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The Week That Was Blog: October 9-13

By Paul Roberts

October 13, 2023

Rolling in Orlando – SmileCon and ADA House of Delegates 2023 Summary

Wowzers, what a week! There’s no way I can provide all the nuanced news from last week. If something I write catches your eye and you want a deeper dive, I suggest you peruse the ADA News. They really are informative and have great photos. My focus will be on our members and what I saw and recall from a full five days down in O-Town.

Not Your Ordinary Private Party

Vicki Wilbers and I arrived just in time for the ADA private event at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. Vicki bravely rode the Harry Potter ride and then begged off for a beverage and early bedtime. Yours truly reverted to age 16 and rode all the coasters including the Hulk and Velociraptor twice. Talk about insanity and inversion. What a thrill! It was fun to roam the park without crowds and bump into members like Dr. Emily HahnDr. Ed Stephens and Drs. Lynne Barbour and Lori Roseman who were digging on Captain America. Many members brought their staff and/or families for a night to remember.

SmileCon: Like Its Won Theme Park Where Missouri Was On Stage!

The first part of the week is the enormous SmileCon event where dentists and staff can soak up great CE, meet vendors, get special discounts and have fun with all manner of attractions from Podcast and Wellness Hubs to an Escape Room to a massive chess board and more. I could barely make a lap without oxygen and a nap. And there were some great plenary sessions as well. In my brief time there, I heard from incoming ADA President, Dr. Linda Edgar. I was wowed by the video tributes for the recipients of the Humanitarian Award (Dr. Bill Milner) and Distinguished Service Award (John Featherstone, PhD). But perhaps my favorite part was listening to keynote speaker Mark Scharenbroich give his inspirational speech. At one point, he asks who in the audience rides a Harley and calls one person up on stage. I was floored when I recognized MDA member, Dr. Trey Kalbaugh. Trey gave a great impromptu interview and came away with some goodies for it. Way to go!

Serious Business in the 6th District and Beyond

The main event for Vicki and I was the House of Delegates which involves district meetings, caucus meetings, reference committee meetings, a good dose of discussion, a large bit of pomp and circumstance, and even some receptions and elections. ADPAC was raising money. Members were learning about the new Strategic Forecasting Committees. I can’t and won’t begin to try and summarize actions taken, but I will say there are some committed leaders doing a great job setting policy and direction. I was especially proud when Dr. Danielle Riordan stood up to officially nominate our own Dr. Bob Butler who ran a spirited campaign for 2nd Vice President before coming up short. Members voted in Dr. Edwin A. deValle-Sepulveda instead and Dr. Brett Kessler as President-Elect. We also heard from ADA Executive Director, Dr. Ray Colhemia, about bold changes coming on the horizon. The members even passed a 5% REDUCTION in dues. That never happens.

A Great Delegation

I can’t begin to cover all the great conversations or meals with MDA members. We gathered for a Chiefs watch party, we walked our brains out, we chuckled and we opined on all manner of issues. Thanks to the full 6th district and especially our Missouri delegates, alternates and guests: Drs. Jay BrownLousie FirstPrabu (Woon Mi) RamanTed RechtinDanielle RiordanRob TaitDoug WyckoffBob ButlerRobyn HayesCheryl HaleySteve (Christine) SchoolmanWendy WeimerJen WheelerConnie WhiteJon (Stephanie) CopelandAmanda FitzpatrickEmily (David) MattinglyVince RapiniJoe Sokolowski and Mark (Phyllis) Zust. I sure hope I didn’t overlook anyone. Thanks for their time away from home and practice to serve the greater good!

In Other News

I know Jerri Wildhaber is at a MedPro conference in Charleston, SC. Today there is a NEDS meeting in Mexico, MO. Plus tonight there’s an exciting event with MOSDOH and Smiles of Hope in Dexter, MO. Plus the response to all things EFDA has been very positive, and awesome work continues on the Clinical Training Center in the MDA basement that will host future courses, including flooring going in!

The Week Ahead

More travel on tap with the UMKC Scholarship dinner, a New Dentist Social in Joplin, a New Dentist Network Zoom on Mental Health and a Food for Thought at UMKC SOD. More oxygen please. Exciting times to be a member in the MDA!

Quote of the Week

The changemaker movement is on.” – Dr. Brett Kessler, ADA President Elect