For Immediate Release
Date: Aug 14th, 2015
Contact: Dr. Beverly Largent
A Plan for Our Future, and a New Mission StatementHelping Member Dentists Succeed and Serve
On April 24, KDA leadership, past presidents and dental stakeholders from all over Kentucky met in Louisville to discuss some weighty issues and come up with a plan for the future, specifically to set the path for the Association for the next three to five years. In order to do this, the KDA had to create and develop a strategic plan, a plan that will ensure that we focus our efforts and resources on activities that move the board in a direction consistent with the goal of serving its members.
The first order of business was to hear from stakeholders in the dental community who are not members of the Executive Board.
What is a stakeholder, exactly, you ask? Business Dictionary.com defines a stakeholder as a person, group or organization that has interest or concern in an organization. Stakeholders can affect or be affected by the organization's actions, objectives and policies. We felt it was paramount to include every dental stakeholder we could find to actively participate and offer input for our association to develop a realistic plan for the future.
The following guests gave testimony during the morning session, prior to the executive board meeting to discuss strategic planning:
Dr. Ken Rich, a past president of the KDA and Kentucky's current Dental Medicaid Director, recommended discussions as organized dentistry to determine what impact is possible, and what can be reasonably recommended. Please note that Kentucky Dental Association currently has a Medicaid Workgroup which meets on a regular basis to discuss issues and possible solutions. This workgroup includes TAC and MAC members and has met to discuss provider issues with Audrey Hanes, Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary. They have also offered comment on upcoming new Medicaid Regulations.
Dr. Rich reported that there are plans to improve credentialing by opening an online portal that would retain all information entered, so only simple updates would be required to update credentials to remain an active Medicaid provider. This program is currently being beta tested. Dr. Rich also discussed tele-health regulations which will be effective this summer. At this time dentistry is not included in the tele-health regulations.
Dr. Jerry Caudill, the state dental director for Avesis was present. Currently, Avesis covers one million patients in Kentucky. This Medicaid Managed Care Organization uses Kentucky licensed dentists as claim reviewers. The main concern Dr. Caudill presented to the group is credentialing issues with Kentucky Medicaid. Avesis in Kentucky currently offers assistance to dentist providers who are seeking credentialing with the Medicaid program.
Dr. Sharon Turner and Dr. John Sauk, deans at the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville, respectively, represented the academic view of the needs of the strategic plan for the Association. Dean Turner spoke of the professional journey of the student and the role of the faculty and the profession in molding the dentist of the future. She requested a solid student mentoring program, and proposals for student debt relief. The University of Kentucky is facing struggles with the payment shift in Medicaid, as are private practitioners. She emphasized that in working together we can advance various practice models for positive patient care. She offered the resources of the UK faculty to meet demands of the future.
Dean Sauk commented that there are no investments to support oral health as a part of overall health. The University of Louisville is not part of the health science center. This could change the model of education for dental students. He referenced two models, the European Model of dental education, which is simulation in dental school, and patient care in residency programs, and the Medical Model in which students rotate through offices to gain experience. The University of Louisville has a budget of $49 million, but only one million dollars is provided to the school by the state.
The deans agreed that the Kentucky Dental Association can lower student debt by lobbying in the state legislature, supporting loan forgiveness and sponsoring scholarships.
Dr. Nikki Stone presented information on behalf of the Kentucky Oral Health Coalition. The KOHC currently has three workgroups advancing their main goals. The Oral Health Literacy Workgroup’s focus is health literacy training for parents. The School-based Oral Health Workgroup is focusing on the preschool dental exam performance, and a document that school systems can use when interviewing potential dental mobile van providers for the schools. The third workgroup of the KOHC is an Access to Care Workgroup.
Dr. Phil Schuler of Mortenson Family Dentistry in Louisville reported that his company believes that high debt load pushes people away from opening private practices. Companies such as Mortenson Family Dentistry gives the practitioner flexibility. He reported that new practitioners do not want to work many hours and do not want to take on economic liability. Large group practice dentistry offers many benefits such as insurance, health care benefits and continuing education. He believes that this practice model offers many of the benefits of organized dentistry. He called for increased leadership development and help in Medicaid credentialing.
Mr. Patrick Padgett, CEO of the Kentucky Medical Association presented results of the recent strategic planning session held by their organization, which also developed a formula to determine priority issues. Strategic planning resulted in four goals: Advocate, Communicate, Educate and sometimes Litigate. Currently, the KMA is focusing on Advocacy. This new strategic plan has resulted in a growth of membership and increased momentum.
Developing a Plan
These comments were the background for the strategic planning board meeting that was facilitated by Mr. Bob Harris, a professional facilitator who has worked with many other state dental associations. He led the board through discussions of governance and goal setting for the organization. He probed, questioned and led discussions with the board about what the Kentucky Dental Association is doing, and he emphasized setting four to five goals and adopting a mission statement designed to state who we are and who we serve.
Mr. Harris outlined certain qualities of a successful organization, which includes a Road Map, or succession of leaders; Committee and Alignment and Work; Budget and allocation of resources; Staff Direction; and Member and Public Awareness.
The board spent much time discussing these issues, especially delving into the budget and resource allocation. These discussions resulted in an overall better understanding of the budgeting process and resource allocation. Issues such as the succession of leaders did not receive as much discussion because of past actions of the board, which addressed these potential problems.
Mr. Harris, who was able to reference many other dental associations’ actions for strategic planning, recommended that less is more when it comes to setting goals.
In general, throughout the United States, membership is down in associations due to a myriad of reasons, including the economy and or recession, generational divides and technology.
The Race for Relevance, as Mr. Harris termed the work of the board, (which was taken from the book written by Mary Byers, CAE) includes five challenges. These challenges include:
1) Board size and competence, which, as with goal setting, less is more. Voting members of the KDA Board include one representative from each component, the president, vice-president, secretary and president-elect. Non-voting members include the deans of the two dental schools, editor of KDA TODAY, and a representative from the Board of Dentistry.
2) Empowering staff; allow those who devote their time to the association to have direction and the ability to make decisions in their daily work in alignment with the goals of the organization.
3) Technology integration and or a plan which will keep the KDA in the 21st century.
4) Fewer committees will streamline operations.
5) Remaining relevant to members, keeping in mind they are the target audience for the association.
Helping Member Dentists Succeed and Serve
High-spirited discussion and fact-finding ensued and the board came to grips with the fact that associations exist for their members. Then, at last, our Executive Board adopted the KDA’s brand new mission statement: Helping member dentists succeed and serve. This succinct statement stands in contrast to the current mission statement, which follows.
The mission of the Kentucky Dental Association is to serve, enhance, and represent all aspects of the dental profession in Kentucky and to promote the oral health of the public we serve by:
* Maintaining a public voice supported by a high level of active membership.
* Providing a high level of support and services for our membership.
* Promoting the delivery of ethical care based on both established and emerging scientifically sound principles.
* Being the advocate for the dental profession and oral health in public and governmental arenas.
Advancing the Profession of Dentistry, While Improving Oral Health.
A values statement was also adopted: Advancing the Profession of Dentistry, While Improving Oral Health.
The process of strategic planning included all members present and provided momentum for learning and implementing the plan.
To support the new mission statement, four goals were adopted by the board.
1) Advocate for dentistry in the Commonwealth.
2) Serve and support the needs and success of members.
3) Promote oral health through community service and public relations.
4) Lead the profession through association excellence within the ADA tri-partite.
The Board will vote to adopt the new mission, vision, and goals at the KDA’s August meeting.
Once approved, specific strategies aligned with our goals will be determined, along with metrics of performance. These strategies will be prioritized and further aligned to our annual budget.
Be watching for details about the evolution of this new plan and our new mission: Helping Member Dentists Succeed and Serve.
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