March 2012 Volume XLVIII Number 2
I recently was diagnosed with an extremely low Vitamin D level and have been placed on supplements. I have always been healthy but this has caused me great concern about my bones’ health. It is a part of my Norwegian heritage that I am very susceptible to osteoporosis and Vitamin D deficiency, so I was surprised that despite all my attempts to avoid this outcome, I have it in a very big way! I lead a very active life and am concerned about my ability to continue to have this lifestyle that I love. So much of what we do is dependent on healthy bones and our backbone - the foundation and support of an active body.
I have talked in previous messages about my love of music and dancing- I need to keep my bones healthy so that I can continue to "DANCE TO THE MUSIC". As the "Dry Bones" song says: the foot bone’s connected to the leg bone, the leg bone’s connected to the knee bone, the knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone, the thigh bone’s connected to the backbone, the backbone’s connected to the neck bone, the neck bone’s connected to the head bone. Our backbone supports our body and allows us to function and do all the things we want to do and live the life we want to live.
As I have traveled this year on your behalf, the number one thing that I have noticed is how committed you and your volunteer leaders are - whether at the local, state or district level. These are the legs and support foundation of the AAPD. Members who have shown their leadership at these levels, who have then become involved at the national level, continue to raise the achievements of the AAPD. It is through all our members that our voice for what is best for children continues to be heard.
It is no different at the national level with the AAPD. I want to talk with you about the AAPD backbone - it is the unbelievably dedicated volunteer leadership and our incredibly talented AAPD headquarters staff. Each AAPD council and committee has an AAPD member chair, an AAPD board of trustees liaison, and an AAPD headquarters staff liaison. I want to acquaint you with these folks who do so much for us and deserve our most heartfelt thanks. Without their hard work, the AAPD would not have achieved all that it has and it would not be recognized as the voice of children’s oral health and the respected leader in advocating for this nation’s children as well as those throughout the world.
The AAPD is a true leader in how it functions and our abilities to influence others on a state and national level in all things involving children’s oral health. We are the envy of many organization and associations. We have a 94.4 percent retention rate with our members, we have 100 percent of our organization’s operating expenses in reserve, we have the highest number of applicants to our residency programs of all the specialties, and as KC and the Sunshine Band said, "That’s the Way (I Like It)".
So I want to recognize those that have helped us achieve what we have this past year, and will continue to direct us and assist us in the future - where we can and will achieve even greater heights. It is time to "CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES - come on!" (Kool and the Gang)
I do want to acknowledge the ABPD, which supports our members and their quest to achieve board certified diplomate status. Their staff, executive director, and board of directors work very hard to provide an examination process that recognizes a member’s knowledge and upon successful completion of various examinations allows this member to achieve diplomate status. We have achieved a board certified level of 62 percent of eligible members of the AAPD - and for this the current and previous ABPD board members, Dr. Art Nowak, outgoing ABPD executive director, and examination consultants have much to be proud of. I am honored to be one of these examiners. It has been a privilege and a great joy to be able to assist a member in becoming a board certified pediatric dentist! I enjoy their CELEBRATION of this achievement!
In addition, I want to highlight our Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children Foundation. I am so proud that in the last few years your donations have directly impacted the oral health of over 1.6 MILLION kids with their access to care grants. I appreciate all that they have done under the current leadership of Dr. David Curtis, HSHC president, and their wonderful board of trustees. Your generous donations have financed these Access to Care Grants. Many thanks to Dr. Beverly Largent and her committee in analyzing all the applications and deciding on those worthy projects that have impacted so many children’s lives. We continue to impact so many children through our members’ contributions - how great is that? It is indeed a reason to CELEBRATE!
These two organizations are the arms of pediatric dentistry. They extend our outreach in so many ways. However, let’s get back to the backbone of the AAPD - Let’s start at the vertebrae - the AAPD councils and committees.
The Council on Annual Session, chaired by Dr. Warren Brill, has worked very hard on what will be a wonderful, fun, exciting Annual Session in San Diego. Our Local Arrangements co-chairs Dr. Lori Good and Mitchell Poiset have rallied members in the area to ensure you have a wonderful time and a great experience.
Our Scientific Program Committee, chaired by Dr. Joe Young, have put together an unbelievable program of continuing education for this meeting. Our staff liaison is AAPD Meeting Services Director Tonya Almond. I have enjoyed working with her and both of these groups in choosing your opportunities for education and fun while in San Diego. We are going to have a fabulous Annual Session! Please plan on joining me in beautiful, sunny, fantabulous San Diego! "Come Sea for Yourself"
The AAPD Council on Clinical Affairs has one of the longest list of charges of the councils. They are lead by Dr. Joe Castellano, and under his leadership they have completed a long list of policy and guideline reviews. These are recognized by many organizations as being the absolute best when it comes to children’s oral health and are endorsed by many other organizations. The staff liaisons are Dental Benefits Manager Mary Essling and Oral Health Research and Policy Center Assistant Director Jan Silverman. Our board liaison Dr. Rob Delarosa was the chair of this council in the past so he too understands the tremendous amount of work that this council produces. With our emphasis on evidence-based dentistry, this council will ensure that our guidelines meet evidence-based dentistry guidelines in the coming years as we review our guidelines on a rotational basis.
The Committee on Sedation and Anesthesia, chaired by Dr. Chuck Post, is aware of the many changes that our states have passed with regards to sedation permits. This committee has provided expertise in many states and has assisted various states with sedation issues pertaining to children. The AAPD board liaison is Dr. Man Wai Ng. This Committee continues to monitor sedation issues throughout our nation. The AAPD staff liaison is AAPD CEO Dr. John Rutkauskas.
The Committee on Special Health Care Needs under Chair Dr. Ed Rick and AAPD board liaison Dr. John Hendry, has been very active. This AAPD committee is presenting a course at the ADA 2012 Annual Session on "Transitioning Special Needs Patients to the General Dentist". This is a serious problem among our members and we are working very hard to expand the cadre of practitioners who are willing to treat these patients as they reach adulthood. We hope that this presentation can be expanded and presented at many venues to grow this cadre of dentists who can and will treat these patients whom we have come to care so much about but who may have treatment needs beyond our expertise. AAPD staff liaison is Rutkauskas, who was involved for many years in Dentistry for the Handicapped before becoming the AAPD CEO.
Dr. Michael Ignelzi chairs our Council on Continuing Education. He along with the AAPD board liaison Dr. Jade Miller have worked hard with their committee members to present some absolutely outstanding continuing education courses for our members. This is one of the most highly regarded benefits by our members. Our staff liaisons AAPD Meetings Services Manager Kristi Turcheck from our meeting department and AAPD Educational Affairs Manager Scott Dalhouse look for ways to make these educational experiences the absolute best for our members. This committee is exploring ways to produce more of these courses online. We have had a few webinars this year, which were very successful.
The AAPD Journal-Based Continuing Education Committee under Chair Homa Amini, along with board liaison Dr. Jade Miller, looks for ways to provide exceptional CE through our journals and allow our members to gain CE credits. Staff liaisons Dalhouse and Turcheck provide headquarters expertise in developing this avenue for CE.
The Council on Dental Benefit Programs under chair Dr. Paul Reggiardo are continuously evaluating code changes and evaluating dental benefits for our members. Dr. Jim Nickman is the AAPD board liaison and as a past chair of this council, he understands the complexities involved in working with the ADA and the insurance third party payers in these decisions. Mary Essling as the AAPD staff liaison is a wonderful resource for our members who have insurance coding and payer questions. Our AAPD Coding and Insurance Manual is in its second edition and is an excellent resource for your office management library.
Our Council on Government Affairs has evaluated and organized our legislative priorities under the guidance of chair Dr. Beverly Largent. The AAPD board liaison Dr. Jeanne Beauchamp, staff liaison AAPD COO and General Counsel C. Scott Litch, Child Advocate Dr. Jim Crall, Congressional liaison Dr. Heber Simmons, and Mike Gilliland from our lobbyist firm Hogan Lovells have looked at Washington, D.C.’s atmosphere and they advise the AAPD on how and where to exert our influence on how to do what’s best for our kids. Our annual Lobby Days in March along with distributions of AAPD PAC money helps us to make connections in D.C. It is all about the children!
The AAPD Pediatric Dental Medicaid and CHIP Advisory Committee Chair Dr. Ross Wezmar along with board liaison Dr. Scott Cashion report back to the AAPD board of trustees as to what is happening around the country. Staff liaison Litch evaluates what is happening throughout the year and keeps the AAPD board of trustees appraised.
Our Council on Membership and Membership Services, under the leadership of chair Dr. Paul Kennedy III and AAPD board liaison Dr. Mario Ramos are constantly striving to discover the wishes of the AAPD membership and then finding ways to provide benefits. Membership and Marketing Director Suzanne Wester as the AAPD staff liaison provides her expertise and with a 96 percent retention rate we are obviously providing our membership what they want. Our surveys of our members give us that feedback so voice your thoughts and we will do all we can to provide what you want.
The New Pediatric Dentist Committee looks for ways to assist our newest graduates. Under the leadership of Chair Dr. Nina Estrella and Dr. Shari Kohn, the AAPD board liaison, this committee has really tuned in to the thoughts and wishes of our new pediatric dentists. Wester has provided great AAPD staff expertise. We welcome our newest members and know that it is truly through these members that the AAPD will continue to grow in numbers and relevance to our members and other organizations.
In addition to our new pediatric dentists, we seek the input of our residents through the AAPD Pediatric Dental Resident Committee. Under the leadership of Chair Anna Forsyth and AAPD board liaison Man Wai Ng, this committee seeks ways to enable residents throughout the country to talk with each other and work together on research projects. Along with AAPD staff liaison Wester, this committee will continue to evolve and coordinate discussions between residents in programs throughout the United States and to foster life long friendships - and that is what the AAPD is all about!
The Committee on Communications is always seeking ways that they can give our members information, brochures and patient education materials that will assist them in their practices or academic programs. Chair Dr. Ryan Hughes and AAPD board liaison Dr. Jeanne Beauchamp again seek input through membership surveys. Our very creative staff liaison Cindy Hansen, publications manager, works with them and other headquarters staff to develop wonderful visual materials our members use daily to promote pediatric dentistry and their offices. Erika Skorupskas, public relations manager, also lends her expertise. The end result is outstanding promotional materials for our members that educate our parents and provide information on various topics in pediatric dentistry.
The AAPD Council on Pre-Doctoral Education, under Chair Dr. Homa Amina and AAPD board liaison Dr. Shari Kohn evaluate and examine ways that AAPD can continue to influence and educate the predoctoral students on pediatric dentistry. Staff liaison Dalhouse assists, as this entire committee understands that general dentists treat more children that all AAPD members, and it is up to pediatric dentists to teach them so that the care they provide is the best that they can do, and that they refer to specialists the patients whom they are unable to treat.
The AAPD Council on Post-Doctoral Education has been evaluating the new CODA standards and weighing in on their thoughts. Chair Dr. Erwin Turner along with AAPD board liaison Dr. Kevin Donly have discussed these changes with AAPD members and have communicated the discussions to the AAPD. Again, Dalhouse as the AAPD educational affairs manager, has assisted in ongoing discussions with CODA and our outgoing CODA representative Dr. Paul Cassamassimo and incoming CODA representative Donly.
The Post-Doctoral Inservice Examination Committee is bringing an electronic format to this examination and will continue to find ways to assist the program directors in their quest for information as to how to improve their programs. Chair Dr. Elliott Shulman along with board liaison Dr. Kevin Donly and staff liaison Scott Dalhouse, along with the committee members have worked very hard on developing this examination.
One of our most active councils, the Council on Scientific Affairs, has also been very involved in developing our process for evaluating our policies and guidelines through evidence-based dentistry. Chair Dr. Jessica Lee, her entire committee, board liaison Dr. Jane Gillette and staff liaisons Silverman and Dalhouse are thoroughly investigating how the AAPD can review and base our policies and guideline on evidence-based dentistry. This will be a long, tedious process but a very necessary one. We will work hard on these in the coming years and because of this our policies and guidelines will continue to be the source of information of how to best treat the children of this world.
These are the vertebrae of the AAPD - our councils and committees. In addition, we have many headquarters staff who provide much needed assistance and expertise. Probably the heart of the AAPD headquarters staff is Margaret Bjerklie. She provides so much experience to our board meetings and the daily management of the AAPD headquarters staff. She is the AAPD executive assistant and office manager. You will hear her, Jan Haase or Kathy Corbin answer the phone when you call AAPD. They always answer in a very pleasant voice and will get you to the right staff person to answer your questions.
Margitta Winkler is the Business Services Director and as such handles the input of all AAPD income and expenses.
Our Publications and Communications Department under Manager Cindy Hansen develop our very creative publications and communications. The entire department with staff members Bob Gillmeister, who assists with the online store, Tom McHenry, our webmaster (check out the changes on our new look at our website), and Adriana Loaiza our publication coordinator are very creative and really strive to provide us with a very current up-to-date look in all our publications.
Our Public Relations Manager Erika Skorupskas along with Jeannette Castillo, our media and publications assistant, are always seeking ways for our members to be seen and quoted in the media, written, online, and on TV and radio. They work very hard to make sure our messages are presented to the media.
Our members who attend any of AAPD’s meetings throughout the year know what a great job our Meetings Department accomplishes. The team of Tonya Almond, Kristi Turcheck, Debra Gilbert and Abbie Burrows make sure our speakers, our attendees, our VIPS and our visitors enjoy a wonderful AAPD experience. Our continuing education meetings and conferences continue to sell out not only because of excellent course information but also because of wonderful support from our staff, making sure things are going smoothly.
Our Membership Department of Suzanne Wester and Adrienne Ellis are there to assist all our members in any way they can. Please utilize their expertise with any questions you have.
We have other staff that assist the HSHC Foundation, Paul Amundsen, Tracey Schilligo and Philip Bloch. They have assisted the HSHC in their growth and administration of HSHC Access to Care Grants.
All of these staff members work very hard for you, our AAPD members. They are the discs that support the vertebrae of our AAPD. Thanks to each and every one of you for all you do.
Back to "Dem Bones" - the backbone is connected to the neck bone. The AAPD neck bone is our CEO Dr. John Rutkauskas as the Atlas vertebrae. The Axis C2 vertebra is our COO and General Counsel Scott Litch. These two key members of our AAPD headquarters staff help keep us from falling off our rocker. We owe so much of our growth, our leadership position amongst our sister specialties to their guidance.
Our head bone is actually made up of the AAPD Executive Committee and the board of trustees. There are so many talented members around the board table that it is always a pleasure to hear their thoughts and opinions. Decisions are thoughtfully arrived at and voted upon. Every single board member understands the trust that our members have in them to make decisions and carry out those decisions in a way that is in the best interest of all our members.
I have been impressed with each and every member of the AAPD organization. Whether a pediatric dentist or a headquarters staff member, it is through all of their efforts and yours that the AAPD is truly the recognized leader in children’s oral health. We will continue to grow, develop and influence those who look to us for our expertise. It is time to celebrate our accomplishments. We are the voice for the children we serve and those who deserve our care. It is time to recognize who we are and what we do. It is time for you to get involved, voice your thoughts and opinions, it is time to be an advocate for the children - it is time!
COME JOIN US IN SAN DIEGO AND ..."CELEBRATE, CELEBRATE... DANCE TO THE MUSIC!!!!"