May 2020 Volume LV Number 3


This Year in Review

May 2017 Volume LII Number 3

Q. As AAPD President, your agenda has focused on Academy relationships with our members throughout the organization, including educators and the patients we treat. Other priorities were the Academy’s implementation of the Board of Trustee’s action for update of a Strategic Plan and a Task Force on Safety. Can you please share how each of these goals has been accomplished?

A. The area of our lives that we hold as most important is our relationships—family, friends, colleagues and patient families. This is no different in a membership or- ganization. Our members define us as an organization and the patients we care for. Strong relationships are key to the success of any organization. I feel this past year we were extremely successful in that endeavor.

My travels as president took me to a number of meeting and events within our District and State Chapters. My experi- ence meeting with my colleagues

further confirmed how incredible pediatric den- tists truly are. The process of enhancing our strategic plan has involved a comprehensive and collaborative effort. The committed and innovative involvement of the Wharton School of Business and 35 of some of the best and brightest AAPD members in Ad- vanced Leadership, focused nearly a year to develop a new strategic plan. This plan will serve as a path as the Academy moves forward over the next several years.

The culture of safety within healthcare has integrated every area of patient care. The Academy has taken the opportunity to fur- ther focus on areas of safety so we can be a resource for our members to even better care for our patients and dental team.

Q. Are there achievements/milestones of AAPD under your leadership of which you’re most proud?

A. We have much to be extremely proud of as an organization. Our District and State Chapters serve our members in their local and regional areas. In the AAPD’s commitment to be an ongoing resource for our chapters, the Academy launched its inaugural Chapter Leadership Orientation and State Public Policy Advocate Refresher course. This proved to be an extremely successful event that not only opened op- portunities for even further collaboration and support across all three levels of our organization, but also allowed for network- ing among all that attended.

The Academy continues its commitment to ongoing education to the public on the importance of children’s oral health and how a pediatric dentist is the best provider equipped to care for children and adoles- cents. An extremely strong interest, that is growing, by TV and radio stations, as well as the Internet and social media-based outlets all over the country about children’s issues. The AAPD through its work with our internal and outside public relations firm reached millions of people in this particular effort this year.

Q. You have been key in promoting our Monster-Free Mouths campaign this year. From your perspective, how was it meeting with the New York Times, Parents and Fam- ily Circle Magazine among other consumer publications in October 2016? What message in your opinion were they most receptive to?

A. Having an opportunity to meet with those pre-eminent media outlets to discuss a vari- ety of children’s oral health topics was not only a great opportunity for children’s oral health and the AAPD, but was another highlight of my year as president. Their primary interest was in emerging and newer therapeutics and procedures. We discussed the evolving and increasing use of silver diamine fluoride and explained that its use is not a panacea, rather an additional tool for managing and delaying definitive care in specific situations. In ad- dition, the topic of the Hall Technique was discussed and its primary use in limited situations in the United Kingdom. Lastly, we discussed the futuristic emerging area of regenerative medicine and dentistry in the area of stem cells.

Q. How would you recommend addressing the faculty shortage issue?

A. There are many factors that have contrib- uted to the shortage of pediatric dental faculty at many educational centers. Those include: student educational debt, income differential between education and private practice, growth in dental schools and post graduate programs requiring more educa- tors, to name a few. The potential solutions are multifactorial as well. That includes increasing the culture of benefits of being an educator, faculty loan repayment and innovative financial solutions that reduce the income differential. The Master Clini- cian program, sponsored by the AAPD and HSHC, is also making a difference.

Q. You participated in a national Satellite Media Tour as part of our media outreach for Halloween, as well as an Internet Media Tour for National Children’s Dental Health Month. Can you please share insight into these experiences?

A. The commitment the Academy has made to educate and raise the awareness of the specialty of pediatric dentistry through an active and aggressive public aware- ness campaign over the past several years is continuing to reap growing trust and respect. Many members were AAPD Spokespersons as media outlets across the country collaborated with the Academy to spread the work of pediatric dentistry and children’s oral health issues. A highlight of my professional career has been serving as your president and going to New York to have 34 media interviews from local, re- gional and national markets. This resulted in 1,740 media placements that reached 20.9 millions people. That same trip also allowed the Academy to meet with The New York Times, Parents Magazine and Family Circle Magazine to share topics of potential interest with their readers. I also had the opportunity to do a second group of 26 media interviews that reached close to 15 million people. Wow! Sixty interviews— over 45 million people—now that’s getting our message OUT!

Q. In your opinion, how can dental profes- sionals do a better job of reaching parents and educating them on the importance of a Dental Home and Age One dental visit?

A. I know pediatric dentists and the AAPD does a great job of stressing the impor- tance. In my opinion, we still have work to do when it comes to our general dental and family practice medical colleagues. Most important is to create that culture in the pediatric medical provider community.

The evidence is clear: Age One dental visits improve oral health and are a cost savings.

Q. With the new administration, there’s been lots of discussion around the ACA and how that may look should President Trump repeal this. Can you please provide your opinion on the potential effects of Trump’s health policy agenda pursuits on children’s oral health?

A. As of the time of this writing the Trump Administration just released the first proposal for the American Health Care Act. By the time you read this I am sure there will be a variety of alterations. No matter what becomes final the AAPD feels key elements are:

• Maintain children’s oral health as a required part of the Essential Health Benefits.
• No deductible, 100 percent coverage for preventive and diagnostic services.
• Some embedded plans, which com- bine dental together with the child’s medical insurance as one policy, have a combined deductible that often is several thousand dollars. Having a separate reasonable dental deductible is critical.
• Reauthorize the CHIP program.

Q. Silver diamine fluoride has generated a lot of media attention this year. Are there other pediatric dentistry topics/trends that you are aware of that the Academy is fol- lowing?

A. Television and radio networks have been primarily interested in Age One visit, preventive care and dietary recommenda- tions. The print media has been interested in emerging dental science or procedures. Some topics I have discussed are: silver diamine fluoride, the Hall Technique for restorative situations, dental stem cells, newer caries diagnostic technology and Caries Risk Assessment.

Q. You’ve engaged in two Twitter chats repre- senting the Academy. Why is it important in your opinion that we continue to do these?

A. A significant presence in social media forums is critical because, quite honestly, it is the way many of the younger moms and dads get much of their information today. It gives the AAPD an opportunity to tailor the discussion topics and at times that work best for them. With all the information available online and in social media, it is important that the AAPD has significant involvement in getting out the accurate message.

Q. Anything else you would like to add?

A. The last thing I would like to express is my deep and sincere appreciation to repre- sent the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry as your president this past year. My colleagues have been so gracious and welcoming in events I attended, and I can honestly say, "Pediatric Dentists are the finest, most compassionate people in the world." You can be so proud of the AAPD Team at 211 East Chicago Ave., in Chicago at our headquarters office that makes our organization succeed every day. They have been a pleasure to work with and made me look good.

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