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Advancing, Improving Your Chosen Profession


reetings MDA members! It is both an honor and a privi- lege for me to serve as the 150th MDA President, and I wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year.

Our association finished up 2018 with the House of

Delegates in November, an event we have streamlined to be as effi- cient and effective as possible. I would like to thank Dr. Vince Rapini, Immediate Past President, for a great year. I also would like to thank Dr. Tom Stone for his outstanding service as Speaker; Dr. Prabu Raman for his dedication as 2017 Past President (and Trustee/President for Greater Kansas City); and, retiring Board of Trustee members, Dr. Cheryl Haley (Greater Springfield), Dr. David Dear (Central) and Dr. Mike LaFerla (Southwest), who had officially finished his term in 2017 but continued to serve in 2018 due to Dr, Michael Patterson being called to active military duty. It has been a pleasure to work with these dedicated indi- viduals who have sacrificed a lot of time away from their family and dental practices to help the members of our association and the profession of dentistry to succeed.

I also would like to welcome our new officers and Trustees, Dr. Mike Berry, President-Elect; Dr. Lynne Barbour, Speaker; and, new Trustees, Dr. Brett Durbin (Greater Springfield), Dr. Erick Jansson (Central), Dr. Amanda Fitzpatrick (Northeast) and Dr. Michael Patterson (Southwest), who we welcome back to the board room now that he has returned from active military duty; we especially thank him for his service and sacrifice.

We were fortunate to hear Dr. Chad Gehani speak at our House. He is an enthusiastic and charismatic speaker, which I also noticed when I heard his nomination speech at the 2018 ADA House. He is very down to earth, and I think he’ll do an excellent job as ADA President in 2020. Also at the ADA House, our own Dr. Vince Rapini announced he’ll seek the ADA 2nd Vice President in 2020. I will make sure the MDA does all it can to help him in an effort to continue the MDA’s great reputation and history of participation in ADA commit- tees, councils and board positions.

One resolution from our recent MDA House stands out, and I am sure it will garner interest from our members. This is Resolution 2018H-11, which directs the MDA board to assign an ad hoc commit- tee to study and evaluate the geographical restructuring of our dental components to evenly distribute the dentist population. Some of

10 focus | JAN/FEB 2019 | ISSUE 1

our societies are having trouble with membership participation and bringing forth new dental leaders for our association. Let me be clear: we are only tasked to look at the possibilities of redistricting, and the ad hoc will report back its recommendations to the 2019 House. We have asked each component to select a member of this committee and Dr. Barbour, MDA Speaker, to chair the committee.

Another item of interest for this year is the formation of an ad hoc committee to evaluate our state’s Dental Medicaid program, especially in light of a change in the administration at MO HealthNet. Currently several different entities are assigning benefits for Medicaid provid- ers in the state of Missouri, depending on which location or county providers are in. The State would like to re-evaluate this situation along with other aspects of the Dental Medicaid system. I think is s a great opportunity for the MDA and its member dentists to have a voice in shaping Dental Medicaid for the future. Dr. Jeremy Bowen, our Legislative & Regulatory Committee Chair, is leading this ad hoc committee, and participants include Dr. John Dane, State Dental Director and other member dentists who are Medicaid providers and have an understanding of the current Medicaid system. The ad hoc is tasked to develop recommendations to the MDA Board for consider- ation in upcoming discussions with the Legislature—which likely will continue to include our priorities of less red tape, increased efficien- cies and higher provider reimbursement rates.

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