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Well Being Foundation
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The Well Being Foundation exists to promote early identification, intervention, treatment and rehabilitation of dentists and dental hygienists who may be impaired by reasons of illness, substance abuse or as a result of any physical or mental condition.

Contact Information

Rebecca A. Mowen, Administrator
Phone: 314-571-6284
Cell: 314-435-1101
Email: wellbeing@modental.org

Related Resources

About the Well Being Committee

The MDA has a contractual agreement with the Missouri Dental Board to support and maintain the Board’s Well Being Committee. The Well Being Committee is governed by a board of directors consisting of one member from the Missouri Dental Association, one member from the Missouri Dental Hygienists Association and one member from the Missouri Dental Board. There is a full-time licensed administrator on staff to handle the day-to-day operations of the Committee and to provide counseling.

Participation

The individual practitioner may voluntarily come forward, knowing that he or she has a mental or physical illness or a problem with substance abuse. As well, intervention by the Committee may be requested by a concerned family member or colleague, or the Missouri Dental Board may require the practitioner to complete a treatment program as a condition of continued licensure or before a license will be restored.

Who Refers to the Well Being Committee

  • Practice Partners
  • Missouri Dental Board
  • Office Staff
  • Colleagues
  • Loved Ones or Friends

The program is available to all licensed dentists and dental hygienists in the state. Those dentists or hygienists that voluntarily submit to treatment will remain anonymous and will be referred to only be a code number when the Committee submits required summary reports of its activities to the Dental Board. These submissions are done for funding purposes only.

Dentists and dental hygienists who voluntarily participate in this program have the opportunity to arrest the progression of their disease and resultant impairment before public exposure occurs and before disciplinary actions on licensure and clinical privileges are taken.

Well Being Committee members will advocate on behalf of a licensee enrolled in the program (with written permission of the licensee) before the Missouri Dental Board, the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs and other appropriate agencies.

The Alliance of the Missouri Dental Association is willing to assist the families of the licensees.

What is an Intervention

An intervention is a carefully structured method of confronting someone thought to be impaired. Interventions are designed to break through the denial inherent in diseases of impairment. The Committee administrator coordinates the planning and implementation of intervention.

Signs of alcoholism or chemical dependency

  • Difficulty meeting schedules and deadlines
  • Slurred speech
  • Prescribes large doses of controlled substances
  • Impaired motor coordination
  • Frequently late or fails to show up for work
  • Obvious physical changes
  • Dramatic mood swings and periods of isolation
  • Smells of alcohol
  • Family and/or financial difficulties
  • Uncooperative

Addiction in the Dental Profession

View an online presentation by Dr. Bill Kane, MDA Well Being Committee Chair. In it, Dr. Kane (a former Well Being program participant) addresses:

  • How dentists and dental professionals encounter numerous sources of professional stress, beginning in dental school. This stress may have a negative impact on both their professional as well as their personal lives.
  • How chemical dependency/addictive diseases are the same for dentists as well as non-dentists. Yet, how dental practice models creates certain barriers that require modifications to intervention and after care for the dental profession.
  • The specific behaviors of dental office staff that contribute to "The Conspiracy of Silence" that will enable the disease of addiction to progress.
  • Strategies for the dentist and the office staff to facilitate a transition back into practice following treatment. The goal being to ensure the office staff and environment are healthy.

Available Treatment

The Committee administrator provides treatment resources and coordinates the care of the licensee throughout the course of treatment. Treatment will be done at a treatment center familiar with handling the dynamics involved in rehabilitation of health professionals. Treatment costs are usually partially covered by the individual’s health insurance, but ultimately the individual is responsible for the costs of the treatment, screenings and administration. Evaluation and treatment begin immediately after intervention.

Treatment Aftercare & Monitoring

All licensees who voluntarily submit themselves or are referred by the dental board will be required to sign a contract committing to 5 years of treatment and supervision in order to assess their on-going recovery.

Recovery needs are re-evaluated periodically to adjust to changes that occur in the recovery process. The program will provide assistance and monitoring during the period of practice re-entry. Key components of the monitoring agreement may include: random urine screenings, attendance at aftercare, 12-step support groups or professional support groups and psychotherapy if indicated.

Confidentiality

The legislation that allowed for the Committee’s development states that all information, interviews, reports, statements, memoranda or other documents furnished or produced by the Well Being Committee, as well as communications to or from the committee, any findings, conclusions, interventions, treatment, rehabilitation or other proceedings of the Committee that in any way pertain to a licensee who may be or actually is impaired, shall be privileged and confidential.

All records and proceedings of the Committee shall be used by the Committee and its members only in the exercise and proper function of the Committee and shall not be considered public records and not subject to court subpoena, discovery or introduction as evidence in any civil, criminal or administrative proceedings.

November is Recovery Month

Recovery month promotes the societal benefits of treatment for substance use and mental disorders, celebrates people in recovery, lauds the contributions of treatment providers, and promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible. Discover how the MDA helps the dental professional with recovery by exploring this page and by visiting www.recoverymonth.gov.

Meet Your Program Administrator

Rebecca A. Mowen, LCSW, CADC, BRI, a licensed clinical social work in Missouri and Illinois and a Board Registered Interventionist. Ms. Mowen received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville in 2000, and in 2002 her Masters in Social Work from Saint Louis University.

She has previous experience as Assistant Program Coordinator with the Missouri Physicians’ Health Program (medical counterpart to the Dental Well Being Program) and is currently in private practice providing individual and family therapy, interventions, referral for treatment and aftercare monitoring services.

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