May 2019 Volume LIV Number 3


Keep on Dancing

May 2012 Volume XLVIII Number 3

I have just returned from a nice, long walk with Maggie, my Wheaten Terrier, on a beautiful morning. The trees are in bloom, birds are singing, sunshine warms the air and a gentle breeze ruffles our hair. What a glorious day! As I walked I was inspired to think about this past year as your AAPD president and reflect on all that it has meant to me.
Throughout my travels to pediatric dental meetings I have enjoyed meeting so many of you, my colleagues. Frequently you have asked how to get more involved in organized pediatric dentistry. I answered you in person and tried to answer those questions through my editorials in the issues of PDT over the past year. There are so many opportunities
at the state, district, and national levels in pediatric dentistry as well as the ADA, NDA, HDA and many other national dental organizations.
The AAPD has also had a great year! Some of the highlights are:
  • Membership has grown.
  • Our involvement with child advocacy has greatly increased in D.C. and at the state level.
  • 62 percent of AAPD members are board certified.
  • Pediatric dental programs had the highest
  • number of applicants of all dental specialties.
  • Establishment of the AAPD Pediatric Oral Health Research and Policy Center under the direction of Dr. Paul Casamassimo increases our voice as the authority on children’s oral health.
The children we serve deserve to have a voice in decisions made on their behalf – we are that voice! We are the authority on children’s oral health – we have the knowledge and expertise. Speak up, speak loudly, and speak often – become the music that encourages others to dance. Our voices on behalf of children encourage people to get themselves and others involved and wanting to help. Become a mentor and help others choose not to sit it out – but dance! The children and our profession depend on it.
I have made so many new friends and have been able to reconnect with those that I haven’t seen in a while. You have made me feel right at home during my visits. You have taken a real interest in both the AAPD and me. To quote Sam and Dave, "and I thank you!" I have received so much support and encouragement throughout my career and even more as an officer of the AAPD. I want to thank you so many of you for being the music that made me want to get involved – to dance! For those who want to be more involved, speaking as the president of the AAPD, I want to echo George Strait – "I want to dance with you…."
I am grateful to each and every one of you for all you do for the children of our nation and others, the profession of pediatric dentistry, and for making the AAPD the envy of every other dental specialty. It has been such a true honor to represent you and be your voice. I will never forget this year, it has meant a great deal to me. It is a cliché, but words really cannot express my gratitude.
My thanks to the AAPD volunteer leadership, the members of our councils and committees, the board of trustees, my executive committee, the headquarters staff under the exceptional leadership of our CEO Dr. John Rutkauskas, and especially to every member of the AAPD for your support and contributions over this past year. The AAPD will be well represented in the coming year by President-Elect Dr. Joel Berg. His very capable hands will hold the reins of the AAPD in the coming year. I know he will do an excellent job for you.
I look forward to seeing you in San Diego for the AAPD annual session and my party! Let’s make this the best meeting ever! As my final written words to you as your AAPD president, I want to say, as The Gentrys sang, "Keep on dancin’…."