For Immediate Release
Date: Aug 12th, 2013
Contact: Dr. William J. Moorhead
All Membership Is Local
In a survey released by the ADA last month, the top three reasons our members list as reasons for belonging include “support my profession” (21%), “advocacy” (16%), and “personal professional credibility” (12%). We want to be members to help build and protect our profession. In speaking with leaders across the country, it is clear that for the ADA to be our advocate and for it to protect our profession, we must maintain membership numbers that show we are a strong majority.
You’ve heard the saying “all politics is local.” With the ADA’s tripartite structure, much more than politics is local. The ADA and the KDA can talk about and work on membership, but in the end, it all comes down to our local society for membership efforts to really work. And what works in one society will be entirely different than what might what in another.
In your own dental practice, do you personally ask for referrals? If you do, you learned early in your career that this one-on-one approach is by far the most cost effective and reliable method for building your practice. You also learned that you have to take a risk and “stick your neck out” in asking. For those of you that don’t know me well, I’m naturally a task-oriented dentist who must work at people skills. Fortunately, time has taught me many of these people skills and they have served me well. But initially, asking patients for a referral was way out of my comfort zone.
It’s that same “comfort zone” that makes it difficult for us to ask a non-member dentist about joining our local Society. So I ask you: Is it important to you that our organization be able to advocate and protect our profession? (The survey said yes, by the way.) If so, are you willing to go a little out of your comfort zone to make certain the ADA maintains its influence? One of my goals this year as President is to get membership tools and training to our local Societies. On Friday and Saturday October 25-26, the KDA will be sponsoring a Leadership Conference in Louisville, and half of the conference will be spent reviewing membership efforts. Please talk at your local Society level and send representatives to the conference who have the drive to follow through on this important task. And if you have other local issues you need assistance with immediately, please email me at email@example.com.
Speaking of advocacy, this past June over five hundred dentists gave up three days to fly to Washington D.C. for the ADA’s Washington Leadership Conference. After training on national advocacy issues, we called on our Congressmen and Senators on the hill and were able to meet face to face with most of them. With the advent of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), one issue I would especially like to see find traction is HR 911 – the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act of 2013. Since the 1970’s, insurance companies have largely been exempt from antitrust action from the McCarran-Ferguson Act. HR 911 would authorize the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department to enforce the federal antitrust laws against health insurance companies engaged in anti-competitive conduct.
This legislation would not interfere with the states’ ability to maintain and enforce their own insurance regulations, antitrust statutes, and consumer protection laws. Today, virtually all policy makers recognize both the need to curtail the rising cost of health care coverage and the need to furnish consumers with more coverage options. Passage of H.R. 911 could increase competition in the insurance marketplace by fostering greater federal antitrust enforcement in instances where state regulators fail to act. When competition is not robust, consumers are less likely to see high levels of innovation and variety in the marketplace. The passage of H.R. 911 would foster competition in the health insurance industry, which is an important part of the American economy. Please take the time to contact your Congressman personally and ask for his support for H.R. 911. To send your email, please use the KDA website at http://capwiz.com/kyda.
In wrapping up, I want to thank all of the volunteers who helped to make the RAM events in Harlan and Greenup a huge success. A special thanks to Dr. Walter Blevins, a dentist from West Liberty who also serves as the State Senator for my district, for coordinating the Greenup event, and to Dr.Matt Nunez of Harlan for coordinating the Harlan event. These charity efforts genuinely help the portion of the public that has no where else to turn for their dental care, and they also help position our profession favorably with the public and with our legislators, which ultimately serves us all. If you haven’t volunteered for one of these RAM events, I urge you to set aside at least six hours when the next RAM event is scheduled. You will come away feeling truly rewarded.