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The Week That Was: April 1-5

By Paul Roberts

April 5, 2024

Numbers, Categories, Projects, Revenue, Expenses – Sounds Like a Budget

As you well know the MDA is no small potatoes organization. Thus it’s imperative that we have solid systems in place and one key foundation to success is a strong budget. We have many safeguards in place to make sure we maximize member dollars while also delivering valuable programs and benefits. It may only be April but it’s time to work on the 2025 budget. Earlier this week under the guidance and preparation of MDA Finance ManagerCindy DuCoulombier, the staff spent a full morning hashing through the first draft. This includes evaluating how the early stages of the 2024 budget are working as well as anticipating new programs, expenses and sources of non-dues revenue.  It was exciting to see the new revenue generated from the EFDA Training Center here at headquarters. The facility works well and classes remain full. This program is only getting started. After we finished turning over all the stones, we had a net positive budget for the Finance Committee to review before the Board approves it later this year. Hey, I get it that this is not exhilarating content but if you’ve ever been associated with people or organizations with shady finances, you’ll be proud of the stewardship MDA puts into the budget.


The Doctor Went Down to Dexter – Looking For An Access Clinic

With apologies to Charlie Daniels, this is my catchy headline for those old enough to know who Charlie Daniels was. If not, Google The Devil Went Down to Georgia and hopefully it makes sense. Today MDA Foundation Chair, Dr. Darren Mahaffey and I were in Dexter at the Smiles of Hope Clinic to witness part of their spring treatment weekend where more than a dozen Missouri School of Oral Health and Dentistry graduates plus another nearly two dozen MOSDOH students volunteered to deliver basic dental treatment to high need populations including veterans and some inmates from surrounding county jails. Having the boost of volunteers allows the clinic, which is normally open one Saturday a month with a just handful of volunteers, to  clear up a 3-4 month backlog of patients requesting help. As I have reported before, the vibe around these days is infectious and positive.

Dr. Mahaffey and I were there to meet with leaders like clinic founder, Dr. William Kane, and Dental Minister, Mr. Kevin DeArman, to hear their vision for building a permanent new 33 op clinic that would allow access to more patients and provide more services than what they can currently do. The conversation is part of an ongoing exploration of how the Foundation can support access opportunities in high need areas. Stay tuned!


The Week Ahead

I will be relying heavily on my deputy reporters for updates on the ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Conference in Washington, D.C. which starts this weekend. MDA Professional Affairs Director, Halie Payne, will lead a Missouri delegation of 18 members including 7 dental students. Then Vicki WilbersJerri Wildhaber and Stacey Hemmel will join multitudes of members at the Midwest Dental Conference and Pouring of the Heart Gala. Plus there’s a Missouri Dental Board meeting where several MDA trustees will monitor the action.

Quote of the Week

“I always like to go to Washington, D.C. It gives me a chance to visit my money.” – Bob Hope