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The Week That Was Blog: August 14-18

By Paul Roberts

August 18, 2023

Wow, what a week!

The news and activity levels are just higher some weeks than others. This past week was chock full of good stuff. Let’s get to it!

Welcome, Monroe Paul Payne

The most anticipated countdown to birth in sometime for our office finally hit zero when at 11:44 last Sunday, Halie Payne, MDA Professional Affairs Director, gave birth to 7.10lbs, 21-inch-long Monroe Paul Payne. Halie and proud daddy, Kaleb, are super excited to start their family. Little do they know they have the whole MDA family around to cheer them on. We are thrilled for them and their beautiful baby boy. Enjoy your maternity leave, Halie, but send lots of pictures.

Successful Launch of the Missouri New Dentist Network

I was super pumped for the New Dentist Committee call on Wednesday of this week because for the first time we opened it up for any dental student or new dentist to join. Led by Chair, Dr. Kati Pyle, we had 30 members on the call and we covered some cool stuff, but none cooler than the launch of a private Facebook group called the Missouri New Dentist Network. This will become an inclusive and supportive community for students and new grads to share experiences, ask questions, find resources, learn about opportunities and so much more. This has been an expressed need for some time. The NDN could be a real gamechanger for helping people find their place and connections within organized dentistry across the state. We already have 37 members, and I’m stoked to see what this becomes.

Successful Launch at KCU CDM

On Monday night, the SWDS hosted all 80 students from the inaugural class of KCU CDM. About 30 local dentists were there to meet and greet and encourage these fresh faces on the journey. After a good meal, Jerri Wildhaber and I led them in a game of Deal or No Deal. Students showed great expression in the competition and had big choices to make between the brief cases and the secret envelopes held by certain celebrity guests. Amazingly the very first winner picked the top prize. But there was plenty of laughter and winning for everyone else as well. Kudos to President, Dr. Alex Talbott, for rallying the local society to support the students. I sure enjoyed seeing many member dentists who I first met after the tornado back in 2011, like Drs. Charles McGinty and Ed McAllister. Plus, it was great to see so many younger dentists stepping up into leadership. Just a great night. I really like the vibe and passion that Dean, Dr. Linda Niessen, and her team are establishing.

50 Years is Nothing to Sneeze At

Another familiar face that evening in Joplin was Dr. Mike Fitterling. He came that night after finishing his last day after a 50-year career. What a way to celebrate! Dr. Fitterling and his wife, Margie, were big helps to me in the tornado aftermath and Margie was the hospitality lead at MOMOM 2017. They are community icons, and we salute them on this momentous occasion.

UMKC SOD 2027 Is Off to the Races

Jerri and I had a blast yesterday with the UMKC 2027 SOD class. Thanks Mr. Richie Bigham for including MDA/MDIS as part of orientation. Jerri and I introduced them all to organized dentistry. Then we played the Wheel of Names game and had spirited competition for cash and prizes. Then the GKCDS treated everyone to the Tasty Unicorn Ice Cream truck. There was joy throughout the kingdom! Let’s welcome them all to Missouri and the MDA. We are here to support you!

Speaking of Kansas City

Last Friday, Vicki Wilbers and Dr. Mack Taylor, MDA Treasurer, were among the leaders attending the Mid States Dental Conference at the Plaza. I don’t know the whole agenda, but I have heard Vicki say it was one of the most productive meetings she’s been to recently. She got to visit with her counterpart EDs from surrounding states as well. This mix of dentist leaders and staff is a great way to discuss the changes coming and integrate them into reality.

Trouble in Paradise But You Can Help

I’m certain you’ve seen in the news the devastation from the Hawaii fires. We are hearing that at least 12 dentists have lost homes and practices and obviously many more families/patients have been affected by evacuation, fear, etc. We were able to share some insights from our Joplin experience with the Hawaii Dental Association that hopefully helps them get back on their feet. I know the MDA Board and the MDA Foundation plan to make a sizeable donation toward relief efforts on behalf of all members. If you would like to donate personally, they have requested checks only. Payable to: Hawaii Dental Association Foundation with the Memo: Disaster Relief Fund and mail to: 500 Ala Moana Blvd, Suite 7-411, Honolulu HI 96813Let’s keep them in our prayers.

The Week Ahead

How about some rest after that week? But no, we will keep hustling on many fronts. Mostly it is virtual, but we do welcome in our outstanding Board of Trustees next Friday for a meeting. I’ll snap some photos and provide a report.

Quote of the Week

“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.” – Booker T. Washington