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The Week That Was: April 8-12

By Paul Roberts

April 12, 2024

To the East – Washington, D.C. Takes Center Stage

Halie Payne, MDA Professional Affairs Director, provided this report. A delegation of over 18 MDA dentists, students and guests advocated for dentistry on Capitol Hill earlier this week. Sunday afternoon there were sessions for attendees on topics from ERISA to perfecting your storytelling skills. Monday morning, the Missouri delegation joined in on a session where the ADA lobby team presented the issues with a Q&A.

We heard from Dr. Linda Edgar, ADA president,  and ADA E.D., Dr. Ray Cohlmia, and were presented with a skit of a mock-meeting on how to meet with your legislator. Visits were made to  Senator’s Hawley and Schmitt’s offices as well as Congressman Alford.  In an unexpected (and rare) turn of events, Congressman Eric Burlison was able to meet with Drs. Lynne BarbourAshley MeyerLisa BoschCharlie McGinty (Mrs. McGinty) and dental student, Stanley Samuel (MOSDOH). MDA members were able to talk with lawmakers and their staff about student debt reform, workforce issues and non-covered services legislation.

The Missouri delegation worked hard, but also played hard. A group took to the stage at the ADPAC reception to give a rendition of some Nelly on the karaoke stage! Thanks to everyone for taking time away from practices, school and their families to ensure their profession is well taken care of at the federal level.

To the West – Midwest Dental Conference Takes Center Stage

This annual event hosted by the UMKC SOD gathers a ton of alumni and others for CE programs, class reunions, the exhibit hall and more. On Thursday night the Rhinehardt Foundation hosts the Pouring of the Heart Gala and thankfully MDA E.D., Vicki Wilbers, and MDIS V.P., Jerri Wildhaber were in attendance to provide some red carpet photos with gussied up members. So hoity toity! Looks like fun.

I see MDA President Elect, Dr. Jon Copeland and his wife, Dr. Stephanie Copeland. I see Drs. David and Emily Mattingly. I see Dr. Doug Wyckoff and wife, Melinda.  I see Dr. Ron WilkersonDr. Ashley Meyer, Dr. Aaron Bumann, Dr. Wendy Wimer,  and Dr. Mack Taylor. For the rest of the conference, Jerri and Stacey Hemmel staffed the MDA/MDIS booth and enjoyed seeing many members from across the decades.

Missouri Dental Board and an Impressive Anniversary

Today the Missouri Dental Board meets virtually and several trustees from the MDA Board will participate. The MDB also met yesterday and the date provided an iconic and ironic celebration. Dr. William Kane, MDB member, celebrated 40 years of sobriety. He told me recently that in 1984 he was scared stiff to stand before the board and now he’s serving on the same board. Dr. Kane is the first to tell you that the Well Being program works! And he’s just one of many that can echo that sentiment. I love seeing the dental community help its own. Dr. Kane’s recovery and subsequent life of service to the profession is an inspirational story for all.

Left in the Dark?

You must live under a rock (or well outside the path) if you didn’t know about the solar eclipse this past Monday. I’m sure some of you have cool stories from the day. It was rather understated here at the office. A few of us shared a pair of glasses and watched it come and go. A friend of mine sent me a photo to document the event. I won’t be writing this blog when the next one rolls around in 2044.

The Week Ahead

The calendar shows board exams at MOSDOH. Jerri and MDIS will provide some snacks as means of support to these weary and nervous students. Then the end of the week has us going in two directions. I will join the fine folks of Southeast Dental Society for Hi Tech Night , golf, and a member meeting. Meanwhile Jerri, Vicki, and Devin will do a Food for Thought in Joplin and then stay for a Southwest Dental Society meeting. I hope to report on it all and provide some good member photos.

Quote of the Week

“The Masters doesn’t start until the back nine on Sunday” – all good golf crazies know this!