Minnesota News - September-October 2008

Minnesota News - September-October 2008

The Editors:

Summary of Actions of the 2008 MDA House of Delegates
The Minnesota Dental Association's 2008 House of Delegates meeting, held September 19-20 at the Minneapolis Airport Marriott Hotel in Bloomington, Minnesota, adopted the following resolutions:

• Directed the MDA to encourage member dentists to provide paid or pro bono dental services on a regular basis in order to help meet the critical oral health needs of underserved Minnesotans.

• Directed the MDA to make the recommended changes to the Digest of Policies as presented on pages 203-213 in the 2008 House of Delegates manual.

• Directed the MDA Board of Trustees work with the appropriate governmental bodies to develop legislation or regulation concerning retail whitening outlets.

• Directed the MDA to help improve dental access by including and promoting in its legislative agenda legislation that will grant effective incentives to practice in rural areas, which may include grants, loan forgiveness, and income tax breaks.

• Directed the MDA Board of Trustees, by January 1, 2009, to define "access to care" as it relates to dentistry within our state, and further directed the MDA Community Service Committee to obtain statistics from MDA members, the Minnesota Department of Human Services, and other resources relating to access to care, including, but not limited to, statistics on uncompensated dental services and the number of actual failed appointments and report to the 2009 House of Delegates.

• Directed the MDA to work with Minnesota Dental Assistants Association and the Minnesota Educators of Dental Assistants in order to pursue, as a way to improve dental access, the addition of supragingival scaling as a new duty of dental assistants. The MDA was also directed to then bring a proposal to the Board of Dentistry. The proposal will include appropriate recommendations for education and patient age limitations.

• Directed the MDA to approach third-party payers to seek amendments to their respective contracts with their member dentists to ensure the opportunity to challenge the audit findings before an independent tribunal. In the event that is rejected, the House of Delegates further directed the MDA to seek legislation requiring third-party payers to provide for an independent adjudicative process to allow the dentist an opportunity to be heard and challenge the findings.

• Directed the MDA to, when formulating its position on the proposed creation of new types of dental workers, consider the need and rationale for the change; whether and how it would benefit the public's oral health; and how to measure the outcomes of the change. The House of Delegates further directed the MDA to remain committed to ensuring that only licensed dentists may provide a final diagnosis of a patient's oral condition and formulate a comprehensive treatment plan. Older policy in this topic area was rescinded.

• Directed the MDA to prepare an alternative proposal for the legislature on behalf of the members of the MDA should the OHP Work Group recommendation not reflect the interest of the MDA members and the public.

• Directed the MDA to encourage district dental societies to select at least one MDA new dentist as a delegate or alternate delegate to the Minnesota Dental Association's House of Delegates, and to have the Board of Trustees nominate one MDA new dentist member who has experience with the House of Delegates to represent the MDA as a delegate or an alternate delegate to the American Dental Association's House of Delegates beginning with the 2009 ADA House of Delegates. Additionally, the MDA will attempt to have one new dentist represented on each MDA Committee.

• Directed the MDA to amend its Bylaws to form a new membership category entitled "non-practicing dentist."

• Directed the MDA to award Dr. Karlind Moller an honorary membership in the Minnesota Dental Association.

• Directed the MDA Board of Trustees to ensure that the topic of membership for the dental team is explored more completely by investigating the experience of other states, possible benefits of membership, costs to the Association, possible dues rates, and other pros and cons of such membership and report back to the House of Delegates in 2009.

• Directed the MDA Board of Trustees to ensure that the policy of Northwest Dentistry be amended by adding the following guideline. "All letters received be acknowledged by the Editor with a letter indicating whether the letter will appear in the Journal or, if not, who the letter has been forwarded to for response. Any additional department or committee that is forwarded a letter will be asked to respond, either verbally or in writing, to the letter's author within 30 days of receipt". The House of Delegates further directed the Board of Trustees to seek additional forums for member-to-member and member-to-leadership communications and to continue to encourage the MDA Technology Task Force to pursue options for our association.

• Directed the MDA to include a request for candidates for any open dentist position on the Board of Dentistry along with the letter from the President of the Minnesota Dental Association to district dental societies asking for nominations of candidates for a variety of awards and positions.

• Directed the MDA membership to submit resolutions to the MDA office as soon as possible for distribution to component district caucuses so that resolutions can be considered by the Board of Trustees. Any recommendations or suggested amendments be communicated to the author, who may consider altering the language of the resolution, and so that the Board of Trustees or MDA staff can offer their written commentary on all resolutions submitted by the deadline.

The House of Delegates also:
• Adopted a budget for 2009.

• Recommended that the names of Dr. Bruce Bates and Dr. Susan Block be sent to the Governor to be considered for appointment to a four-year term on the Minnesota Board of Dentistry.

• Elected Dr. Daniel Rose (Motley) to a first term as West Central District Trustee.

• Elected Dr. Duane McDonald (Hermantown) to a first term as Northeastern District Trustee.

• Elected Mr. Mike Lee (Roseville) as Student District Trustee, to begin April 1, 2009.

• Elected Dr. R. Bruce Templeton (Edina) as President-elect, Dr. Timothy Flor (Waseca) as First Vice-President, and Dr. Michael Zakula (Hibbing) as Second Vice-President.

• Installed 2008-2009 MDA officers and trustees, including incoming President Dr. Lee Jess (Grand Rapids).

• Elected Dr. Lee Jess, Dr. Michael Kurkowski, and Dr. Michael Zakula to three-year terms as delegates to the ADA House of Delegates beginning in 2009.

• Elected Dr. Patrick Lloyd (Minneapolis), Dr. Thomas Smyth (Mankato), and the Second Vice-President to be elected by the 2009 House of Delegates to one-year terms as alternate delegates to the ADA House of Delegates in 2009.

• Dr. Jamie Sledd presented certificates of appreciation to Dr. Robert Gardetto (St. Cloud) and Dr. Matt Anzelc (Hibbing) for their service as MDA trustees.

• Dr. Jamie Sledd presented Dr. Todd Tsuchiya with the President's Award. Dr. Tsuchiya is the current Treasurer of the MDA. He has served on the MDA Membership Committee and is a past secretary/treasurer of the Minneapolis District Dental Society. He resides in Eden Prairie with his wife Connie and their son.

• Announced that Dr. Julee Kingsley (Rochester) was presented a Certificate of Appreciation at the School of Dentistry Honor's Day in May for her service as Trustee from the Student District.

• Honored outgoing MDA President Dr. Jamie Sledd (Maple Grove) with the Past President's Award from the ADA, a Certificate of Appreciation from the MDA, and the MDA Past President's pin.
The next House of Delegates meeting has been set for September 11-12, 2009 and will be held in Rochester, Minnesota.