March 2019 Volume LIV Number 2

 
 
 
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A Message from your President: Building on Success

July 2015 Volume L Number 4

 Wow, what a meeting!! For those of you who were in Seattle, I think you'd agree that once again, our Annual Session was a huge success. Congratulations to Tonya Almond and the meetings staff for a tremendous effort. The numbers have come in, and they are great! Beginning with pre-registration at 5,425 and including onsite registration, our total for the meeting was over 5,700 attendees. This will put Seattle in the top five of Annual Session totals. What is equally impressive is the fact that we had just under 3,000 members in attendance, representing almost a third of our membership. This statistic is impressive, and I believe in large part it is based upon membership satisfaction with our locations, meeting content and venues. In addition, both our international colleagues and Affiliate members were well represented at the meeting. Our Preconference course had an audience of 440, Academic Day 135 (sold out), and we had 60 volunteers for a very successful Dental Home Day at the UW Center for Pediatric Dentistry. 

At Dental Home Day, 152 children were seen by our volunteers and staff. This was our third year doing this event, and it keeps getting better and better each year. A big thanks goes to Dr. Joel Berg and all of the faculty and staff at the school for giving us access to their fine facility. Thanks also to Paul Amundsen and the staff at the Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children Foundation for all they do to make this day a huge success.

As president-elect this past year, I had the opportunity to attend quite a few meetings—19 including this Annual Session. From state meetings, district meetings, national meetings and international meetings, I've had the pleasure of meeting so many individuals who believe what I do— pediatric dentistry is a noble cause, and we are blessed with the opportunity to make a difference in our patients' lives. I know this is why we see the passion, drive and commitment from so many volunteers, serving at all levels. I have seen the effort put forth time and again to make us as an organization and as pediatric dentists better, to reach more kids and their families and to steward our great specialty. I am humbled to serve with these individuals in our mission, and I look forward to this year traveling and working together with our colleagues and friends.

My agenda for this year is fairly straightforward. We must continue to build upon the foundation my predecessors have started regarding identifying and developing new talent and leadership, supporting and enhancing our collaboration with our international and general dental colleagues, and of course being responsive and reactive to those issues that always come up during the year. I intend to continue our efforts to communicate with our districts and states, as it is our intention to make these organizations as strong as they can be. One of my goals is to have a public policy advocate identified for each state—we're close but we're not whole yet.

And finally, I want to set up a task force that will look at our future members and leaders—the millennials. Through my young partners, I have come to appreciate the challenges they face coming out of residency programs, and I know their issues are different than those of we veterans who have been in this game for a while. I believe it vital that to continue our level of achievement and success as an organization, practice or school, we have to respond and adapt to changes in the dynamics of our future members. I'm not certain we will necessarily solve the debt issues, but I'm positive we can make a home for our millennials that will capitalize on their strengths and differences and will let them flourish in our organization. This in turn will continue our legacy as the Big Authority on Little Teeth many years after my generation is gone.

I know this from experience, this organization responds to its membership. The response may not always please every party, but the desire to do what is in the best interest of our children is always the basis for our decisions. That will not change with my tenure as president or with this current board.

Lastly, for his outstanding service and dedication to AAPD, I would like to extend my personal thanks to Immediate Past President Dr. Ed Moody. For his leadership and mentorship this year, I say well done, Ed!  

Click here for a PDF version of this article.

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