September 2018 Volume LIII Number 5

 
 
 
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A Message from Your President

September 2018 Volume LIII Number 5

Volunteers—A Gift to the Community

I hope everyone is having a great summer! As we start our 2018-19 year, AAPD’s councils and committees are getting to work on their new charges following a productive meeting in Hawaii. AAPD, as well as the other groups in organized dentistry, rely on volunteers to get much of the organization’s annual work completed.

 
Have you thought about getting involved in organized dentistry? Not sure how to start, or what you would like to do? There are many areas you can begin to get involved and serve your profession and specialty. Besides the AAPD, there are also the AAPD district and state chapters that have a need for passionate people wanting to serve. Some localities also have pediatric dental societies or study clubs.


If you have never volunteered or have limited experience with volunteer service, a great place to start is with your lo- cal or state dental pediatric dental association. Many times, this is a great way to gain some experience while learning how dental organizations work. Time commitments can be less, which can be helpful to those who are tight on time but still want to volunteer and contribute.


Local pediatric dental societies are the grass roots level. They are a great place to get involved and meet colleagues in your area. A lot of their work is in support of the local dentists and the community. Just about every state has a state pediatric dental chapter of the AAPD. Some are very organized, while others are less structured. Either way, the state pediatric dental associations need great volunteers to continue to develop programs that support members and help affect change within their state legislatures. Most also have a pediatric dentist appointed as a Public Policy Advo- cate to promote children’s oral health issues in the state leg- islative and regulatory process. These individuals can always use your assistance in advocacy efforts. For the current list, visit    http://www.aapd.org/advocacy/public_policy_advocates/.


District chapters exist as part of the AAPD governance structure. AAPD has five districts which represent the states geographically associated with them. Although one district may function differently than another, each has some sort of committee structure where volunteer members are needed.
 
It can also be a great way to meet people from the different states and learn how they handle different issues or how they develop programs for members. Your district trustee, or your district’s officers would be individuals that could help you get more information on getting involved at this level.


Of course, AAPD is the other level at which you can become involved. Currently, AAPD has eight councils and fifteen committees. The eight councils include Annual Session, Clinical Affairs, Government Affairs, Continuing Education, Membership and Membership Services, Sci- entific Affairs, Pre-Doctoral Education, and Post-Doctoral Education. A Committee is a subgroup of a Council and is overseen by that Council. The business of the Academy
gets done through the efforts of the member volunteers who make up these various councils and committees.


Appointment to AAPD councils and committees are for one year and are normally made in the spring before the annual session. If you become interested in volunteering at the AAPD level, your district trustee can help you navigate the waters. You can also go online to http://www.aapd.org/ resources/volunteering_in_aapd and follow the instructions. This will allow your information to be kept on file in case a posi- tion opens that is similar to your request.


There are a limited number of positions within the AAPD that need to be filled each year, so don’t get discour- aged if you are not immediately selected. It might take a little time, especially if you are looking to serve in a particu- lar area.  In the meantime, I encourage you to get involved at the local, state or district level. They are great places to begin your volunteer career or to get more involved. We  are all working toward a common vision…Optimum Oral Health for All Children, so ANY level at which you serve helps our specialty and ultimately the children we care for each day.

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