May 2019 Volume LIV Number 3


Creating a Legacy

July 2012 Volume XLVIII Number 4

We are indeed a hard-working bunch. We care for as many patients as we can treat effectively, we create research publications – clinical methods portrayals – or business plans; and we work hard to achieve the results we want – we produce as many effective demonstrations of our efforts as we can. Accidently or intentionally, we create outcomes that affect not only those patients, parents, and others we encounter on daily basis, but also those we may never encounter in person.
As president of the AAPD I intend to consider this. With a short one-year term, there is not a lot I can personally accomplish only by virtue of those whom I directly encounter. The greatest impact I can make is through influencing my successors. To the extent I can create ideas, programs or outcomes that my succeeding officers will take on, I will be ever more successful. Therefore, I will look to identify those big things that must be brought forward, that may require well more than one year to accomplish, and that must be embarked upon now.
Over the next year, I will introduce many endeavors that are important to the Academy. You will hear in future reports (and in more detail) about the specific plans to move forward within each of these important areas. First, we must examine the fact that many of the most important things we do as an organization require more than one year to accomplish. Given that our organizational system has historically functioned in a way where everything must be approved within a single fiscal year, we must develop a system wherein we plan that certain initiatives require many years to unfold. Many more good things will occur if we anticipate a multi-year timetable rather than be disappointed when we can’t get everything done within a single year.
We must learn and share with our international colleagues. There is much information we possess or which others possess that we do not know the other has. There is scientific evidence which doesn’t make it across the ocean because of language barriers. That should not stop us from an active exchange of ideas in a world which is flat. I have had the good fortune of having visited pediatric dentists in dozens of countries around the world. I have learned that not only can we help and touch many others in many places from what we know, but that we can learn a lot from what others know and have experienced. Just wait until we interact more – we will all be surprised
with the outcomes and the benefits.
Please consider attending the 2013 IAPD meeting in Seoul after the 2013 AAPD Annual Session. You will not be disappointed. You will be rewarded and will reward others with your presence.
Our great organization has functioned quite well with its benevolent volunteers working closely with our amazing staff at the central office. In spite of this, we are missing a big opportunity by not actively recruiting many who could help us even more. Many of you possess a talent for leading us into the future. We work within a volunteer organization
of councils, committees, a board, officers and other positions.
Most of those we select to serve are well-qualified, and do exceptionally well for our collective benefit, yet most of the membership is not involved. We must create a method to identify, target, recruit, and train expert talent to guarantee the best possible outcomes in the future.
We will create a talent pool management system that will target a broader range of individuals who can benefit the AAPD in all of its missions – to be the voice of children’s oral health; to educate others; to speak to audiences and to share important information; and to advocate and otherwise represent all of us in our mission.
Each of us has daily experiences in our practices where we touch the lives of a child and their parents. Whatever we give or learn from each of those wonderful experiences may be of great value to many and may indeed influence many. Let’s figure out a way to go beyond those we personally touch.
I once learned that the only true distinction of humans from all other species of animals is our ability to transmit information to yetunborn descendants. Via establishing a clear legacy, each of us can make an impact far beyond the many we encounter and influence an exponentially greater lot.