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Apr

15

National Signing Day

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


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


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Apr

03

MOMOM reaches to Florida?

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


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


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Mar

20

World Oral Health Day

Posted by Paul on 3/20/2014 9:08:00 AM


Calling out around the world: Brush your teeth! Today is World Oral Health Day. Since MDA members are the center of our world (figuratively if not geographically) we want to salute you and encourage everyone who stumps for better oral health around the globe. There's a long way to go butwith education and outreach, we can pursue a mission of good oral health for all world citizens.
To learn more and read about exciting updates from all over, simply follow the link: http://worldoralhealthday.org/


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Mar

18

MOMOM Video Superstar!

Posted by Paul on 3/18/2014 9:36:00 AM


My vanity deceives me! But a guy can dream, right? Today was another odd part of my role with MOMOM. In an effort to more speedily and succinctly provide orientation to all the MOMOM volunteers, we are attempting to create a set of videos that can be used over multiple years. That led me to a studio in Brentwood where a professional team arranged the back drop, lighting, sound, etc. I even got to read from a teleprompter! I don't think the local news team will be after me anytime soon but I did my best to record the information. Don't worry, I have asked that my big chrome dome be on screen as little as possible in favor of showing graphics or clips. We will see what the final product looks like soon enough. Now, I can return to the desk where I belong.
PS - Signing up to volunteer at MOMOM is a sure way to see the video!! www.momom.org.


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Mar

18

Festus Rotary and MOMOM

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


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


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Mar

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 thanthe 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 experiencepost 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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Mar

07

Well Being Mission Reborn and Rejuvenated

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


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


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Feb

26

MDA Legislative Day 2014

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


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


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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

14

The Value of Training

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


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


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