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The Week That Was Blog: March 27-31

By Paul Roberts

March 31, 2023

Board Exam Boost Do you recall the stress you were under facing your dental board exams? Could you have used a hug? It’s a rite of passage for dentists I’m sure they just as well forget. Together MDA and MDIS are trying to soften the blow by providing lunch for D4s during board exams. It’s a great way to show our support for our future dentists and have a chance to visit more directly with individual students, especially as they prepare to crossover into active membership. Thanks to Jerri Wildhaber from MDIS and Sam Silvey from the Greater Kansas City Dental Society for sacrificing time and effort last Saturday to spread some cheer. MERIT CE a Success As mentioned last week, the annual Missouri Emergency Response Identification Team (MERIT) held their annual CE event at the MDA offices last Saturday. The turnout was solid and the presentation from Dr. Peter Loomis was well received. No dates have been announced for 2024 but thanks to all who participated this year. Have You Been to Bernie? One of the best things about staff work is when we see members in their natural habitat. Too often we only get to visit at the MDA office or events. But what joy it is when we get to see where the work is done day in and day out. MDA Executive Director, Vicki Wilbers, had this privilege when she was able to drop in on MDA Treasurer, Dr. Mack Taylor, at his practice in Bernie (Southeast MO). Dr. Taylor loves his home region and serves it faithfully as Dental Director of the SEMO FQHC. And despite his rural location and distance from the mother ship, Mack finds a way to be involved. From the New Dentist Committee to his local component leadership to serving on the MDA Board and in many other venues, Dr. Taylor is a big asset for the profession. You can see the joy on both Vicki’s and Mack’s faces. It just feels good to connect! Food for Thought in Kirksville One Tuesday this week, Jerri from MDIS and I traveled up to Kirksville for our spring Food for Thought edition with the MOSDOH D1s and D2s. The flow of these events doesn’t sway from the path very much, but each one has a very unique feel. Our speaker was Dr. Drue Barton, a member of the first graduating class at MOSDOH. He shared about his passion for access issues and his experience being efficient with school outreach screenings and exams in Kansas. Dr. Barton is also a new contracted employee with the MDA helping us with some special projects. The students were eager to listen to him because his wife, Dr. Cierra Eaton, is one of their teachers. Drue and Cierra met in dental school. You’d be surprised (or maybe not) at how many dental students find the love of their life in school. Thanks to all for a good event. Squeeze the Dollars and Polish the Report Not all the work is glamourous travel and fun events. For instance, this week the Re-Envisioning Task Force met Tuesday evening to finalize their report to the MDA Board after five months and several meetings. Their task was to analyze the current environment and make recommendations for changes that would appeal to the younger members and help us be more efficient and engaging as we stay on alert as the sole unifying voice in Missouri for the profession. As you may guess, it takes money to make the machine go just like it does at your practice. On Wednesday of this week the staff spent three hours pouring over the 2024 budget. We are quite mindful of the need to grow non-dues revenue and stretch dues dollars while maintaining valuable programs and keeping our position at the Capitol strong. It’s a good exercise for anyone, and the BOT will get to handle the budget next. The Week Ahead April showers seem to have come in March this year, but everyone is happy to welcome April and move further into Spring. In fact, the good folks at the Northeast Dental Society are meeting today. It’s not too late to register for our big Medicaid webinar next Monday. Also make note that the MDA office will close next Friday to observe Good Friday. May you and yours celebrate the hope that comes with the Easter holiday. Quote of the Week for April’s Fool Day “If every fool wore a crown, we should all be kings” – Welsh Proverb