KDA Today

KDA Today

For Immediate Release

Date: Jun 23rd, 2015
Contact: Dr. Dennis Price
Phone: 800-292-1855
Email: info@kyda.org

Our new KDA Mission: Helping Member Dentists Succeed and Serve

Greetings to all of my fellow KDA members! As I sit down to write this edition of the President’s Message for KDA TODAY, we can all rejoice that summer is upon us, which means that the season for many more outdoor activities to enjoy with our families and friends has begun. I wish all of you a happy and healthy summer filled with golf, tennis, swimming, fishing, boating, jogging, and general relaxation mixed in with your normal routine of providing excellent dental care to the citizens of our Commonwealth!

While we all appreciate the break from the grind of school activities, board meetings, and the like, the business of the Kentucky Dental Association goes on. Along with the excitement for all of you horseracing fans hoping to crown a long overdue Triple Crown winner, I had the honor and privilege to help welcome a new group of wide-eyed, excited, but nervous young dentists into our profession. On Mother’s Day weekend, the UKCD introduced 54 young men and women, and the ULSD introduced 118 potential candidates for their DMD degrees at Convocation Ceremonies in Lexington and Louisville.

On the last weekend in April, the KDA Executive Board, along with other key representatives of Dentistry in Kentucky (under the leadership of KDA Executive Director Rick Whitehouse and Facilitator Robert C. Harris) met for a long-overdue Strategic Planning Session. At the Convocation Ceremonies, I was able to announce to the new dentists a major outcome of this Session in the form of our updated KDA Mission Statement:
Helping Member Dentists Succeed and Serve
In addition, we updated our KDA Vision Statement:
Advancing the Profession of Dentistry While Improving Oral Health

I also took the opportunity to recite the American Dental Association Mission Statement, which I am repeating for you in this letter:
“The ADA is the professional association of dentists dedicated to serving both, the public and the profession of dentistry. The ADA promotes the public health through commitment of member dentists to provide quality oral health care, accessible to everyone. The ADA promotes the profession of dentistry by enhancing the integrity and ethics of the profession, strengthening the patient/dentist relationship and making membership the foundation of successful practice. The ADA fulfills its public and professional mission by providing services and through its initiatives in education, research, advocacy and the development of standards.”

I told these newest dentists that we need them and we want them to join with us and become card-carrying, dues paying members of our Tripartite Organization. I also invited them to become active on committees and to voice their needs, wants, and desires to the current (older) KDA members and staff. But, I also told them that I thought that they, more than any previous generation of dentists in our state and nation, needed Organized Dentistry as much as Organized Dentistry needed them. I am constantly hearing from dentists around our state about problems with private insurance carriers, Medicaid MCOs, governmental agencies, and state boards.

There are certainly no quick fixes to any of these problems. But, one thing that I firmly believe (and I hope that you share this belief), there is no other group, organization, or governmental bureaucrat out there who cares more about dental care delivery to the citizens of Kentucky (or the USA) or who cares more about maintaining the integrity of the dental profession (a profession recently named the Number ONE profession by US News and World Report) than the Kentucky Dental Association and the American Dental Association. My concern for our profession is that the many “outside forces” that we must deal with on a daily basis have helped to create an atmosphere of conflict and super-charged competition within dentistry that has transcended our ability to interact as colleagues in trying to provide the highest quality of service possible to the general public.

We have increasingly complex delivery models which have been created in the last generation. How we each choose to practice and to deliver those quality services to our patients has been, and should continue to be, our individual choice. We will never get all dentists to agree on the best, most effective practice model, or even on the best, most effective practice modality for given services. However, I would maintain that no one, other than a dentist, will ever understand the intricacies and challenges that we each face in our offices on a daily basis in dealing with “the public”. The human element involved in our day-to-day operations, I think, is unlike almost any other service, even other healthcare services. Why should so many outside forces be dictating how we operate and how we “do our job”?

I think and feel that it is time for all dentists to make a greater effort to come together and to support each other, even when we disagree on individual matters. I have no idea where the saying came from, but “there is more than one way to skin the cat”, seems to apply here. If for no other reason, I am asking all KDA member dentists to reach out to non-member dentists and to the newly initiated dentists, in the hope of creating an atmosphere of comradery within our profession, once again. We need to support each other in our desire to practice dentistry to the best of our abilities. We need to agree to disagree on some matters. But, we all need to support efforts to maintain our options to deliver high quality dental care to our patients.

Our young dentists are facing challenges even greater than many of us have faced in our 10, 20, 30 or more years of practice. We need to help them, as we attempt to help ourselves. I had the opportunity to help represent Kentucky dentists in Washington D.C. at the Washington Leadership Conference in late April. Over 500 dentists from across the nation stormed Capitol Hill for three days to lobby our respective Senators and Representatives on issues affecting our professional lives. I was very proud to be a dentist on those three days! I want all of us to be able to continue taking pride in being DENTISTS 365 days each year! Please continue to support the KDA as it attempts to support you! Become active and vocal. Feel free to contact me or to contact Rick Whitehouse, Ted Logan, Todd Edwards, Janet Glover, Melissa Nathanson, or your Executive Board Representative for information or input.

Also, please remember and make particular note about the Second Annual KDA Women Dentists’ Forum being held on Friday, August 21 at Gingerwoods, in Prospect (Louisville) this year. Former KDA President Beverly Largent, Chairperson for this event, has put together another outstanding format. I urge all women dentists to attend this Forum, and I ask all male dentists to encourage your female colleagues and associates to participate. We all stand to reap benefits as dentists if we can help all women dentists to succeed. Remember our new KDA Mission: Helping Member Dentists Succeed and Serve.

Have a great summer! Best regards from Dennis

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