MDA Board Nominates Officers A

t its August meeting, the MDA Board of Trustees voted to submit the following slate of officers to the MDA House of Delegates: Dr. Tom Stone for President-Elect; and, incumbent candidates, Dr. Lynne Barbour for Speaker and Dr. Jon Copeland for Treasurer. The following summary and interview questions are presented for Dr. Stone only, as Drs. Barbour and Copeland are incumbents. At this November’s Virtual MDA House of Delegates on November 6, Dr. Rob Tait, Lee’s Summit, will begin his term as the MDA’s 152nd President.


Dr. Tom Stone re- sides in Springfield and has a general dental practice. He is a 1990 graduate of the UMKC School of Dentistry and has been an active ADA/ MDA/Greater Springfield Dental Society member for 30 years (and including four years as a dental student member). His other professional memberships include the Pierre Fauchard Academy (Fellow 2008); American College of Dentists (Fellow 2009); and, the International College of Dentists (Fellow 2016).

Volunteer positions in organized dentistry include: MDA—Speaker of the House of Dele- gates (2014-18); Trustee (2007-10), Amalgam Best Management Practice Committee Chair and a Delegate/Alternate Delegate. Greater Springfield—President; Board Member; Foundation President; Washington Leader- ship Conference Action Team Leader; CE Committee Member; Scholarship Committee Member.

Other professional/civic involvement in- clude: Ronald McDonald Tooth Truck (Board Member and Chairman; Tooth Truck Tailgate Fundraiser Chair); Missions of Mercy (Clinical Routing Lead 2011, 2013-2014); Donated Dental Services Program (Participant and Committee Member).

Why do you want to be the MDA President? In February 2020, I was very content with my status as a member who once served in vari- ous leadership positions in the MDA, and as one who loves the organization and appreci-

ates its staff. Then March arrived, along with the pandemic and all of its related concerns, adjustments and unknowns. It seemed the whole world turned upside down for families, communities, our dental practices and our country as a whole. In a moment—in fact, moment to moment—everything changed. Dentists had to close their practices except for emergencies; some had to lay off staff, including the dentist; and, protocols, finances and best practices were suddenly threat- ened by instability. Just like my colleagues, I grappled with how to adjust without patients to treat; and yet, in the midst of these chal- lenges, the MDA was there working and advocating for our members, and helping them get back to practicing dentistry. Helpful resources were posted on the MDA website and members of our organization were avail- able for each other to share what they were doing and how they were getting supplies. We had our current president, Dr. Mike Berry, our board members, and our MDA staff work- ing diligently from home to help our mem- bership succeed during very uncertain times. What an incredible illustration of the strength and value of the MDA—working together, taking action, and doing remarkable work to help each other. Now I am beyond content with the MDA. I am inspired, stirred and humbled to once again serve in a leadership role in such an organization.

What do you believe are some of the most critical issues facing dentistry today? First, in the aftermath of COVID-19, how do we continue to take care of our patients and our practices in a safe and productive manner? We need systems in place to protect our pa- tients and our practices, resources of people to call on in time of need, and improved ways to maintain supply chains. Student debt, shrinking insurance reimbursement, and evolving practice models also are issues to be addressed for several reasons, including de-

veloping methods to help new dentists who desire to establish owner-operator practices.

Legislative advocacy affects many aspects of the dental profession. How would you like to improve MDA advocacy efforts? Three important things that can affect your business are legislation, legislation and legislation. We need to increase awareness and to educate our members on how to interact with local, state and federal legislators who have the ability to change our scope of practice with a stroke of a pen. It is important to increase our participation at Legislative Day at the Capitol, perhaps even combining Legislative Day with our annual MDA meeting. Another avenue to explore is to involve ADPAC and MODentPAC in growing and recruiting mem- bers to run for state and federal government.

What do you feel is most important for the Association to be doing to communicate the value of membership and what do you personally plan to do to try to address this as president? Relationships are invaluable and vital. As members we are constantly bom- barded with information regarding everything imaginable. Sometimes the message of the MDA gets lost in all of this. The most impor- tant way to communicate the value of our association is through building relationships. The past few months have heightened my awe of the value and power of the relation- ships that I have developed throughout my dental career. The vast majority of those rela- tionships come from encountering people and interacting with them at our society and state meetings. Our best recruitment tools are our members—the ones who have benefitted from the work, advocacy and policies that our association has been working on since 1865.

What do you feel are some of the MDA and ADA “best kept secrets” in terms of benefits and services—things that you have appreciat- ed that maybe you wish more members knew CONTINUED PAGE 20

ISSUE 5 | SEP/OCT 2020 | focus 17

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