For Immediate Release
Date: Apr 24th, 2014
Contact: Dr. Garth Bobrowski
I am the KDA! You are the KDA! WE are the KDA!
First, I know many of you don’t know me, so let me introduce myself. I am the oldest of six children and we were blessed to be raised by loving parents. My dad was a country minister (E.U.B./Methodist) and mom was an R.N. We grew up getting one toy for Christmas, but we wore that Sears catalog out dreaming of all the things we wanted. With six children going through that catalog, you know the pages were dog-eared, torn and smudged from little fingers. Mom and dad taught us the value of working and earning. For example, as we cleaned the house, Mom would hide money -- nickels, dimes, and every now and then a quarter. What a joy it was to find that money! Mom knew all along that the house was getting cleaned well, because we were getting all the hard spots. I graduated from a small high school in Eastern Kentucky at the junction of Cow Creek and Mud Lick on the campus of Red Bird Mission (Red Bird High School) with 36 in my graduating class. As many of you did, I worked my way through college and dental school (UK). I worked at Sears, as a night watchman in a girl’s dorm, as an RA and as Head Resident of Kirwan Tower at UK all through dental school. After dental school I joined the KDA and have been the President of our local society. I have been appointed by two different governors to the Kentucky Board of Dentistry and have been the President of that Board. I have been a SRTA and NERB/ADEX dental examiner for 20 years and the President of the American Association of Dental Examiners (presently called the American Association of Dental Boards) and I am still just 39.
The last two years have been a time for preparation and learning. In getting ready to be the President of the KDA, I have attended numerous meetings locally, at the ADA office in Chicago, and in Washington, DC to develop the POWER OF three - the ADA, the KDA, and the local societies. It is such a great honor for me to be considered for this position. Dr. B.J. Moorhead, Dr. Terry Norris and Dr. Dennis Price have been very instrumental in helping me in this transition phase. Mike Porter and the KDA staff have helped me with information and planning. I have also attained beneficial knowledge by being on the KDA executive board. Now, I am saddened that Mike has announced his retirement, because his base of knowledge was immeasurable. The KDA will move along because we still have our excellent, hardworking staff of Janet, Melissa and Todd under the leadership of Dr. Ted Logan, Jr., and Dr. John Thompson.
Second, as I mentioned above, what do we dream of for our Kentucky Dental Association? Look at the highlighted words in the next few paragraphs to get us started. I really feel that the KDA should continually work on MEMBERSHIP. We really need a minimum of 70% participation to be an effective organization. One example of how we are working to increase our membership - at this past KDA Annual Meeting, members of KDA leadership met with dentists from several large group practices for a luncheon. We have invited them to be part of this great organization. We feel we have a lot to offer every dentist, no matter what type of work environment they have chosen. Numerous times we have been told by the membership experts that all it takes is for someone to simply ask and invite another dentist to our meetings. If they don’t come the first time, ask them again. Develop that camaraderie. We have had great success at some of our local society meetings to just sit and discuss problems or situations that we are having in our offices, like Medicaid or upcoming legislation.
The KDA has to continually work on ADVOCACY and develop our grass roots efforts. Of course, as with any project, it takes money. We need to come up with fun ways our membership can contribute and make them feel so proud of this organization that they will freely open up those purse strings and checkbooks. We really need to develop our political clout. Just this week I got a text from a Kentucky dentist stating, “I sure wish the KDA were more helpful in these situations.” We had been talking about Medicaid and legislative matters. I am on the KDA Technical Advisory Committee for Medicaid (TAC). For about two weeks many dentists across the state had problems with their Medicaid prescriptions not being recognized at their local pharmacies. At our March KDA Executive Board meeting, the Board appointed a group (Dr. Susie Riley, TAC; Dr. Lee Mayer, UL; Dr. Raynor Mullins, UK; Dr. Fred Howard; Dr. Fred Sharpe, Avesis; and me) to meet with the Medicaid Secretary and Medicaid Commissioner to discuss Medicaid issues. If you are having problems with Medicaid please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. With the new MCO contracts being developed, we feel that we have an opportunity for input. We need your help, though. We are not going to Frankfort for this to be a gripe session. We want this meeting to be positive and full of fresh new ideas. So if you were the Commissioner of Medicaid and someone was having a problem, how would you fix it? We know many of the problems, how would you fix it?
We need to work on PROFESSIONAL APATHY. We are working so hard to take care of our family and the day-to-day running of our business that many of us dentists say, “Let the KDA take care of it.” Well, I am the KDA! You are the KDA! WE ARE THE KDA! We have to work individually and together to strengthen our great organization. Don’t let our organization weaken. It takes many strong voices to sing in this choir. It was recently reported in the news that the American Medical Association membership was at 17%. How strong of a voice is that? You don’t have to do it all. Find one thing within the organization and learn about it, be part of it, excel in it. Even though dentistry is only a small part of the overall national medical budget, this is our corner of the healthcare industry. Are we going to fight for our patients, fight for our livelihoods, fight for our industry that we have worked so hard to make one of the most trusted industries in the nation?
We need to continually work on the dissemination of INFORMATION to our members, whether it be by electronic means, paper means, Facebook, text messages, Cap Wiz or any other means. Our KDA TODAY publication is full of information. I read it “cover-to-cover.”
We need to work on our MEMBER BENEFITS. I think we can do better. We need to solicit ideas and ask our members and non-members, “What would you like to see or have added to enhance your membership’’?
Well, as you can see, the paragraphs are getting smaller. That means I am getting tired. If you will look at the above highlighted areas, what is one key word? WORK! It takes all of us, not just a few, to really make this a strong, enjoyable organization. We need your help, ideas, cooperation and talents. Signing off for now, until next time!