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The Week That Was Blog: February 27-March 3

By Paul Roberts

March 3, 2023

March Arrives With A Bang! While the end of February had plenty of MDA production behind the scenes, it lacked a little on the photo opportunity front. Not so with March. It’s been a busy three days already and the horizon is full. Read along for a short synopsis and check out the album for more photos of our wonderful members. Dental Day at the Capitol More than 30 members descended on the Capitol for MDA’s annual legislative day on Wednesday of this week. The weather was perfect, and the halls of government were abuzz with activity. Olivia Wilson and Halie Payne put together a solid plan and had everything ready for members to visit with their elected officials where they could explain why network leasing and virtual credit cards were not good practices. And they could express thanks for the Medicaid increase that was passed last year. To find out more how you can participate in Medicaid, check out our Town Hall webinar on April 3. Along with the solid VoterVoice email efforts from members who could not attend, the MDA collectively had a strong presence for the profession and moved our agenda forward.
It’s this type of advocacy that sets us apart as you can watch in this brand-new video release, The Power of Advocacy. We still have a long way to go, so keep in touch here for all the latest developments.
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All politics are local, and I love seeing members from various components working together to represent their communities. There’s a very collegial feel about the day that I tried to capture in photos. I toddled along on several appointments to try and catch action shots as well. You can see how relaxed everyone is and why this important day can be so enjoyable. Make plans to join us next year for Dental Day at the Capitol on March 6, 2024.
Quick Pivot to the Nation’s Capital Advocacy plays out on the national scene as well and this weekend several MDA members will join Olivia Wilson and Halie Payne for the ADA Lobby Day in Washington, D.C. Next week I hope to post photos and updates from their efforts. Thanks to all who give up valuable time to work for the greater good. Annual Missouri Coalition for Oral Health Policy Conference Also in town this week was the annual MOCOH conference where providers, policy folks and other active players in the dental health field gathered to hear salient topics discussed and network on ways to advance the mission. I was pleased to see many familiar faces. Mr. Gary Harbison does a great job at the helm of MOCOH. There were several key sponsors in attendance who gave quick insightful updates. Plus, we heard from real hard working partners like Amanda Fahrendorf, MO HealthNet, and Jessica Emmerich, Dental Medicaid Facilitator, and Dale Carr, Director of Missouri Medicaid Audit and Compliance on Medicaid and Gwen Sullentrup, Office of Dental Health, and Roger Sullivan, water system expert, on fluoride. And of course, I was very proud of our MDA members who both served on panels and were recognized as Oral Health Champions for their service on Medicaid and Fluoride issues. Kudos to Drs. Mack Taylor, Lisa Bosch, and Molly Foster. Additionally, past State Dental Directors, Drs. John Dane and Guy Deyton were acknowledged for the groundwork they laid to get us to this point. Lots of good feels all day! The Week Ahead First, Monday is National Dentist Day. Woo hoo! We celebrate you – the compassionate, skilled, smile-maker that you are! Let’s hope the influencers in Washington get that message too. Midweek, Jerri Wildhaber from MDIS and I will travel to UMKC SOD for several events. We have our first Food for Thought of the year, followed by the Greater Kansas City Dental Society’s annual Progressing into the Future event for D3 and D4 students. Then we stay the next day to support Med Pro with their lunch and learn. And next Friday is the MDA Foundation’s spring meeting, so I’ll have plenty more phots and stories to tell. Quote of the Week “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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