District News - July-August 2011

District News - July-August 2011

Associate Editors:

Minneapolis District

Cale A. Strait, D.D.S.

Associate Editor

6545 France Avenue South

Edina, Minnesota 55435 

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery (OMS) Specialists, P.A., held their ninth annual golf tournament and bike ride at Rush Creek Golf Club May 16. The event was organized to generate charitable contributions to Mary Jo Copeland’s Sharing and Caring Hands Dental Clinic in downtown Minneapolis where the doctors and staff of OMS volunteer. Over the past nine years, with the participation and generous contributions from area dentists and vendors, they have been able to donate more than eighty-two thousand dollars. The event was a huge success, and will continue to support Mary Jo’s efforts to help with the dental needs of those at Sharing and Caring Hands.

Sharing and Caring

For more than 20 years, volunteer dentists and oral surgeons have provided limited, free services at Sharing and Caring Hands Dental Clinic for those in our community who face insurmountable barriers to care. In these tough economic times, barriers have become even more intractable, and need has increased dramatically. Poverty prevents many Minnesotans from getting regular and preventive dental care. People in pain who cannot pay for dental care have few places to turn. Sharing and Caring Hands in Minneapolis and the Union Gospel Mission in Saint Paul are the only clinics in the area that routinely offer free dental services.

Sharing and Caring Hands, with the help of a new grant from the Healthier Minnesota Community Clinic Fund, is committed to tackling this need. Funds from the two-year grant have already allowed for much needed updating of the two dental operatories with all new ADEC equipment. This will make it possible for dentists to work more efficiently and without the frustration that had become all too common with the old, outdated equipment. In addition, the grant provides funds for hiring two dental assistants to help volunteer dentists. One has been hired; plans are underway to add a second. Dentists are still encouraged and welcome to bring their own assistants. When that is the case, a staff person will be available to help locate items and insure things run smoothly.

The grant project’s goal is twofold: increase the number of patients seen (office visits), and expand the services offered in the clinic. Several years ago, due to a decrease in dental volunteers and an increase in the number of people in extreme pain, the clinic was forced to restrict services to extractions only. Even so, many people had to be turned away because there were not enough volunteers. In the last year or so, the problem has worsened. More dentists and oral surgeons are needed for extractions. At the same time, Sharing and Caring Hands Dental Clinic recognizes that many people are unable to afford the regular dental care that would prevent the development of pain and the need for extractions, and they have committed to offering basic restorative services to this population.

The MDDS has played an important role in supporting and staffing Sharing and Caring Hands. William Hoffmann and Megan Eakins serve as co-volunteer dental directors. The District sponsors an annual Give Kids a Smile event. With Apple Tree Dental staff and equipment, Teresa Fong’s leadership, and Executive Director Michelle Quade’s tireless passion and work, the clinic is expanded in order to treat the homeless children who are residents of Mary’s Place, Sharing and Caring Hands’ transitional housing facility.

This year, a record 170 children received $55,000 of free treatment Saturday, February 5, 2011. This was only possible with the help of many, many dental volunteers who gave their time and talents to take care of these high risk kids. Outside of GKAS, most of the patients seen in the clinic are adults who are falling through the cracks in the current system.

Sharing and Caring Hands would like to acknowledge and thank the faithful and dedicated dentists and oral surgeons who have volunteered for regular service during the past year: Maynard Anderson, Fred Haas, Andrew Pearson, Lenny Arndt, John Heckert, Rick Render, Jennifer Beaudin, Bill Hoffmann, Dan Sampson, Steve Bejarano, Barry Kinneberg, Kyle Skjei, Don Blakeslee, Brett Kurtzman, Eric Stich, Kevan Cahow, Todd Marshall, Wendy Tanner, Rick Diehl, Charles McCann, Megan Telste, Megan Eakins, Don McPartlan, Kyle Tidstrom, Sarah Gallagher, Mark Omlie, David Uppgaard, and Stephen Gulbrandsen.

During the first quarter of the grant project this year, approximately 300 patient visits took place. This fell short of the goal of 400. The following statistics give a snapshot of the people served in the last three months:

• 83% had no insurance; the rest were on public pay programs — most of which do not cover dental for adults.

• 70% were unemployed; 30% were employed — many only part time, and all were low wage jobs.

• 72% were minorities; 34% were immigrants representing 23 different countries.

• 92% were below the federal poverty guideline; the other 8% were below 200% of the FPG.

We know that a significant number of people who needed care were turned away. In order to meet the objectives of the grant and provide much needed care to truly impoverished Minnesotans, Sharing and Caring Hands needs the help of more dentists and oral surgeons. Melissa Cozart, RDH and Clinic Coordinator, has set an ambitious goal of seeing the clinic function at full capacity. That would mean having a volunteer dentist treating patients Monday through Friday (the clinic is now available on Fridays to accommodate dentists who typically have Fridays off), 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Melissa has set her sights on recruiting many more dentists. She recognizes that no one needs more work, and that free time is precious. She believes that by asking everyone to do just a little, the need can be met without anyone feeling over-burdened. She is looking for dentists who are interested in providing restorative care in addition to those comfortable doing extractions.

If you would be willing to give a small commitment of time to help, contact Melissa at (952) 994-4096 or mcozart@sharingandcaringhands.org.


Welcome, New Members

Congratulations to the following new members of the district.

Todd M. Geisler, D.D.S.

Erin D. Topley, D.D.S.


Coming Events

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Annual Trapshoot Event

All MDA Members Welcome

Metro Gun Club

Blaine, Minnesota


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Greater Twin Cities Tennis Mixer

(All MDA Member Welcome)

Bearpath Golf and Country Club

Eden Prairie, Minnesota


Friday, September 16 and Saturday, September 17, 2011

MDA House of Delegates

DEC – Duluth Entertainment

Convention Center

Duluth, Minnesota


Friday, February 10, 2012

86th Annual Midwinter Dental Meeting

Subject: “Shades of Blue:

Recognizing Patterns of Abuse and Dentistry’s Role in the Forensic Arena”

Speaker: Dr. Theresa Gonzales

Minneapolis Marriott Southwest Hotel

Minnetonka, Minnesota


Saint Paul District

William H. Harrison

Associate Editor

2282 Como Avenue

Saint Paul, MN 55108-1722

William Harrison Becomes SPDDS President

The Saint Paul District Dental Society is pleased to present William Harrison as its 2011-2012 president. A general dentist, Bill has practiced in and around the Twin Cities for the last 15 years, the last 10 in his own practice in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood of Saint Paul. He truly enjoys his practice setting, and his approach to practicing is embodied in his practice motto, “high technology…with a small town feel”.

Dr. Harrison’s path to organized dentistry started at the University of Minnesota as one of the officers for ASDA. Following graduation, he became involved with the SPDDS, and as legend often has it, never looked back. Bill served on various committees, chaired the Midwinter Meeting, served two terms on the Executive Council, has been a delegate for the District over many years, and has had the good fortune to learn from many great mentor/leaders from the University of Minnesota, his district, and the MDA.

Bill and his wife Cheryl have been married for 11 years and have three daughters - who keep them “quite busy”. Most of their free time is spent in the great outdoors doing some type of “silent sport” like biking or cross-country skiing. If they are not at home, you can most assuredly find them at the cabin soaking up the fresh air!

President Harrison’s goal for the District is to encourage and help develop further strategies for getting the membership more involved in “grass roots” movements with the MDA and ADA through electronic and social media. Several key ideas that have sprouted from these movements in the District have gone on to create national ADA policy. More importantly, these movements have given our MDA lobbyists the support they need to have our messages and agendas heard by our local, state, and federal legislators.

SPDDS has a long history of strong leadership, and Dr. Harrison is particularly excited by the strong Executive Council and the depth and range of their talents as managers, clinicians, and legislative activists.

2011/2012 Executive Council and District Officers

Incoming officers and Executive Council members were installed at the SPDDS annual Dentispree social event May 20. They are: William H. Harrison, president; Rosalie J. Perpich, president-elect; Norman F. Coates, secretary; Karl H. Andreasen, treasurer; and Donna J. Stenberg, Trustee. Our Executive Council includes John C. Aamodt, Ben J. Christopherson, Michael J. Downie, Scott L. Doyle, Lois F. Deurst, Kristine M. Goulet, Steven J. Henseler, Thomas E. Neafus, Jeffrey J. Rozinka, Joseph P. Trowbridge, Paul A. Vollmer, Paul K. Zollinger, and Howard W. Taylor, immediate past president.

And Don’t Forget …

January 21, 2011

Saint Paul District Dental Society Midwinter Meeting


The following is an interview conducted by SPDDS president-elect Rosalie Perpich with Erica Gosso, R.D.H.,M.D.H., Interim Coalition Coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Health.

Meet the Minnesota Oral Health Coalition

Dr. Perpich: Why was the coalition started?

Ms. Gosso: The Minnesota Department of Health Oral Disease & Prevention Unit (MDH) was started in 2008 with funding from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and HRSA federal funding. The director of this unit is Merry Jo Thoele, R.D.H.,M.P.H. This funding had specific goals required for the unit to improve the state of oral health in Minnesota. These goals have to be met to continue funding after the first five-year grant period has expired. Some of the main goals set out for MDH by the CDC are: investigating the state of oral health of Minnesotans; creating a state oral health plan; water fluoridation and school based sealants; and facilitating the start of the Minnesota Oral Health Coalition (MOHC). The Coalition is recommended by the CDC to help accomplish goals that MDH cannot. Collaboration among many different fields may facilitate changes in the oral health care system, including policy change. MDH is a neutral government program that does not participate in goals of this type. The main goals recommended by the CDC for the Oral Unit at MDH were the Basic Screening Survey, community water fluoridation, and school-based sealant programs. The CDC has provided a diagram of the recommended structure and function of the state coalition, as shown. 

Dr. Perpich: How did the MOHC get up and running? 

Ms. Gosso: The Minnesota Department of Health is to facilitate and establish the Minnesota Oral Health Coalition, which will then become independent. An Oral Health Summit was held in 2009 to begin work toward the coalition and the state plan. Three work groups were formed as: Workforce, Access to Care and Prevention, Education and Public Awareness. These groups worked on the state plan, which was unveiled at the 2011 Oral Health Summit. These groups were very diverse and contributed greatly to the completion of the State Oral Health Plan and the beginning of the Minnesota Oral Health Coalition.

Since the 2011 Summit, MDH has facilitated many communications to initiate the first steps of creating the coalition. This involves forming partnerships among many diverse groups. We first had a Transitional Task Force whose charge was the investigation of the composition of the board, creation of the bylaws, and non- profit status selection and criteria. This Task Force appointed an Interim Executive Board to serve for a one-year term to sign the Articles of Incorporation and bylaws to officially apply for non-profit status. This initial Executive Board will also create an Articles of Principles and a procedural manual for the coalition. The rest of the board seats and committee chair positions will be elected positions. As members complete their membership application, they are eligible to nominate or volunteer for the existing ten board seats. Elections are tentatively scheduled near the September coalition Meeting. These terms will be two to three year terms. The coalition meetings will be held quarterly at MDH facilities at Snelling Office Park, and have teleconferencing to all MDH sites throughout the state. However, the board members and committees may meet more often. All Coalition meetings will be open to the public, as the coalition has a policy of complete transparency. After the coalition is a separate entity, it will start to work toward goals and strategies in the Minnesota State Oral Health Plan. 

Dr. Perpich: What are the goals of the coalition? 

Ms. Gosso: The coalition plans to have a diverse membership and board of directors to collaborate and work toward our common goal of improving the oral health of Minnesotans. For example, fluoride and sealant programs, oral disease prevention, access to care, education, workforce innovation, children’s oral health advocacy, geriatric care, access for the disabled, and tobacco cessation. This coalition will need partnerships and collaboration to attain sustainability.

An example of why our coalition needs to be diverse would be our school-based sealant programs. To achieve these goals, we need dental practitioners, material vendors (3M), permissions, and cooperation of the school systems and the consent of parents. We are fortunate in Minnesota to have a dental school, several dental hygiene schools, and now dental therapists available to aid in our mission. The students gain experience, and the patients get the care they need and deserve. 

Dr. Perpich: What is the current status of the coalition? Are the work group chairs still in place? 

Ms. Gosso: No, the task force and work groups have dissolved. The interim executive board has been appointed, and the ten existing open positions on the board will be filled by election. The interim Executive Board consists of: President Patrick Jacobwith, attorney and dental practice administrator; Vice-President Dr. Amos Deinard, University of Minnesota Pediatrics; Secretary/Treasurer Debra Jacobi, Apple Tree Dental; Policy Committee, Dr. Carl Ebert; and Nomination/Membership Committee Chairs Rebecca Fahning and Jeff Bartleson

Dr. Perpich: It sounds like all of the hard work has been done. How can dentists get involved with the coalition? 

Ms. Gosso: Quite a bit of the ground work has been done, but there are many more goals to accomplish. You can follow our progress or become a member by visiting our website www.health.state.mn.us/oralhealth/partnerships.html. Fill out the free membership application and have your voice heard! We would love to attract new members throughout the state with the same goals as the coalition. 

Dr. Perpich: Let’s say I don’t want to get involved; my plate is full. How can I stay abreast of what is happening? 

Ms. Gosso: Our website will always have updated information and the meetings recorded and available. We also electronically send out the packets for meetings to members by email. Once the coalition has planted their seeds and started to grow, it will start its own website. The current website information is still on the MDH website at www.health.state.mn.us/oralhealth/partnerships.html. Thank you so much for helping us get the word out for such great cause.



Northeastern District

Gary Hedin

Associate Editor

324 W. Superior Street, Suite 828

Duluth, MN 55802 

It Got Better

Welcome to summer! We were cursed with terrible weather for most of the spring, which has led to a lot of pent-up desire to get out the summer toys and play hard. I hope you are all doing so even as you read this article. If you do have Northwest Dentistry with you at the cabin, I have a great tip for re-use once you are done reading it: Magazines make a perfect splint for a broken or strained arm or wrist. Obviously I hope you don’t have to use it for this purpose, but just file that away in the back of your mind in case you encounter a problem. Roll the magazine around the affected area and secure it with some tape until you can get to a doctor. We do this on the ski hill in the winter, and it works really well!

So what’s been going on in the District the past couple of months? Things slow down a bit this time of the year, but I do have a few items to share. The NEDDS Annual Business Meeting took place at the Kitchi Gammi Club waaaay back in May. I think it was one of the few nice days of the spring, which always seems to be the case. For the diligent folks who attended, a comprehensive wrap-up of the year’s events, committee reports, and plans for the future took place. I mentioned in the last article that the 2011-2012 officers were also inducted by our MDA Trustee Duane McDonald. They are President Doug Erickson; First Vice-President Chris Carlson; Second Vice-President Kim Lindquist, and Secretary-Treasurer Gary Hedin. Please take a moment to thank Mike Hagley for his service as president during the 2010-2011 year. Mike really did an excellent job guiding our district, and he logged many miles driving between Grand Rapids and Duluth during the year.

The MDA House of Delegates will be taking place in Duluth this year September 16 and 17. Our Northeastern District will be playing host, and we should make sure to show everyone some good old fashioned Scandinavian hospitality. (That means we will all lock our doors but wave as we peek through the curtains at our guests.)

We have some exciting meetings coming up this year. Chris Carlson has worked hard to get all the speakers lined up: Tim Caruso on “Ergonomics in Dentistry” September 9, and Brent Larson on Orthodontics October 14.

Our other summer event was the Golf and Fishing Outing, held at Pokegama Golf Club and on the lake. The course was in beautiful shape! Major kudos to Byron Rowell for setting everything up, and even hosting a few folks at his home the night before! A whole bunch of folks participated, and the weather could not have been better, in contrast to a few past years where it was freezing cold, pouring rain, or blowing like a tornado. Everyone was smiling, and it seems that everyone had a great time! Tim Smith was the big winner in the golf event this year, taking home the trophy. The scramble portion of the event was dominated by a team consisting of Tim Smith, Matt Anzelc, Tom Seidelman, and Kyle Kolquist. The team Best Ball portion was won by the Piedmont guys, Dave Haugen, Brian Mart, Jon Nash, and Eric Miner. The fishermen were tight lipped and didn’t give out any secrets about their fishing locations for the day. A big thank you should also be extended to Northern Minnesota Dental for providing some outstanding cash prizes to the winners in the fishing and golf events! Their Board of Directors really came through in supporting the event, and if you know anyone serving in that capacity, please thank them.

I think it’s time for me to stop writing, as you probably need to make a trip to the fridge to get something cold to drink. Oh, and for the guys reading this, don’t forget to put on some sun block. Your wife wanted me to remind you.



Northwestern District

John E. Lueth

Associate Editor

P.O.Box 310

Bemidji, MN 56619 

NWDDS 2012 Ice Fishing Adventure

January 27-29, 2012 • Sportman’s Lodge • Lake of the Woods

Reservations must be in before December 15, 2011

Bus transportation available from the Twin Cities

For further information, contact Roger or Phyllis Sjulson at 39154

335 Avenue S.E., Fosston, MN 56542; rwdds@gvtel.com; or (218)435-6738. 


"The Northwestern District Dental Society Minute"

A poem detailing district news, modeled after the NPR "Marketplace Minute"

When you wanna know about Geriatrics for the Dental Team,

Current concepts for your clinic and what they all can mean,

There ain’t no better source than what the Northwest District got

At their Summer District Meeting in Bemidji —

You can choose to Believe, or Not!


With coffee and rolls to nourish as people selected a seat in which to belong

And the curtains drawn in the lecture room, hiding the shores of Lake Bemidji’s summer siren song,

The crack pair of presenters geared up for the day

And gave us this: a summary of what they had to say.


We’re all gettin’ old, at least that seems to be the goal,

So dental care utilization by seniors continues to grow.

With edentulism among oldsters dropping, they said, “Like a rock!”

Old folks in Minnesota have most of their teeth.

We rank near the top!


But waddaya gonna do for a group with such diversity

Except allow in your “Treatment Planning for Uncertainty”?!

They talked about issues of risks and self-sufficiency,

And how organ systems begin to decline around the age of thirty!


Accounting for “decisional capacity” of those up in their age

There can be issues with family one may need to assuage.

“Substituted judgment” means “What do we think it is…

The patient — if able — would choose to do?”

Now it’s our biz.


And then it was on to to clinical subjects, how many to

cover was hard to decide

Like safe transfer, root caries, and use of fluoride

So much did they cover and did it so well throughout the day

That by the close of the session there was nothing left to say. 

…except, Thank You


About other stuff there was discussion at the noon meeting of docs

That we’re small as a district, but how the Northwestern sure rocks!

As we look forward to meeting again we’ll be wearing parkas with hoods

‘cuz it’s fishing and C.E. at Sportsman’s on Lake of the Woods.


There are dentists from Duluth and lots from Saint Paul

Who wouldn’t miss the fine C.E., the fellowship and all

To hop the bus north for a trip worth its salt

Whose motto is, “If you don’t have fun… it’s your own fault!”


And this year’s attraction you won’t want to miss

Chuck Kanski will woo us and fill us with bliss

Of wines and/or beers in a tasting to fulfill

Any dreams of Nirvana from beverages you chill!


Of course there will be a fine C.E. program to be had

With some contests and raffles to make us all glad

And the day of ice fishing – if you’ve never given a try —

Just might be the winter sport to provide a new high.


Please come to the Winter Meeting and hang out with us

You can drive or ice skate or take a warm bus!

Mark January 27 through twenty and nine

Where you’ll catch fish, earn C.E., and have a good time!


But back to the summary of our meeting just past

Where the day and the learning were too good to last

We all hope to get there — to OLD’s what I mean —

And have such fine dental care from an excellent team!


So remember our elders, the kind we’d like to be,

And treat them as Dr. Shuman instructed us — along with Peggy —

Then sharpen your fish hooks, reserve a cabin or room

‘cuz the Northwestern District fishing outing will be here quite soon!


District Dentists Mentor     Metro Wannabe into Ontario Master Angler

In the never-ending search for gratifying continuing dental education venues, three Northwestern District dentists agreed to travel with Minneapolis District member (and trustee) Alejandro Aguirre to Northwestern Ontario as part of the Northwestern District’s “Adopt A Fisherwannabe” program, summer edition. Having successfully crossed the border, going where few non-anglers dare to go, the intrepid group spent their first night in Kenora, Ontario. This wonderful and picturesque community, situated on the northernmost shores of Lake of the Woods, was once a conglomeration of three neighboring towns who cooperated to each give a little bit of themselves to arrive at the name “Kenora”: Keewatin, Norman, and Rat Portage. What voyageur would not want to live in Rat Portage? From the seaplane base near Minaki, the crack piscatorial dental squad lifted for The Walleye Hotel, a short 30-minute flight into the wilderness. Then the tutoring began. Within hours, Alejandro shed his inhibitions about dangling live bait over the side of an aluminum water displacement craft in pursuit of the tasty fresh water treat know as Stizostedion vitreum. And under the expert tutelage of Dave Andersen, he soon was swinging like crazy — i.e., swinging fish over the gunwales and into the hands of the official tape measurer to determine whether his catch exceeded the allotted metric lineage…or whether it would be soon swimming in oil – for dinner! A jig and a leech, that’s the ticket. And with the game on, this Neptunian newby (he claims to have only fished on one other occasion) in the course of four days ultimately went on to capture the monetary prize of cash in the pot for catching the largest walleye…a beautiful 28 incher (which still swims wild in the Canadian lake where Alejandro briefly gave it a glimpse of the world above). Happy that their mentee minion had taken so well to their lessons, Dave, Roger, and John allowed him to conduct his ever-enlightening and informative CDE around a table filled with beverage, homemade cookies…and more than a few non-peer-reviewed tall tales of the ones that were got or that got away! Now that’s some kind of continuing education!


Southeastern District

Travis A. Schmitt

Associate Editor

204 4th Street SW, Suite 144

Austin, MN 55912-4427 

Annual Meeting on the Grid

The SEDDS Annual Meeting is almost here — Friday, August 12, at the Owatonna Country Club, 1991 Lemond Road in Owatonna. For doctors and team members, featuring speakers Scott Lingle, D.D.S. on “Current Issues in Dental Implants” and Mr. Ted Takahashi on “Better Dental Technology by Design”. The morning’s C.E. will be followed by our annual Business Meeting, lunch, then golf at the Owatonna Country Club or trap shooting at the Owatonna Gun Club. SEDDS president Tim Holland extends a personal invitation to each and every member to bring a group and enjoy the day in great good company.

Dr. Tim’s Meeting Checklist

• Fill the brain — Lingle and Takahashi

• Fill the belly — Steak, salmon, or chicken

• Sweeten the taste buds — yummy desserts

• Liven up the social gathering — free drinks

• Meet the MDA bigwigs — An ALL STAR Group!

• Take out the frustration — trap shootin’

• See the beauty — Owatonna Country Club golf course

• Win a prize — Good stuff you’ll like — no free crowns

• Low fee — Meeting and filet and prizes for 50 bucks — a steal!!

*Makin’ it a darn good time — YOU!

Don’t delay — send in your form ASAP!


Southern District

Grant R. Sorensen

Associate Editor

1029 Third Avenue

Worthington, MN 56187-2398 

Rainbows Never End

Dentists are well known for having a wide variety of interests outside of their offices. I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Dr. Jim Miller and his wife Dr. Mary Olson of Windom to discuss their latest endeavor. Jim, as many of you know, is a dentist in Windom, and Mary is a family practice physician. In 2007, Jim and Mary began Reinbows Inc., a non-profit organization which partners horses and people to encourage healing and growth. Its mission is to use equine assisted activities to help individuals achieve healthy behaviors and reclaim joy in their lives. Both Jim and Mary are very humble, so it was difficult to get them to talk about how the whole organization started. In our discussions, it sounds like the idea came from Mary and one of her nurses at the clinic. As Jim pointed out, they were the visionaries and he was the project person. As Reinbows Inc. developed, it became more than just the three of them, as it now operates with a 19 member board made up of business people, health care professionals, and volunteers from the area.

Reinbows Inc. is unique to the Windom area, although there are quite a few horse therapy programs starting around the state. Most of Reinbows’ horses are Norwegian Fjords, a breed which has a gentle disposition and an excellent temperament. They are a little bit shorter than other breeds, which makes for easier mounting and dismounting. This is particularly important as most of Reinbows’ clients are 8- to 14-year-old youths.

Programs are aimed at at-risk children and the elderly. Jim and Mary explained that they are trying to reach out to mainstream kids who just are not quite keeping up. It is their feeling that if they can reach out to them early, future problems can be avoided. Some of the youth programs include weekly sessions with an adult mentor while spending time with horses. There are seminars on selected topics such as “How to Feel Good About Yourself” or “How to Avoid Being Bullied”, followed by time spent observing how the horses deal with these same issues. Finally, there are programs for school-aged children led by a mental health professional teamed with a horse handler, focusing on social and emotional learning.

Senior programs include regularly scheduled visits from the elderly residents at the nearby Good Samaritan Society. There is also coffee time/horse time offered to independently living seniors in the community. They spend time in the barn grooming, petting, and feeding the horses, as well as sharing memories of their days with horses.

Mary believes they are just scratching the surface of what the organization can become. As Jim described it to me, Mary is the accelerator, going full speed ahead — he operates the brake!

As I toured their facility, it was hard to imagine that the brakes have been applied very often. As you look at the pictures of the facilities, much of the work was done by Jim and Mary. They have a wonderful operation and are both to be commended for their vision and contribution to society. If you would like to learn more, they have a website you can visit at www.reinbowsinc.org

Meet Me at the End of Summer

Just a reminder that we have our Southern District Meeting coming up Thursday, August 25 and Friday the 26. We will have a business meeting, golf, and a banquet Thursday, followed by the CE program on Friday. Please plan to attend. Our Friday speaker is Dr. John Svirsky, speaking on oral pathology. John is a well known national speaker and gives this topic a lot of flavor. It will not be boring, and you will definitely learn a thing or two!


West Central District

Jeanni R. Foss

Associate Editor

15167 Edgewood Drive, Suite 240

Baxter, MN 56425 

Weather Reporting

Storm season has begun, and this is significant for two reasons. First, Jonathan Yuhas from Kare 11 will be collecting photos and video to share with our district again, this year Friday, October 28 at our 3rd Annual Fall Wine and Cheese Social in Brainerd. Second, I will get to storm chase and take pictures for future articles. Dentists tend to live life on the edge; a new breed of G.V. Black Bionicles has evolved. The constant box preparations have caused spontaneous mountain climbing, ziplines, and cross country bike tours. Pictures of these adventures may even surface in future articles. 

The Super Bowl Was a Cakewalk …

The West Central District is in full planning mode. We just finished the spring CE luncheon that was held in St. Cloud at the Radisson. This luncheon was graciously sponsored by Granite City Dental Lab in St. Cloud. We were thankful for Dr. John Williams, a former NFL player and SuperBowler, who addressed the very difficult topic of forensic dentistry. He briefly discussed his involvement in the forensic response to the 911 disaster, and then went on to discuss the challenging topic of bite marks and child abuse. The range within this subject area is one of those necessary evils of dentistry. Dr. Williams practices in Minneapolis, and is called on occasionally to help with forensic dentistry on both the state and national levels. 

Giant Golf Ball Alert

Our next event will be August 12 in Alexandria. We have the 38th* annual Golf CE Event, which is organized by Rich Moen, a retired dentist from Alexandria who always excels at coordinating the event. We will be looking forward to hearing a speaker again from the University of Minnesota and hope to have a great turnout with fabulous weather. Look for the flyer that was mailed to you – the one that is probably now under your “to-do” pile on your desk. It has a giant golf ball on it, in order that it not be confused with the local pig roast. Get your RSVPs in today! 

We Especially Enjoyed the Wine

The Wine and Cheese Social will be held at Grandview Lodge in Brainerd October 28. Due to the wine part of the dining, we will again hold a block of rooms for the weary travelers. Last year was officially a blast, and it is an event that I truly look forward to each year. Husbands, wives, and significant others are expected to join in the fun. I do have limited seating for this event, so early registration is encouraged. 

Time to Practice Saying “2012”

Finally, we have our 7th Annual District Midwinter Summit, which is being held in Fergus Falls this year at Bigwood Event Center and is organized by Matt Rindahl from Pequot, who is our current district president. The keynote speaker will be Sandy Botkin, a well-known speaker, discussing “Tax Laws, Corporations, and Financials”. Please mark your calendars for the weekend of January 14, 2012. We will be sending out registrations early this fall. 

The Storyboard Needs You

Thanks for all the dentists who have been participating in the West Central District events. It has been fun to be able to meet those of you from remote areas and hear your stories. We look forward to a great rest of the 2011 year. I am slightly overworked currently (by myself) with frequent meltdowns, so if anyone is interested in helping write this article or every other one, please email me at foss2004@msn.com.


*Years estimated by myself, and I will surely be corrected by Dr. Moen when he returns from Norway.