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The Week That Was Blog: January 29-February 2

By Paul Roberts

February 2, 2024

Your Challenges = MDA’s Priorities

Amid a week that mostly consisted of desk work and meetings, I did see something that resonated with me, and I imagine it will resonate with you as well. It had to do with ADA’s Health Policy Institute (HPI). They recently surveyed dentists across the country about the challenges their practices face in 2024 (and even did a podcast, if you’d like to listen). As you can tell from my screen shot photos, it was very clear that workforce shortage and insurance issues topped the list of concerns. Do you feel the same pain? There’s no denying these two topics create discomfort in the workplace. And the longer it stays uncomfortable, the harder it is to maintain a positive and productive environment for you, your dental team and your patients.

MDA’s response? First, we feel for you and we have great respect for the physical and emotional toll dentistry requires of you. Most people enjoy hard work, but when it’s shouldered by fewer people and then compounded with endless regulatory hassles, it can be overwhelming. It is such a great profession, but it’s no walk in the park, especially currently. Second, we hear you and we are fighting for you. These top concerns consume the MDA team on all fronts. Legislatively, we are fighting for insurance reform and it’s not a fair fight. Tactically we are addressing ways to increase the skills of every member of your team. The EFDA Training Center is a huge boom on this front. And strategically we are looking to improve processes in areas like dental career awareness and rural provider expansion.

For every tendency toward despair or closing ranks, there are 10 reasons to stay positive. Your board and the staff are committed to making our way clear of the current struggles, but we need you to be more than a spectator. If ever there was year that membership matters, it’s now. I guess I said that during COVID as well. That just goes to show you how membership ALWAYS matters. You weren’t built to go it alone. Let’s work together for the benefit of all and especially for the best possible oral health environment we can create for Missouri.

Prize Patrol Fires Up the Engines

Shhhh, it’s a secret. We can’t announce who the 2023 MDA Annual Award winners are yet until we have properly ambushed them at their practice. This Prize Patrol tradition started during COVID, and was so well received as a more fun way for recipients to learn of their honor, that we have kept it going. This week and next will find the Prize Patrol out on its mission. This time with new MDA Digital Content Manager, Devin Jungmeyer, riding shotgun. Stay tuned, for soon we will release these videos and celebrate our members.

Children Highlight February Events – GKAS and NCDHM

February is a great month for many reasons – Groundhog Day, the Super Bowl, Valentines, Black History Month, MDA Travel and Learn, blogger birthdays, etc. (hint, hint)! But it’s also long known for National Children’s Dental Health Month which is the perfect season for special Give Kids a Smile events. Click the links to learn more, find resources, etc. And a big salute to all our members who actively participate and/or volunteer in these incredible opportunities.

The Week Ahead

Looks like the auditors are in the building so you know that’s a bucket of fun. Plus more Prize Patrol and the MDA Travel and Learn crowd of 31 take off for Royal Beach Secrets in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Thankfully, I’m part of that crew this year which means no blog for the next two Fridays but one jealousy inducing blog with copious beach photos upon return. But don’t be jealous, instead join us in 2025. Details to follow.

Quote of the Week

“Children are the world’s most valuable resource and our best hope for the future.” – John F. Kennedy

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