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The Week That Was: Grandma Vicki Update

By Paul Roberts

April 26, 2024

Vicki is a Grand Mother!

Every week we have MDA business to discuss but it can wait because it’s rare that we get to announce and celebrate an MDA grandbaby. Allow me to introduce your headliner, Weston Wayne Wilbers, son of Ryan and Jayme Wilbers and first grandchild of Darrell and Vicki Wilbers. WWW or Trip as they have chosen to call him arrived on Tuesday, April 23rd and weighed in at 7.8 oz and 20.5 inches. Naturally, he’s the cutest baby ever born and you can tell by the smiling faces what joy he brings to the Wilbers family. I know you join the MDA staff in celebrating this special addition.  Way to go Mama Jamie and congrats, Queen Vic!

On to Important OPA News

On Tuesday we learned that the change to waive the current Rules to allow the OPA EFDA Pilot to begin has been published in the May 1 Missouri Register. This next month is very important because it’s the window to file public comments with the Missouri Dental Board in support of this strategic initiative. Learn more at

Leveling Up in Kansas City

Team Travel was in full capacity as Stacey HemmelJerri WildhaberDevin Jungmeyer, and I descended on the UMKC SOD for a rush of activities. We started with National Signing Day in the hallway. Our D4 students were leveling up their student membership to full membership. Everyone that day who came to see us got a free Chairside Instructor ($100 value from the ADA), a $25 gift card from the MDA, and some free swag. Congrats to the five lucky grand prize raffle winners, Chandler HillKeely StoferSam DouglassDillon Trinh, and Kristina Nguyen.  They each won $100 cash, a lunch bag, a mug, a t-shirt and an Air Tag. Before we left, we had 83 of 107 students corralled. We saw lots of smiling faces and future MDA members. Kudos for this impressive achievement of finishing dental school.

Food For Though Hits Full Capacity

Chick-Fil-A on a nice day led to 125+ students joining us for Food for Thought. That might be a record. Dr. Steven Hassenplug, a New Dentist from Springfield, MO, shared his journey and interacted well with the crowd. As a special bonus, longtime MDA member, Dr. Jerry Cash, was also in the audience checking things out before doing other business with the school.

Med Pro Social and Lunch n Learn

Also joining the fray in Kansas City was Blake Podschlne, the Medical Protective sale rep for this region. He and Jerri team up to provide first rate, affordable malpractice insurance and education to these emerging dentists. Blake hosted a social Tuesday evening with about 20 students who enjoyed adult beverages and appetizers together before pairing up against each other in several rounds of high card/low card until we had a champion. The next day Blake fed them Chipotle at lunch and had a lively Q&A session about different insurance coverages.

Installation in Springfield

MDA President, Dr. Jeremy Bowen, and I met up in Springfield last night to join the GSDS Social and Officer Installation event at the groovy Hotel Vandivort. Sadly, the rain chased us off the rooftop bar but that didn’t dampen spirits. Beside the jovial mixing with many MDA members, we did do some business and installed new President, Dr. Whitney Bair, President Elect, Dr. Ashely Popejoy, Vice President, Dr. Steven Hassenplug and Treasurer, Dr. Cheryl Haley. Outgoing President, Dr. Carla Duff, was honored by both MDA and GSDS for her service. Meanwhile I was hustling people for Foundation support and selling C4$ tickets. Kudos to Jean Harmison, ED, for putting this together. On the rainy drive home, I made my maiden stop at Buc-ees, the Holy Grail of travel stops. Wonderful and odd all at the same time.

MDA Board Holds Spring Meeting

Today it was business time in our newly painted board room here at the MDA. Dr. Bowen and the trustees covered all manner of business topics including OPA developments, the budget and House of Delegates resolutions. We tried to pigeonhole a number of trustees into recording a brief welcome as part of a new video we are making to celebrate the 2024 grads. Overall, it was a productive day.

The Week Ahead

Team Travel is back on the road for a few days. This time we will be in St Louis with the MOSDOH students for a very similar line up of events. This time we are adding a vendor fair to the agenda. Other than that, all the staff start their extensive training on the new association management system, Fonteva. Not sure this old dog can learn any new tricks, but I’ll try.

Quote of the Week

“Isn’t He the Most Handsome Boy Ever? – One very delighted grandmother