5:23:00 PM


When you're special like the New Dentists, you get your own private reception after the big Winter Session Happy Hour. The special event was held at chic Room 38, a cozy little bar downtown. The MDA sponsored reception was co-hosted by Dr Ron Wilkerson and Dr Emily Mattingly. More than 20 attendees piled into the plush red velvet walled party room for some appetizers and cocktails. Other than a brief moment of introductions, the agenda was simply to connect with other new dentists around the state and swap notes on building careers, raising families, and learning the ropes of organized dentistry.
 
The event was scheduled to keep momentum from the Connect4Success conference last June and build toward the national ADA ND conference in KC this July. The plan seems to be working. We may do it again at the UMKC Alumni conference so keep your ears open.
 
I was the designated driver and I was enjoying the company so much, I forgot to take pictures. Below is the only one I snapped. It's Drs David and Emily Mattingly from Chillicothe with fellow ND, Dr Maice Scott from Columbia.
 


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Jan

20

More Winter Session

Posted by Paul on 1/20/2014 5:17:00 PM


More scenes from Winter Session because you know you love to look!
 


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Jan

20

Winter Session 2014

Posted by moda on 1/20/2014 5:00:00 PM


Winter Session, MDA's annual CE conference was last weekend and once again it was a strong event. More than 250 attendees braved cold weather to enjoy diverse class offerings, a sold out exhibit hall, and those annual personal encounters and reunions that make the work fun. Inside the warm, newly renovated hotel (thanks SEC!), there was opportunity to see the latest gadgets, enjoy happy hour, learn about upcoming events (MOMOM!) and buy a 50/50 raffle ticket to support the MDA Foundation. This year's winner, Dr Matt Theriac, graciously donated his winnings back. Thank you! Enjoy some photos from the event and make plans to attend next year!
 
 


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Jan

03

New Year - New Focus

Posted by Paul on 1/3/2014 8:07:00 AM


Welcome to 2014! Everyone loves a fresh start. Don't believe me? Just try to get a parking spot at your local gym. Ha! Due to some shifting in job duties, my gym this year will be the MDA's foundations. My new title is Foundation and Outreach Director. I will focus on working with the MDA and Well Being Foundation boards to grow both groups and execute a variety of projects - primarily MOMOM. It feels like a good fit and I'm excited. Plus I will keep outreach on my plate as I enjoy traveling to be at member events and to work with a wide range of MDA related audiences. Hopefully that keeps my blog filled with photos and updates.
 
Why not make 2014 a banner year for yourself when it comes to organized dentistry? Just one small level of engagement from everyone enhances the vitality of your association. No need to skyrocket toward being an ADA delegate. Take a baby step first. You can recommit to a local study club. Perhaps you engage with your component and serve on a committee or help with an event. This may be the year you and your staff attend MOMOM. You can come represent your profession at Legislative Day (2/26). We will show you around the Capitol. Or you can earmark www.modental.org. and see all that's going on and jump in when you are ready. The bottom line is although I believe your dues deliver exceptional value and benefit, we all know the maxim that you get out of something what you put into it. This year put a little of yourself into your association and see what you get out. It's likely to be very rewarding to you and beneficial to others.
 
Happy New Year!


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Dec

19

Welcome to the MDA, Elisha!

Posted by Paul on 12/19/2013 1:32:00 PM


 
Allow me to introduce the latest addition to the MDA staff, Ms Elisha Kleffner. She started this past Monday and will be assuming the role of Graphic Design and Content Manager and report to Melissa Albertson, MDA's Communication Director. She comes to the MDA after a few years with the MO Department of Natural Resources. Her qualifications are impressive and her enthusiasm and work ethic will fit right in. Elisha is married to Jamie aka Snoopy (he and Vicki's husband, Tooter, can discuss the pros and cons of nicknames!). They live in Rich Fountain, Mo. Elisha was quite the softball pitcher for Fatima and helped them win back to back state titles. She went on to a good career at Missouri Southern and now spends a lot of her free time training aspiring young pitchers in mid Missouri.
 
You will see more of Elisha's work in the future. She's a valuable player in MDA's production of appealing print pieces and tools. She will also keep all the MDA news fresh and accurate across many platforms including the website and social media venues. Please welcome her when you get a chance to meet her or send her a note at Elisha@modental.org.


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Nov

26

A Tiger Through and Through

Posted by Paul on 11/26/2013 10:04:00 AM


(Photo)
 
That young man is none other than MDA's own Dr Michael Bennett. He played defense for Dan Devine and the Missouri Tigers back in the late 1960's. It was a heyday for Missouri football as the Tigers and Dr Bennett played Bear Bryant in the Gator Bowl and Joe Paterno in the Orange Bowl. You can hear about it firsthand by listening to this interview Dr Bennett did with Gary Link before the Missouri- Ole Miss game last weekend. Thank you Learfield Sports for the audio.
 
As fate would have it, I have seen Dr Bennett at road games in Knoxville and Nashville. He is a true Tiger and he must be enjoying this recent revival of good fortune for the football team.
 
With a win over Texas A&M this weekend, the Missouri Tigers will advance to the SEC Championship game in just their second year in the conference. It's possible that their opponent will be the Auburn Tigers. That's where my good will ends. As an Auburn graduate, I am also a Tiger through and through. But let's cross that bridge when we come to it. For now, I have nothing but pride and joy for Dr Bennett and his Missouri Tigers. M- I- Z....!
 


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Nov

26

Forsyth Fluoridation

Posted by Paul on 11/26/2013 9:47:00 AM


The Forsyth Board of Aldermen at their regular meeting last night voted to keep fluoride in the city water.  That was the positive first line in an email this morning from Julie Schanda, Dental Division Manager at the Taney County Health Department. You can read the local news report here.

While this is great news in itself, I'd like to highlight the power of teamwork. Julie had contacted the MDA at the end of October for assistance as she gathered information to present to the city council. Dr Lori Henderson who had just been through a big vote in Columbia was eager to jump in and help. Dr Jody Vance, the MDA trustee in the area, provided some guidance. The Pew Charitable Trust and the Missouri Coalition for Oral health also provided key resources. They all worked together and the outcome was positive for the oral health of thousands of citizens.

These shared resources and teamwork are perfect examples of the value of MDA membership. You are not alone!


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Nov

19

Food for Thought - The Hildebrands

Posted by Paul on 11/19/2013 8:56:00 AM


 
Drs Matt and Robin Hildebrand were guest speakers at today's Food for Thought program with UMKC dental students and they were a big hit! Both 2011 graduates of UMKC SOD, they have experienced a lot in two short years. They married, bought a house, bought a practice, opened a practice, and had a child. Oh yeah, Robin also served a year as president of NWDS. Talk about diving in head first!
 
Actually, that was their message to students, "Go for it!". Students responded well to their honest, humble real life stories about life after graduation. The Hildebrands acknowledged that their journey may not be for everyone but the principles they shared about taking risks, working with banks, communicating with other area dentists, exploring different job styles, and just getting started with a career were all very applicable. The abundance of questions were proof of the engaging presentation.
 
Add in some Boston Market lunch and the chance for 5 students to win $20 cash and you have a solid Food for Thought program. Our numbers are growing and the students are staying around and engaging more and that's our goal. We want to show them from the very beginning how the MDA and organized dentistry can really enhance their career in a variety of ways.
 
Thanks, Dr Matt and Dr Robin! Good luck with all your new adventures. Meanwhile, FFT will take a holiday break and resume on February 18th.


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Nov

15

Mouse Race - Competition and Victory

Posted by Paul on 11/15/2013 11:39:00 AM


 
The mouse racing action is fast, furious, and funny. And to the victor goes the spoils. This year the victor was Austyn Feldmann from Edmonds Dental Prosthetics Lab and the spoils were the 2013 Grand Champion Cheesehead and a bag of $100,000 candy bars. But the real prize was the glory and esteem and fame that comes from being a grand champion. Austyn can enjoy for that for a whole year.
 
See you racing fans next time!


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Nov

15

Mouse Race - The Scenes

Posted by Paul on 11/15/2013 11:33:00 AM


 
I'll let you write your own captions!


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Nov

15

Mouse Race - Sponsor action

Posted by Paul on 11/15/2013 11:26:00 AM


 
Sponsors are the key to success because they believe in you and provide the "juice" to get worthy projects rolling. There is no way I can feature or name every single one but we did have some fun with the ones in attendance. We held a special "Heads or Tails" game just for sponsors. As you can tell,  normally mild mannered and professional people get a little goofy when competing! They were all good sports and Paul Phillips from Edmonds Dental Prosthetics Lab was the big winner. He received a bottle of "Lotto" wine and 25 lottery tickets. Congrats!


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Nov

15

Mouse Race 2013 - Say Cheese!

Posted by Paul on 11/15/2013 10:59:00 AM


 
Last night we held the second edition of Mouse Races and Game Night. It was a blast for all those in attendance and more importantly we grossed more than $12,800 for three great dental charities. Thank you to all our sponsors and supporters who made us successful. To see a full list of sponsors and to learn more about the charities, click here.
 
The night was filled with joviality as people ate and drank, played blackjack, cut up in costumes at the photo booth,cheered on Mouse Roulette, bought raffle tickets, bid on auction items, and most importantly bet on the races! 7 times we took bets on the mice and then gathered in spirited unity around the track to watch the fierce and often comical competition. It's funny to see how quickly you get wrapped up in a rodent that you've placed $2 on to win a 30 foot race!!
 
The next posts will have more photos. I hope they charm you into making plans to join us next year. Just look how happy Dr Ken Weinand is with the results (last photo).
 
Shannon Woodcock, my co-lead from Delta Dental Health Theater, and I want to sincerely thank everyone who helped us in all manner of ways to make the night a success. We appreciate you!


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Nov

12

Welcome Aboard to the Board

Posted by Paul on 11/12/2013 11:42:00 AM


 
A healthy organization like a solid sports program always has solid, prepared people waiting in the wings for their turn to contribute. Thankfully, that's the case for the MDA. All of our components and audiences have strong leaders emerging and willing to contribute to the greater cause. I'd like to welcome two new trustees to our MDA Board.
 
On the left is Dr Ron Wilkerson. He is the New Dentist representative on the Board. Dr Wilkerson graduated from SIU and practices in St James. He's active on the state new dentist committee and will make a great addition to the team!
 
On the right is Dr Michael LaFerla. He is the new SWDS trustee. Dr LaFerla is a Nebraska graduate and practices as an orthodontist in Joplin. His office was our gracious host for several meetings after the tornado. He's battle ready!


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Nov

12

HOD - Friends and Family

Posted by Paul on 11/12/2013 11:30:00 AM


 
Relationships fuel life and great organizations like the MDA. We all excel when we value each other and work together. Here are a few pics of the fun side of life.
 
The Dr Merle Nunemaker family was on hand for his installation as president.
Dr John Hume played enforcer at the MODentPac table and roped Dr John Freeze and Dr Prabu Raman into signing up!
ADA Sixth District Trustee, Dr Mark Zust (and wife, Phyllis) played the role of proud grandparents with daughter, Dr Danielle Riordan.
Dr Bill Kane's large and lovely family were present to celebrate his honor.
And Rebecca Mowen, Program Administrator for the Well Being Program, celebrates with Well Being Foundation President, Dr Bill Kane.


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Nov

12

HOD - Awards Night

Posted by Paul on 11/12/2013 11:04:00 AM


 
The Awards Banquet is the MDA at its finest. It's fun to see colleagues and families come together and reflect on the achievements and milestones. It;s important to slow down every once in a while and pay tribute to those who give so much to dentistry, the public and the MDA. Space does not permit me to recount all the highlights of each recipient so I will simply identify the winners. Please join me in congratulating all of them!
 
Dr Barbour acknowledged Dr Nunemaker's year as president elect and welcomed him to the helm.
Dr Barbour thanked Dr Bill Rice for his four tenure as trustee from the SWDS. He will be missed but still active as he presides over the MDIS board.
Representative Chris Molendorp received the Legislative Excellence award for his support and role in the most productive legislative year in recent memory. We actually gave this award to two people. Unfortunately Senator Scott P Rupp was unable to join us.
Our Focus editor, Dr Jim Nail, was honored nationally by the William J. Gies Foundation Editorial Award Judging Committee for his third place editorial, "The lessons I Learned from Herpes".
Dr William T. Kane was a very deserving recipient of the Dentist of the Year award. His humble and dedicated service to many was duly applauded and celebrated.
The family of Dr George Bailey, deceased, was on hand to accept his honor as the Distinguished Service award winner. Dr Bailey gave tirelessly to the profession and always with great zest. He will be missed.
Finally, Drs Standlee and Kirchhoff were recognized for 25 years of membership and service in the MDA.
 
 


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Nov

12

HOD - Honors and Guests

Posted by Paul on 11/12/2013 10:46:00 AM


 
There were several highlights from the House meetings. Missouri is always the first stop for the new ADA President Elect. This year, Dr Maxine Feinberg joined us not even a week after the ADA House had elected her. She shared some challenges and developments that are on the horizon and she let us know she likes the Butter Brickle ice cream at Central Dairy. Thank you, Dr Feinberg and all the best!
 
Dr Feinberg also installed the MDA's new slate of officers: Speaker Dr Bob Butler, President Dr Merle Nunemaker, President Elect Dr Joe Sokolowski, and Treasurer Dr Dan Kessler.
 
During the Donated Dental Services report given by Dr Michael Berry of Mexico, two doctors were honored for their commitment and generosity to the program. Thank you Dr Guy Bates and Dr Jim Schmidt for your involvement with DDS.
 
Speaker Dr Bob Butler presented the New Dentist of the Year award to Dr Dustin Burelson before the awards banquet because Dr Burelson needed to fly to Chicago to present to another group. But have no fear, he flew back for the conclusion of House business. That dedication is just one reason he is a deserving recipient of this award. Congratulations, Dr Burelson!


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Nov

12

HOD - Past Presidents

Posted by Paul on 11/12/2013 10:21:00 AM


 
Tradition has it that after the last board meeting and before the first House meeting, the past presidents of the MDA host a reception for the immediate past president. This year the club welcomed the first female president of the MDA, Dr Lynne Barbour.
 
Unrecorded and unverified but nonetheless legendary are the tales associated with these gatherings. It is has been my privilege to work with three presidents during my short tenure with the MDA. However looking at the photo, I realize how all these former head honchos are still serving and active today. That is commendable and a great example for our young leaders. I salute and thank this wonderful group for all they have done for the MDA and the profession.
 
I'll test your knowledge and give you the names and see if you can match them to the correct dentist.  Edwards, Zust, Hume, Rice, Haney, Standlee, McCoy, Wyckoff, Barbour, McGinty, Pratt, Kirchhoff, and Fox.


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Nov

11

House of Delegates Overview

Posted by Paul on 11/11/2013 3:29:00 PM


The end of last week was busy and significant on many levels. Thursday was the final MDA Board meeting with Dr Lynne Barbour at the helm. There were many issues to cover plus a final board review of all resolutions going to the MDA House of Delegates.
 
Friday is heavy lifting day at the House of Delegates with regional caucus meetings over breakfast, then the first meeting of the House, then reference committee meetings, and finally the annual award banquet.
 
Saturday, the House finishes its business by voting on the resolutions that will direct much of the Board and staff's energy this next year. New officers are installed and the new president, Dr Merle Nunemaker leads his first board meeting.
 
There are a lot of moving parts but this process is so important. Its where your profession and its leaders chart our course for the future. Beyond the business, it's wonderful to see old friends and families and new members engage together both professionally and socially.
 
The scene is a photo taking bonanza with guest speakers, honorees, and comings and goings at every turn. The next few post will give you a visual taste. I encourage you to ask your local leaders for their impressions of the week and the work ahead. We are all in it together!


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Nov

06

A Victory for Fluoridation!

Posted by Paul on 11/6/2013 2:13:00 PM


Last night was a big win for the oral health status of people residing in the City of Columbia. The city council voted 7-0 to continue fluoridating the city water supply. This is the culmination of a lengthy dialog about the merits and safety of fluoride in the water supply. I tip my hat to MDA member, Dr Lori Henderson, for her engagement in this and her influence in the outcome. Kudos to all Columbia dental professionals who also contributed their support and testimony. You can read more here.
 
As dental professionals you know the wonders of fluoride as a public health issue. Thankfully 79.7% of Missouri's water supply systems are fluoridated. But did you know many Missouri cities are reviewing that practice? It usually comes down to budget factors and unfounded health fears as reasons for review. The  financial impact of long term health issues on a community from a lack of fluoride  far outweigh the minor savings in a city budget from dropping the line item for fluoride. Your expert professional opinion and involvement can play a big role in protecting your community. Stay alert and stay vocal!
 
Next up on the fluoride front is a city council debate in Forsyth, MO on Monday, November 18th.


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Nov

04

M-I-Z ...Day at the Game is roaring success!

Posted by Paul on 11/4/2013 10:14:00 AM


 
M-I-Z...Z-O-U!!
 
This past Saturday MDA hosted their annual Day at the Game tailgate before the Missouri - Tennessee game. For the first time in my three years with the MDA, the game was a night kickoff and not an 11 am kickoff. That meant people had a chance to wake up and the weather had a chance to warm up. Both made for a very enjoyable event for all in attendance.
 
But that's not all. Add your dentist buddies and families, throw in some excellent BBQ and beverages, and then close it out with a dominating SEC football victory and you have one fantastic day. Thanks to MDIS for sponsoring the tailgate and thanks to all our members and guests for making it memorable. I hope you wear your #1 Fan t-shirts with pride.
 
I certainly enjoyed seeing familiar faces and meeting new guests. I highly recommend you including this in your plans next fall. 
 
FYI- When beverages are involved, I'm not always good with names so I won't risk insult but the photos above include some of the young and beautiful jet-set from Columbia, the Dr Elwood Rice family who faithfully attend every year, and some spirited (and respected trustee, officer, doctor) rascals from Springfield enjoying a dude's outing.


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Oct

16

Fighting for Fluoride

Posted by Paul on 10/16/2013 9:42:00 AM


Those in dentistry certainly understand the contribution of fluoridation to the citizens' oral health status. It is disconcerting to see many municipalities remove fluoride from their water systems based primarily on economic reasons. Such is the case in O'Fallon, Missouri as reported in an article on KMOV's web site.
 
You can read the article here.  What I want to focus on is the advocacy of MDA member dentist, Dr James Burchett. He understands the stakes and took the time to present the case for fluoridation to the City Council. There is no stronger statement than for a local citizen with expertise and concern to speak up. I salute Dr Burchett regardless of the ultimate outcome.
 
This is one of the most tangible ways a member can serve their community. Be informed and watchful (municipalities don't always advertise their intentions and budget moves) and then respectfully speak up from your platform of expertise. Your influence can save the city far more health related dollars than will ever be saved by eliminating fluoride.
 
The MDA offers a wide variety of fluoridation resources under the FAQ section of the members only portion of our web site at www.modental.org.


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Oct

14

Congrats to Retiring Dr Simmons

Posted by Paul on 10/14/2013 2:58:00 PM


(Photo)
 
Here at the MDA, we don't always immediately know when members make certain transitions like opening a new practice or retiring from a great career. Thankfully, our news alert catches some good articles for us like this one in yesterday's Dexter Daily Statesman about Dr. John David Simmons. He's retiring after thirty-five years.  As a new grandfather, a musician, and a golfer, Dr Simmons has plenty of options for an active and happy retirement. All of us at the MDA office and your fellow member dentists wish you the best!
Congratulations on a wonderful career and best of luck on the golf course.


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Sep

20

Officer Installations in Opposite Corners - Part 2 NWDS

Posted by Paul on 9/20/2013 11:46:00 AM


 
While some of the gang was in Cape Girardeau for the SEDS officer installation (see post below), I had the honor of being all the way across the state in St Joseph for the NWDS officer installation. They had a strong turnout and the business meeting was very lively. I like to see engaged members. It was nice to meet some people I had only known by name previously. Here's your photo guide from our day together.
 
1. Yours truly installs the new NWDS officers from L-R: Dr Andy Trout as President, Dr Bob Ruwwe as President-elect, and Dr Jeff Gardner as Treasurer.
2. Dr Robin Hildebrand receives her plaque as outgoing president. She's a good example of jumping in and leading when she's just been out of school a few years. She's also an example of good planning as she finished her term before her baby arrived!
3. Dr Rolfe McCoy, MDA Trustee from NWDS, addresses the group. There were many hot topics that Dr McCoy and I covered to keep our members up to speed.


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Sep

15

My Real Vote for Miss America

Posted by Paul on 9/15/2013 2:24:00 PM


 
How could I overlook one of our own? This is why I need to avoid entertainment blogging. After my post about Miss Kansas, which occurred just because I read an article about her dentistry connection, several people let me know that our very own Miss Missouri had legit dental connections of her own. Shelby Ringdalh, Miss Missouri, is the daughter of Dr Bruce and Erika Ringdahl in Columbia.  My apologies for this oversight!
 
It looks like we have a new leader in the clubhouse. Shelby is a Rock Bridge High School graduate and a senior at TCU majoring in musical theater. She advocates for abused children through the CASA program in Missouri. This solid resource helps children not get neglected in the overburdened legal and social service system. While I've never met Shelby, how can Missouri lose with such a bright and lovely lady representing us? Congrats to the Ringdahl family, Columbia, and all fans across the state for her accomplishments. Once again, dentistry is leading the way!
 
PS - Alas, Miss New Jersey won over both these worthy candidates. I'm sure she will represent America well but I can still be a homer for the Midwest. Now, back to my regular blogging duties.


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Sep

05

It ain't cheap being the Tooth Fairy

Posted by Paul on 9/5/2013 9:05:00 AM


 
The Tooth Fairy may take many different forms but there is no doubt that the Tooth Fairy has long been an essential part of the dental family. The fabled nymph has helped children worldwide overcome the fear or pain of losing a tooth by rewarding loot in exchange for their trouble and sacrifice. Who among us cannot recall stashing that tiny piece of enamel under your pillow with dreams of waking up to discover cold,hard cash in its place? It's a winning proposition and it can give a small child a more favorable view of oral health.
 
Back in the early days of LBJ's administration, I treasured the discovery of a shiny quarter under my pillow. I felt like a gap toothed millionaire! I imagined the Tooth Fairy with a change belt around her waist, dispensing quarters to brave children everywhere during her overnight delivery routes. Well times have changed and even the Tooth Fairy has not escaped inflation.
 
According to this recent article, kids today get $3.70 per tooth. That's almost 14 more quarters than I got!! And it's a 42% spike in payouts just over the last two years. Where does the dough come from? Is the Tooth Fairy a spoiled  trust fund baby with a pushover daddy bankrolling her nightly jaunts? I could buy a candy bar and a soda for my quarter but even in today's world $3.70 can buy a whole lot more. Durn, lucky kids! They have no idea how good they got it.
 
But perhaps the article is really pointing to the value of good oral healthcare from the cradle to the grave. I don't need to tell this audience that. You guys have long been singing that tune. Keep it up and use all the resources at hand - including the lovely Tooth Fairy.


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Aug

22

Smiles of Hope in Dexter

Posted by Paul on 8/22/2013 1:57:00 PM


The Image In the Mirror is a … SMILE!!
 
MOMOM and Give Kids A Smile are two of the more notable charitable dental clinics in Missouri that I mention frequently. But I've learned from my travels and interactions with members that all sorts of charitable dentistry gets done across this state on a daily basis. I would like to start highlighting some of them. Today's spotlight is down in the southeast part of the state in Dexter, MO. It's called Smiles of Hope.
 
What I like about Smiles of Hope is how it's organically grown from a humble start to be a well oiled monthly outreach involving both community and dental volunteers. It's hard to tell who benefits more from the program - the volunteers providing the service or the patients receiving the treatment.
 
Dr Bill Kane is passionate about helping others in need of dental care. He was a tooth pulling machine at the last MOMOM in Cape. He's been telling me about Smiles of Hope for awhile now. Recently he sent me this link to an article about the clinic and this
link to a YouTube video that tells their story. Both are better than my words so check them out. If you wish to volunteer or find out more, reach out to Dr. Kane at wtkane@newwavecomm.net.
 


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Aug

05

Such a Deal - Tell someone!

Posted by Paul on 8/5/2013 2:15:00 PM


Following up on my post from 7/26/13, listed below is just one thing the ADA is doing to attract new members. Do you work with non-members or have friends who have not renewed their membership? This might be the ticket to re-engage them and help them rediscover member benefits. I'd encourage you to take 3 minutes and make a call or start a conversation. Nothing says "welcome" like the personal touch of one professional reaching out to another and endorsing their professional association. It will do you both a world of good.
 
And did you know this past month that MDA has gained 25 new members while reducing non renewals by 12? That's good stuff!
 

The ½ year dues campaign is dropping this week. Eligible non-members will be receiving a postcard and a package that includes a letter, an application, and a postage-paid return envelope.

A second wave of packages will go out in a couple of weeks (letter + application) and there are planned emails to this audience as well. Regarding the insurance new for 2013 there is an incentive to join—new members receive 6 months of life insurance at no cost to the member. The amount of insurance differs depending on the member’s age. Group A was sent to non-members over the age of 44. Group B is mailing to non-members under age 45.


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Aug

02

New Dentists Spotlight - Dr Cyndi Ulrich

Posted by Paul on 8/2/2013 8:21:00 AM



 

“A Cape Girardeau native, Dr Cyndi Ulrich has had one adventuresome journey since graduating from UMKC SOD in 2011. Through it all her enthusiasm for her profession has never waned. Her professional experience has been a mix of returning to her hometown, working in public health in Jefferson City, finding a hit n miss mentality at different offices, and working locum tenens across the state. She seems to have found a good niche now working as the only dentist at Meramec Family Dentistry in Arnold, Mo.

 

Dr Ulrich and I hit the MDA scene about the same time since I started working here in late April 2011. As I tried to learn about membership and mindsets, Dr Ulrich was my go to source for how a new dentist thinks and what they value. She willingly gave me input on a presentation I made to UMKC students at Food for Thought. She took every challenge I tossed her way including attending Legislative Day and serving as an at large member on the state ND committee. Through it all, she’s learned a ton they didn’t cover in school and has been honest about the difficulty of finding your place in this lucrative career called dentistry. In fact, Dr Ulrich will be a speaker this fall and address these issues head on when she shares with UMKC students at an upcoming Food for Thought. It’s this “real life” stuff that the students beg us to provide.

 

I appreciate Dr Ulrich’s candor and willingness to plug in and discover what organized dentistry means to her. I can only hope that all our new graduates choose to do the same. Hopefully, the MDA has offered some good resources to help Dr Ulrich along the way. We must be doing something right because she called and begged me to bring her an MDA sticker for her office door. The photo above captures her excitement over it all. Best wishes to her and all our new dentists as they figure their careers out. Remember, the MDA is here to help.”


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Jul

01

C4S: What's Next?

Posted by Paul on 7/1/2013 4:25:00 PM


 
Do you wish you had come to C4S? I hope so but that's why this is just the inaugural event. The NDC and the MDA plan to build on this momentum and help in any way possible so our new dentists members feel connected and find success as they build their careers and rise to serve in various leadership roles. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
 
1. Next summer we can all convene at the ADA NDC which we are hosting in Kansas City. Take advantage of the low travel costs and join NDs from all over as you partake in a full offering of great resources. Mark your calendar for July 17-19, 2014.
2. Discussions are under way for a reception or gathering of NDs at the MDA's Winter Session in Columbia next January 17-18, 2014. Save the date and watch for developments.
3. Reach out to me at paul@modental.org for names or contacts in your area so you can get connected for success.
 
Thanks to the hard working and fun NDC members who helped shape this first time event. Also thanks to Mandy Lewis in the MDA office who led our staff in this effort. Well done everyone!


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Jul

01

C4S: The Social Aspect

Posted by Paul on 7/1/2013 4:02:00 PM


 
We chose the title, Connect4Success, intentionally because we wanted to emphasize the need to meet and know your colleagues. This fosters better organizational leadership, deeper professional relationships, and some much needed relaxation. To that end, we made sure the C4S event had several chances to network. Besides the opening luncheon and breaks, the big event was the rooftop Rum Extravaganza Reception late Friday afternoon. I think it was the highlight for most people. Judging by the slowly rolling in crowd at breakfast the next day on the same rooftop, the entire night was quite fun!
 
I'll spare you the breakfast photos and concentrate on the reception. Here's a social guide to help you identify photos. I hope I get names right!
 
1. Dr David Urbanek (GSLDS) shakes hands with Dr Courtney Beussink (SEDS).
2. Drs Nick Matthews and Jeremy Bowen (both GSDS) share a beer.
3. Dr Sarah Mahaffey (ND state committee chair/GSDS) visits with Dr Crystal Strickler (CDS).
4. Minnesota Dental student and future St Louis resident Melanie Cyra visits with MDA executive director, Vicki Wilbers.
5. Dr Conrad Journee (GKCDS) soaks up the lake view with Dr Fallon Stiens (NWDS) and her husband.
6. Springfield was well represented with Drs. Nick Matthews, Nick Hein,  Josh Montgomery, Darren Mahaffey, Sarah Mahaffey, David Altman, Nathan Bauer, Jody Vance, and Dan Kessler.
7. The golf crew talked a lot of smack but scorecards and drink consumption will not be revealed! Survivors include Dr Darren Mahaffey (GSDS), Dr Brian Sutton (GKCDS), me, Dr Jon Copeland (organizer/GSLDS), Dr Patrick Jordan (NWDS) and Dr Peter Mohn (KS)


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Jul

01

C4S: Sponsors and Presenters

Posted by moda on 7/1/2013 3:36:00 PM


 
Critical to the success of a new event is the support of sponsors and good content. We wanted to keep the intimate feel of a smaller crowd so we asked two sponsors to carry the load along with some vital grant help from the ADA. Stepping up to help us were MDIS and Edmonds Dental Prosthetics Inc. Both took an active role in meeting and assisting all the attendees.
 
The first photo is Paul Phillips from Edmonds. They not only exhibited but Paul was a presenter on the topic of Lab Communication: Achieving Excellent Results. Another long time partner is MDIS who not only sponsored but scheduled their board meeting around the conference so they could hear Dr Gallery and meet all the attendees. Above, Greg Russell, executive vice president of MDIS, speaks at the opening luncheon.
 
Rounding out our excellent field of presenters were Dr Craig Hollander and two gentlemen from the McGill and Hill Group located in North Carolina. Dr Hollander's topic was Dentistry for Children: Getting and Early Start. The final topics of Financial Independence for New Doctors and Investing 101 for New Doctors were deftly handled by Jeffrey Harrell and Brett Miller. Their topics seem to resonate from the head to the wallet of everyone in attendance.
 
A special thanks to sponsors and presenters for their active engagement in making C4S a winner.
 


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Jul

01

C4S: Succesful Launch!

Posted by Paul on 7/1/2013 3:17:00 PM


 
This past weekend, the MDA held the first ever Connect4Success Leadership Academy and New Dentist Conference. If I may be immodest, it was a smashing success. Early feedback tells us attendees enjoyed the casual setting (mild temps at the Lake -exceptional!); made contact with old friends, MDA leadership, and new colleagues; and valued the CE content. Here's the first of a few recaps.
 
The Friday morning session led by Dr Michael Gallery was a lively discussion of the unique leadership structure within organized dentistry and what it requires for success. This helped the full house align their thinking as they represented many roles from component staff to young leaders to seasoned Board members to brand new attendees. Dr Gallery went on to identify key traits of a leader and how those applied in the office setting. The Q&A was hopping all over as younger doctors presented real time issues they were learning to deal with in new or recently inherited practices. While Dr Gallery gave principled answers that could apply universally, a few of the older doctors answered from the benefit of their experience. The mix of all voices was beneficial and the first step toward connecting for success.
 
Photo: New Dentists: Drs Mark Mangels, Maz Moshiri, Danielle Riordan, and Jamie Paul
 


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Jun

27

Launching the First Ever Connect 4 Success event!

Posted by Paul on 6/27/2013 3:47:00 PM


Tomorrow morning 50 plus people will converge at the Lodge of the Four Seasons at Lake of the Ozarks for the MDA's inaugural Connect4Success Leadership Academy and New Dentist Conference. I'm nervously excited and full of anticipation.
 
The diverse gathering includes some MDA Board members, some MDIS board members, some MDA staff, some component staff, and most importantly,  the guests of honor - more than 25 new dentists from all corners of the state!
 
On deck is a 3 hour interactive leadership seminar where this diverse group can meet each other, understand the unique aspects of leadership within organized dentistry, and start to envision a future where we all work more efficiently together.
 
The afternoon and Saturday morning will feature CE designed just for New Dentist. There will be a cocktail reception and a free night and then a free to enjoy a  summer day at the Lake. I look forward to seeing familiar faces and even more so meeting new faces. I love to see the association grow and be enhanced with the presence of our newest members.  
 
I'll be back with a full photo report and words from the attendees. Wish us well!
 


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Jun

25

A Hero Among Us

Posted by Paul on 6/25/2013 2:42:00 PM


"These are individuals who have done something extraordinary to save a life."
 
Those are the words of Nancy Sell, project manager for the American Red Cross Heart of Missouri Chapter's Lifesaver Awards. Among the nine award winners she was referring to is MDA member, Dr. Rick Bohon from Columbia. Tonight at a ceremony at the North Jefferson City Pavilion, Dr Bohon received the Medical Lifesaver Award sponsored by US Bank. I know Dr Bohon personally and I regret not being able to attend the event and capture the moment. We did however get a chance to visit at church about what happened in May.
 
Dr Bohon and his good friend and neighbor, Joe Moseley, were cycling the Katy Trail as they had often done over the last twenty years. Both men are experienced bikers and had joined a larger group for a longer ride. Due to a calendar conflict, the two men broke off early from the group in Hartsburg and headed back to Columbia. As they rode, Joe was laboring considerably and Dr Bohon was concerned enough that he phoned ahead to alert family of their earlier than planned arrival.
 
Just as they reached the parking lot, Joe went into full cardiac arrest. Dr Bohon wasted no time. He fervently started giving chest compressions to his life long friend. At the same time, he was screaming for help because he did not want to take the time to get his phone from his bike and call 911. Thankfully a pedestrian across the lot heard the commotion and drew near enough to hear Dr Bohon tell them to dial 911. All the while, Dr Bohon was forcefully and rapidly giving chest compressions even as his pal started to lose color and showed no signs of response.
 
Suddenly the paramedics and Dr Bohon's son all arrived at the same time. It took electric shock to revive Joe but thanks to the consistent and quick acting care of Dr Bohon, his friend is alive and well today. Dr Bohon says Joe is mad at him because he chest is still sore. I call that the badge of friendship.
 
The MDA staff recently took a BLS class at the office and I commented to Dr Bohon how I hoped I would never need to use it. He had taken the class many times and said his experience was more than he ever wanted to encounter again. He was very humble about the whole incident and delighted to have his friend and neighbor still among us. Still, I congratulate Dr Bohon on his honor. He makes us all proud here at the MDA.
 
Let this be a reminder to all of us. Your office personnel all take BLS. Stay on the ready. It can save lives!


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May

31

Special Olympics

Posted by Paul on 5/31/2013 1:46:00 PM


 
It may seem like MOMOM gets a lot of the ink but MDA leads another outstanding volunteer dental clinic each year for the Special Olympics called Special Smiles. It's a pleasure for the MDA to partner with such a solid organization and help their athletes increase awareness of their own oral health. It's also beneficial to the parents and caregivers who support the athletes year round.
 
The Special Smiles dental screenings are just as much fun for the athletes as the events they train for year round. This weekend in Columbia is the high point of the year for many. Today, it was fellow MDA staffers, Stacey Kloeppel and Cassie Tangney, who hit the road for this great event. They were part of 15 volunteers who joined 3 hygienists and 8 dentists to round out the dental clinic team that gave oral health screenings and passed out "Goody Bags" with paste, brush, and floss for each participant.
 
For three years in a row, I have had a conflict on this date but Stacey and Cassie always love to go and come back with heart warming stories of interacting with the athletes. It's great to be able to offer this service to this population.
 
Featured above are Drs Bethany Baillargeon, Bryan Foote, and Kyle Lisenby - just three of volunteer docs.Thanks to all for their time and commitment to make it a success!


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Apr

26

Rare Special Session of the House

Posted by Paul on 4/26/2013 11:37:00 AM


 
Late this Friday afternoon in the basement conference room of the MDA office, a special session of the House of Delegates convened. It was a cozy setting for the quorum who was able to attend this rare gathering. What prompted this unique event? You'll be happy to know it was an effort to save about a year in the time line of the governance task force work.
 
The MDA appointed a Governance Task Force Committee, chaired by Dr Joseph Sokolowski, to work with consultant, Dr Michael Gallery, on how to review and streamline the governance practices of the MDA. At the official HOD meeting last November, the delegates approved the Performance Requirements expected of the MDA. Since then the task force has been meeting to determine where they see "gaps" between what should be (performance requirements) and what is (actual performance). In order for the task force to proceed, it was first necessary for the House to approve the "gaps" as reported by the task force. Waiting to do this until next November would have really delayed the work and momentum of the task force. In January the MDA Board  reviewed and approved the Gap Analysis but now it was the House's turn.
 
Gathering together in person was the most prudent way to handle this important piece of business. I was very impressed with everyone's effort to attend. Speaker Dr Robert Butler did an excellent job running his first House meeting in an unusual location. Proper protocol was followed from start to finish and after relatively little discussion, the House voted to approve the Gap Analysis as presented. The whole thing was over in less than an hour and delegates returned home for the weekend.
 
So what's next? The task force meets to discuss ideas for closing the gaps and what that might look like. The MDA Board will review those ideas and then the House will get the latest update next November - a full year ahead of where we would be normally.
 
Thanks again to everyone who worked hard to prepare and attend this rare special session of the House.


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Mar

15

CDS Installation

Posted by Paul on 3/15/2013 4:33:00 PM


 
Today's trip to a component meeting was just around the corner as the Central Dental Society met here in Jefferson City. After a full morning of CE, me and a host of others joined them for lunch and presentations. Greg Russell from MDIS spoke briefly and presented a check. Vicki, Patrick, and I gave updates on all fronts to keep the members in the know and Dr. Barbour once again passed out the hardware. She thanked Dr. Corbin Marchack for his service as president and swore in the new president, Dr. William Burns and the new vice president, Dr. Fred Christman.


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Feb

27

Legislative Day 2013

Posted by Paul on 2/27/2013 10:07:00 AM



Although a snowstorm hampered the travel plans of some MDA members, the small remnant that did attend MDA Legislative Day 2013 did a great job connecting with key leaders at the Capitol. Patrick Baker, MDA Legislative Director, had everyone well -prepared with appointments preset. I tagged along for some of the visits and learned a lot. It makes a huge difference when you as a dentist get face to face with your legislator and express your concern or support. The legislators rely on your expertise to understand the issues.
 
This has been a favorable legislative session. I encourage you to keep up with the bills the MDA is watching and other developments by checking out the Advocacy page at www.modental.org. You can read the weekly Capitol Connection for an excellent summary of activity. We need all members to be informed and engaged if we wish to be a force for dentistry at the Capitol.
 
As for the photos, you have Drs. Hume, Vance, Haley, and Kessler meeting with Senator Wasson who SB 281 on Capped Fees. Drs. Nunemaker and Larson visited with Senator Kraus. Drs. Hume and Haley visited with Representative Elmer. And lastly I corralled a whole group of MDA advocates working in the golden halls of the Capitol. Stay active and make plans to join us next year. Numbers speak loudly. Your presence is needed!


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Feb

05

Children's Dental Health Month

Posted by Paul on 2/5/2013 2:12:00 PM


2MIN2X
Just a reminder that February is Children's Dental Health Month. I'm sure many of you have special emphases at your office to celebrate and capture this effort. It's such a  good way to teach kids about good oral health.
 
Let me encourage you to use resources at www.2min2x.org. This excellent web page is kid friendly and engaging. The message is simple: Brush twice a day for 2 minutes each time and you are on the way to good oral health.
 
Make sure to let me know if you experiment with any new ideas for making CDHM a priority at your office. I would love to spread the wealth and commend your efforts.
 
Imagine the virtual end of childhood caries. It could happen!


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Feb

01

UMKC Hosts GKAS Clinic

Posted by Paul on 2/1/2013 1:35:00 PM


 
Today I traveled to Kansas City to volunteer at the first ever Give Kids A Smile clinic held at UMKC. It was a smashing success under the leadership of Dr. Michael McCunniff. Thanks to the generosity of Delta Dental, the clinic was able to afford having buses bring in children from six elementary schools in under served communities. Some private practice dentists joined in with the 3rd year dental students to provide the essential care. Toss in the Tooth Fairy, a free lunch, and a few more friendly volunteers to help make kids feel special and you have the recipe for a good first effort. I believe close to 138 children were seen before the 4th year students needed the clinic space back.
 
I also had the pleasure of meeting Deron Cherry, former Kansas City Chief star, whose foundation helps sponsor Score 1 for Health. This organization provides free, comprehensive health screenings in schools. They helped pre-screen the children and schools that participated in the event. I was so impressed with Mr. Cherry's commitment to children and this refreshing emphasis on prevention that can give kids a real chance to pursue their dreams rather than deal with undetected health issues.
 
I want to salute Dr. McCunniff and his whole team and all those who eagerly pitched in to make this trial event a success. The UMKC setting makes sense and I know the students benefited from hands on work with kids. I'm already looking forward to next year.
 
How did your office day with GKAS go? Drop me a line at paul@modental.org
 
 


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Jan

28

It's Give Kids a Smile Week - Join in!

Posted by Paul on 1/28/2013 11:39:00 AM


 
This Friday is the 2013 Give Kids a Smile Day. Are you participating? If so, make sure you report your event and program totals with the ADA. You can do so by registering (before or after your event) at www.givekidsasmile.ada.org The ADA would also love any photos you can share and those can be emailed to adanews@ada.org.
 
I'm excited to participate this year by attending the first ever on site clinic at UMKC. They will be treating area school children who are bused in for the event on Friday morning. The good folks at Delta Dental are sponsoring it and I'm excited to see how it unfolds. I love the idea that the dental students will get a taste for charitable care right in their back yard.
 
Focusing on children and preventive health is the primary tool for reducing caries and a life of unnecessary dental problems. I'm impressed with the growth of this program and urge you and your office to participate if possible. I'll report back on my experience but here is the current status of the national GKAS outreach according to the ADA web site.
         * More than 1700 events are registered
         * More than 401,000 kids are expected to be treated
         * More than 10,000 dentists will provide services
         * Close to 32,000 lay volunteers have signed up as well 


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Jan

26

Reading Tea Leaves and Numbers

Posted by Paul on 1/26/2013 11:56:00 AM


Don't start calling me Madame Paul the Tea Leaf Reader quite yet. But I am tempted to play amateur number sleuth after reviewing the latest membership report from the ADA. What do these numbers tell us? I'll give you some data in a minute but first a few musings.
 
As Director of Outreach for the MDA, I'm always curious about the of membership. Why do people join? Why do they leave? What do they really want from membership? What makes an association vibrant? Is 100% membership even a goal we should have?
 
Do benefits drive the boat? The MDA proudly stands behind the value of what we offer our members. We strive to be better every day but your dues (hefty as they may seem) work hard for you on many fronts from communication to advocacy at the Capitol to insurance savings to CE and on and on. Benefits are a great incentive but I think they are icing on the cake when dues are paid.
 
Does price make somebody jump ship? I hear that excuse on occasion. Let's face it, no one likes to write checks in this economy but of all the financial choices you make for your practice, membership may lack an immediate warm fuzzy but it is far reaching in it's value. Smart people, a.k.a dentists, understand the difference between price and value. So if benefits aren't the main draw and price is not the main barrier - what is the common thread in membership?
 
I'm reminded of Groucho Marx who said "I wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member." Ha! Yes, interacting with people (good or bad) is probably the biggest influencer in deciding on membership. It's human nature to want to belong- especially with people who share so much in common. My observation is that the strongest and longest relationships I see in the MDA were forged through frequent interaction and involvement provided by membership. It is not always pleasant but it is real and it validates and accommodates your own professional journey. On the other hand, I think those who storm out or silently slip away are really just victims of a bad or overlooked encounter with people. So with people in mind from the longest tenured member to the squeaky new dentist fresh from school, let's look at some trends in numbers and contemplate together how we can reach out to more "people" and thus enhance membership and the association experience for everyone.
 
I'll start at the national level and then share some state trends. My only disclaimer is that terms and measurements are confusing and vary but if we keep apples to apples then we can make a few observations.
 
According to the ADA for the 2012 calendar year, there were 194,160 "active, licensed dentists" (ALD's) in the U.S. That's one for about every 1,600 people based on a US population of 311 billion. 128,524 of those ALD's belong to the ADA. That's 66.2% market share which is down 1.1% from 2011. How does that number hit you? That means two out of every three dentists are engaged in organized dentistry. Does that sound right for your city? Is that enough to promote and protect your interests? Is it a critical mass to accomplish goals that are important to you?
 
Using the same metrics, Missouri is doing a tad better with 68.5% market share out of 2,787 ALD's in the state. When we add all categories of membership to the equation, the MDA is at 77.7% market share which is the highest its been in close to 20 years. Thank you members, you are making your voice count!
 
Now let's look at where the ADA and MDA are doing a good job and where the biggest opportunity for growth lies when we analyze different categories. Again, these numbers are based on ALD's. For instance, the specialty with the highest market share in ADA membership (82.4%) is endodontists. In Missouri, pediatric dentists edge out endo's 93.4% to 93.1%. The specialty that has the highest % of non members is maxillofacial radiology for both the ADA at 46.5% and the MDA at 50%. As a total target group specialists make for the highest percentage of market share for both the ADA at 76.6% and the MDA at 83.5%. The  lowest market share for a group is foreign trained dentists with just 47.3% belonging to the ADA and only 38.5% belong to the MDA. Finally, what race is the membership? Among all minorities, the ADA has 53.4% market share and the MDA has 52.7%. Breaking it down, the biggest market share is white dentists with 73.8% for ADA and 72.8% for MDA. The lowest market share is black dentists with just 43% belonging to ADA and 41% belonging to MDA.
 
The challenge we face at both the state and national level is the market is growing faster than membership especially in the fast growing segments of minorities, women, and foreign trained dentists. Add to this the erosion of the number of GP's and we have a slowly declining market share.
 
While the numbers tell part of the story, let's not get lost in them (If you're like me you may already feel dizzy). Membership has always been and will always remain a person to person connection. Yes our sheer numbers allow us many benefits and a strong voice at the Capitol but your bottom line connection comes from your involvement in organized dentistry whether it be the local study club or leadership at the highest levels. Remember this when you think about your colleagues. Ask them to events. Welcome them to your city. Invite them to join the MDA and tell them why you belong. Pay special attention to those segments that are a little different than you. They are perhaps already struggling with "fitting in" so they may feel the same way when considering membership. Will I feel accepted?  This outreach can be difficult for some but it gets easier with practice. You'd be surprised how many dentists are just waiting to be asked and included. Membership offers so many avenues for that to happen.
 
Let me know how I can help and good luck!


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Jan

26

The Interesting World of MERIT

Posted by Paul on 1/26/2013 11:46:00 AM


 
Dead bodies. Graphic photos. Gruesome stories.You would be surprised what you might learn on a Saturday morning in the conference room at the the MDA office. Well, maybe not every Saturday morning, but today was an exception. Today was the annual MERIT conference. MERIT is the Missouri Emergency Response Identification Team. It's the state dental forensic  team that was created after the 1993 Flood. This conference provides that team both a forum for continuing education and a touch point for the latest developments in the field. Dr Eric Wilson of Cole Camp provides direction for the group.
 
The CE is open to anyone and a strong and diverse turnout of 60 people showed up for this year's topic: Forensic Death Investigation. It was superbly led by Mary Fran Ernst, an experienced (and entertaining!) death investigator from St Louis County. Her topics included Medicolegal and Forensic Aspects of Fire, Identification of the Deceased, The Real World of Forensic Science and Death Scene Investigation.
 
While many might find the topic morbid, I was fascinated to learn the procedures and policies behind death scene investigations. People die in all sorts of ways but the corpse never lies and there are many clues at every death investigation. I learned how to start a fire that would be hard to detect as arson. I learned the difference between a coroner and a medical examiner. I learned the Rule of 9 in determining what percentage of a body is burned. I learned that most people who die in a fire die from pulmonary issues not burns. This was the case in the horrible night club fire in Brazil that killed 230 people. And naturally I learned how valuable and reliable dental records are as a means of identification. It was all quite stimulating.
 
If you have interest in MERIT, you can contact Dr. Eric Wilson at fijidr@embarqmail.com
 


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Jan

23

Hush - Spread the Secret and Save the Date

Posted by Paul on 1/23/2013 3:36:00 PM


It's time to announce something big! MDA is hosting their first Connect4Success, a Leadership Academy and New Dentist Conference this summer. Circle your calendars for June 28-29, 2013 at the Lodge of the Four Seasons in Lake of the Ozarks, MO.
 
It's a swanky invitation only event. Well, I made up the swanky part, but it is invitation only. It's designed to better equip our component officers and others in leadership roles across the state. Many of you volunteer in key roles (thank you!) and we want to better inform and equip you to succeed. Plus it helps when we all know each other, share ideas, and move in the same direction.
 
Essential to all future MDA leadership are the wonderful new dentists out there. It only makes sense that we corral them together for some CE focused on their needs and a little time to socialize with their families and each other in a beautiful setting.
 
By merging these two groups together, the present and the future get a chance to know each other and engage in meaningful activity that benefits us all.
 
More details to come. I just wanted you to Save the Date and get excited about this newly designed strategy just for you!  


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Jan

22

Winter Session 2013 Ends Big Week!

Posted by moda on 1/22/2013 2:05:00 PM


 
Winter Session 2013 rocked along as the crowning jewel to a busy week in organized dentistry. More than 200 member dentists, staff, vendors, and guests convened in Columbia for two powerpacked days of content, variety, and connection. The event, with lead sponsor MDIS, featured 10 CE selections, an EFDA training, and exposure to a host of reliable vendors who support the profession. Toss in the meals and cocktail hour and there's plenty of chance to connect with colleagues and work on professional development. Kudos to Mandy Lewis for leading the charge to deliver a quality event. This year she even led us in going green as all handouts for the classes were only available in paperless form.
 
A new feature this year was a member forum where members could gather to hear the MDA's position on workforce and to voice concerns or questions about other issues near to their heart. Almost the entire MDA board was in attendance to listen to member feedback. President, Dr. Lynne Barbour, and President-Elect, Dr. Merle Nunemaker, facilitated the discussion that lasted more than an hour. I was struck by the passion for the profession. If an association is only as strong as its members, then the MDA is doing just fine. Good ideas and strong emotions were voiced from a diverse group in attendance.
 
The Winter Session wrapped up a full week of activities including the MDA Legislative Reception, an MDA Board meeting, new board member orientation (Welcome, Drs. Kessler, Rapini, Raman, and Nail), an MDIS board meeting, a MO Dental Board meeting, and  meetings for the Governance Task Force, Legislative Regulatory and New Dentist committees. The activity level is up and running for 2013 so get involved and make a difference! You can follow along by reading your Focus, the Capitol Connection, E-Updates, this blog, and your www.modental.org. web site.


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Jan

17

2013 Legislative Reception

Posted by Paul on 1/17/2013 3:27:00 PM


 
Last night at the G2 Gallery in Jefferson City, the MDA held their annual legislative reception and by all accounts it was a big success. We had a healthy attendance from both our elected officials and our MDA members. Almost all sections of the state were represented and the interaction was attentive and productive. The relaxed cocktail and refreshment setting facilitated easy conversation between members and their elected officials. For many, this was a natural extension of relationships built back in the home district. For all, it was a good chance to eyeball our leaders and voice our concerns for the just begun legislative session. With many first time officials and many key committee leaders present, it was a prime opportunity to discuss our position on capped fees, Medicaid improvements, tax credits, and overall improvements to oral health.
 
This was Patrick Baker's first reception at the helm as MDA's Legislative Director but it was clear he knew the territory. His experience in the Senate was reflected in strong senate representation and his familiarity with the issues gave confidence to all our members. I can't underscore enough how valuable events like these are for educating our officials and building momentum in relationships. Plus they are more fun than you might imagine. Make plans now to join us at the Capitol on February 27, 2013 for our MDA Legislative Day.
 
As for the photos, all attendees were delighted to take home some free oral health supplies including Senator David Pearce (R -21st District) from Warrensburg. Senator Pearce is standing with MDA Legislative Director, Patrick Baker. MDA Executive Director, Vicki Wilbers, is in between Senator Scott T. Rupp (R-2nd District) from St. Charles and Representative Chris Molendorp (R-56th District). Rep. Molendorp from Kansas City is sponsoring the capped fee legislation in the House. And then there's Dr. JC Standlee, LRC Chair, showing information to Representative Sue Meredith (D-71st District). She represents part of the St Louis metro area.
 
Thanks to all who attended - both members and officials. It takes a two way street to make democracy run.


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Jan

03

Good Ideas Make the Headlines

Posted by Paul on 1/3/2013 9:26:00 AM


 
Happy New Year! I can't wait to see what 2013 holds for the MDA. I will be traveling and posting and musing about it all right here so make plans to "follow me". Contact me at paul@modental.org with feedback or suggestions. I welcome them!
 
I like to share good ideas when I see one - even if it's a little dated. The Greater Kansas City Dental Society ran this special section in the Kansas City Star last October just before Halloween. It's a solid primer on oral health and it has a listing of all member dentists in the area. The result is the profession comes across caring, educational, and accessible. It offers great links to all levels of the tripartite. And it's personal with the introductory letter from Dr. Suchman. To view the full supplement, click on this link:

http://sections.kansascity.com/SS/Page.aspx?sstarg=&facing=false&secid=125559&pagenum=1

 
Perhaps this type of exposure and unity and public service would benefit your dental society. I'm sure Dr. Suchman or Sam Sivley at the GKCDS office would be glad to share how they approached the project. Kudos to their whole society!
 
Best wishes to all of you for a prosperous New Year!


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Dec

18

Cancer. Do you know it?

Posted by Paul on 12/18/2012 11:29:00 AM


 
While this is not exactly a holiday theme post, I know it might have implications for many of you because cancer does not take holidays. It's a safe bet that anybody reading this knows someone close to them that is battling cancer or regretfully lost a tough battle with this heartless enemy. In fact, 2 out of every 3 people will have some type of cancer. Regardless of ribbon color, it's hard to live in this world at this time and not encounter cancer at some level in your life. In reviewing some old notes, I was reminded of a great product that MDIS offers as to members. Consider this a healthy holiday present from me to you.

The expense of travel and treatment and life adjustment is one of the many impacts of cancer on a family regardless of how good your health insurance is. This policy helps lessen the blow. You can purchase it for yourself, your spouse, or even your extended family.
You pay $8.50/month for $10k Lump sum payout upon first diagnosis of an internal cancer or malignant melanoma. You can get up to $50k in coverage. It’s not paid to a doctor but to you directly. It’s not taxable; there’s no 1099 to file and there are no limitations on how you spend the money. The policy pays regardless of other existing coverages. You can receive your total cash benefit whether or not you are hospitalized or receive treatment. It’s a secure company with good claim history. You can payroll deduct it. It’s portable, can’t be canceled, and the premium has never been raised. We get the business rate but you're not eligible if you’ve had a cancer diagnosis before. Call MDIS for full details.

This might make the perfect stocking stuffer and give you some peace of mind in cancer's uncertain and cruel world. Thanks for listening!


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Nov

03

House of Delegates - Awards and Fun

Posted by Paul on 11/3/2012 10:15:00 AM



 
 
A highlight of the House of Delegates is the camaraderie of people who care for the profession. This hits a zenith at the reception and awards banquet. It's a fun time of seeing old friends and honoring colleagues for their service. The lighting was dark but I will attempt to showcase a few winners and friendly faces!
 
Top Row: Melissa Albertson and Margie Kunzie, just two of the hard working and always smiling MDA staff. Dr/ Elwood Rice presented the Presidential Citation Award to Drs. Tim Taylor, Joe Shea, Ed Kendrick, and Jim Osborne for their dedication and contribution to the EFDA program. Dr. Sarah Mahaffey (center) celebrates her Outstanding New Dental Leader award with her family.
 
Second Row: Our first ever MDA female president, Dr. Lynne Barbour celebrates with her family. The Dentist of the Year Award went to Dr. Michael Hoffman shown here with some of his many supporters. And Ellen Kessler, former executive director of the GSLDS was given an honorary MDA membership for her years of service tot he profession.
 
Third Row: Dr. Rex Witherspoon received the Distinguished Service Award. And a big salute to Dr. William Toole and Dr. A.C. Edwards for reaching 50 years of membership in the MDA!


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Nov

02

House of Delegates - The Process

Posted by Paul on 11/2/2012 8:56:00 AM



 
 
Quick, can you briefly explain how the MDA handles its (your) business? How are you represented? How does change occur? Who's running the show? I'll admit it took me a little time to comprehend it but now I see how our governance does allow for member input with a solid system of checks and balances. I won't go into depth to explain every detail but I do want you to understand and see some photos because this is your association at work.
 
The MDA has eight component dental societies across the state. You are part of one of them. Each component appoints delegates based on size to represent them at the annual meeting, The House of Delegates. Any MDA member may be put forward a resolution prior to the House suggesting changes or areas of focus for the profession. These resolutions are reviewed by the Board to suggest revisions for clarity and practicality and to give insight as to how they stand on the issue. Those changes are reviewed by the component caucuses and then the reference committee hears open discussion on the resolution. At this time, any MDA member (delegate or otherwise) is welcome to share their opinion on the issue. After this hearing, the resolutions are reviewed in reference committee executive session where a final recommendation on action is decided. The following day after component caucuses review those final recommendations, the House delegates vote on each issue. These votes determine the direction of the Board, the work of the staff, and the fiscal impact to the association. It really is a thoughtful, secure process that allows for member input all along the way.
 
The two day House of Delegates session also features a number of annual reports and presentations that update the members on a variety of topics that affect the profession. Parliamentary procedure is followed throughout and several traditions are kept as well. You really should consider attending one year to get a broader perspective on how your association conducts business.


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Oct

27

Day at the Game SEC style!

Posted by Paul on 10/27/2012 10:25:00 AM


 
It's hard to improve on the recipe for the MDA's Day at the Game event. Take a homecoming football weekend, add sunshine, sprinkle in copious amounts of food and alcohol, give away cool t-shirts, invite dentists, wear your school colors and bring home a victory! Works every time.
 
It was a successful DAG event inside our warm tent by Mizzou Arena as about 140 people took part in either the tailgate party or the game or both. The early kickoff did not deter attendance or dampen spirits as MDA members and their families and guests enjoyed some good BBQ and each other. We carried the good vibe on the field (literally as seats were in the north end zone) and the Tigers went on to win their first ever SEC game.
 
I have to give props to Dr. Jennifer Wheeler, a Kentucky fan, for sporting her colors and bringing a fun crew from her neighborhood. It was okay to see some blue in the tent as long as it wasn't Jayhawk blue :). I hope even the Wildcat fans enjoyed their Day at the Game experience. That's Dr. Wheeler, second on the right, next to her husband, in the first photo.
 
I tip my hat to Mandy Lewis at the MDA for organizing a great event. Cassie Tangney did a superb job with the t-shirts and Learfield Sports did an excellent job as our tent, food, and ticket host. A special shout out to our sponsors MDIS and The Endeavor Group. We couldn't do it without them and it was fun to have them  there mixing it up with the lively crowd.
 
Don't miss out. Be sure to join us next year at MDA's Day at the Game.  M - I - Z....


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Aug

24

A Fun Little Gathering

Posted by Paul on 8/24/2012


 
If you pay any attention to what I like about the MDA, you'll know that I'm a big fan of New Dentists. They represent the latest and brightest of the profession. They are also essential to the future of the MDA. They are also under a lot of stress with school debt, new careers, young families, and busy schedules. So we need to support them. Cheer them on! Welcome them into organized dentistry.
 
A big step towards that happened the last two days as several people gathered to jump start the state New Dentist committee. The cornerstone was an ADA workshop on how to make your ND committee a success. Our presenters did a great job. After a lively day of planning, the committee under the leadership of Dr. Sarah Mahaffey is off and running. Watch for opportunities to plug in!
 
The prelude to the one day workshop was a social gathering with the MDA Board and guests. It was a hot August night but people stayed a long while as ND's and Board members got to know each other on a personal level. It was actually very fun and sent a great message that from the top down, MDA supports our ND's. Thanks to everyone who made the effort to attend.  
 
Photo 1: Drs. Jon Copeland, Maz Moshiri, and Sarah Withrow at the ND workshop
Photo 2: Jamie Wilkerson, Dr. Ron Wilkerson, Trustee Dr. John Freeze, and  Trustee Dr. Jody Vance
Photo 3: UMKC Dean Marsha Pyle, MDA President Dr. Elwood Rice, ADA reps Jeanine Pekkarinen and Chris Chico
 
 


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Jul

25

Passing the Baton in St Louis

Posted by Paul on 7/25/2012 3:38:00 PM


 
Send offs are always bittersweet. You celebrate a new chapter in a person's life but you also realize how much you will miss them and their contribution to organized dentistry. The MDA and, more specifically, the GSLDS will miss Ellen Kessler as she steps down after 20 years of service. She's provided great leadership the last eight years as the executive director to the St Louis component. While I've only been at this gig for about 14 months, Ellen was quick to make me feel comfortable and set a great example of how the component and state levels can work together for everyone's mutual benefit. I always felt quite welcomed at every GSLDS event. Join me in thanking Ellen for her dedication and wishing her the best in the future!
 
At the Hi-Tech night two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Meg Shannon who is filling Ellen's role as executive director. Meg is most recently from Florida but is a St Louis native so she's glad to be back home. Her qualifications are outstanding and I look forward to working with her. I know you will welcome her as you have chance to meet her.
 
Life never stands still so I wanted to take a moment to say "Farewell" to Ellen and "Welcome" to Meg. Good luck to both!


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May

11

Heavy Lifting

Posted by Paul on 5/11/2012 9:11:00 AM


 
The MDA Dental Workforce Committee chaired by Dr. Rolfe McCoy is meeting today at the MDA office. This committee is charged with the heavy lifting of recommending to the MDA Board a plan of action regarding workforce issues. They have been pouring over tons of written papers, tracking developments in other states, and considering the pros/cons of various models and options.
 
This is no doubt a big issue for organized dentistry and a hot topic among our members. The landscape is changing but should we adapt and how do we adapt while protecting the profession you love? It's no easy task with so many voices, complexities, and uncertainties. I get dizzy just keeping up with the various acronyms (DHAT, OPA, Level III, EFDA, etc). So I certainly commend this group for dedicating their time and energy to serve our entire membership this way. Good luck and lift from the knees!


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Apr

03

Bright Ideas Start at the Component Level

Posted by Paul on 4/3/2012 2:22:00 PM


The Best Practices session is a favorite of the recent ADA Conference on Recruitment and Retention. It allows components and constituents to share field tested examples of outreach events. Some are designed around a specific attraction but most could be repeated anywhere. The real key is local ingenuity and enthusiasm.
 
I was proud when Dr. Rapini represented the GSLDS and shared before the entire conference about the Hi-Tech night they hosted last summer and plan to repeat this year. The local team did a great job of designing a fun event with a purpose and they worked hard to involve vendors, offer great prizes, and provide exposure to new products and partners. To get the full scoop on the event contact Laura@gslds.org
 
You can contact me for other ideas (ain't too proud to steal a good one) or more importantly put your heads and elbow grease together at your local level and design an event that works for your component. Maybe next year, I'll be posting your picture.
 


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