The following candidate statements are offered by the two candidates for the office of Minnesota Dental Association second vice-president. Dr. Douglas Williams, who was listed as a candidate in the May-June issue of Northwest Dentistry, has since withdrawn from the race. Officers will be elected at the 2011 MDA House of Delegates September 16 and 17, 2011.
Peter N. Cannon, D.D.S.*
I was nominated by the Saint Paul District Dental Society in April 2010 for the MDA second vice-president position. The SPDDS president indicated that due to my previous leadership in the SPDDS they had faith and confidence in my abilities to lead the MDA. I was honored and accepted the nomination, as I believe the best person for a job may not necessarily be the person who actually seeks the job. Soon after this, I withdrew my nomination as Dr. Mike Perpich indicated he was seeking the second vice-president position. Given that Mike and I have a friendship of more than 35 years, I felt our friendship was more important than a contested race. Fortunately, I was nominated again this year.
My view of the MDA is that in the past it has been run in a manner that does not “cause waves” nor draw public attention to the organization that would make us appear self-serving in the public arena. This style may have merit; however, as we all know, times have changed drastically both politically and economically. A more aggressive leadership and management of the MDA are required yo survive in the future. A clear example of this style is exemplified in the Fair Contracting Bill passed in the recent legislative session. This was a huge victory for the MDA and a change from the previous legislative approach. I commend the current officers on their diligent pursuit of this issue for our membership. I believe my leadership style is in alignment with the current and future officers of the Association.
My two principles of leadership are accountability and transparency. The first duties of the Association officers are to represent and to be accountable to the membership. The officers will require the assistance of the MDA staff and Director, but the ultimate decision making must come from the officers in the best interest of the membership. I do not want MDA members thinking that the Association is all about good insurance and a great journal every few months. If we aren’t advocating for our membership, our proud profession may drift away. Transparency in decision making and financial matters is essential to maintaining trust in and credibility of the Association.
I have practiced dentistry for nearly 30 years. I have served the SPDDS at all levels up to the presidency. This also includes numerous committees and sessions at the HOD. I have served the MDA on numerous committees including the task force that developed the Wellness Program. I received a national journalism award for an article on substance abuse that appeared in Northwest Dentistry. I believe I have the character and possess the qualities that would serve the MDA. I must also say that my “opponent” also shows these same qualities, and the Association would be well served by either candidate.
Daniel E. Rose, D.D.S.**
Over the last 30 years, I have been active in the Minnesota Dental Association, serving as an officer, and on various committees at the local, district, and state levels. I am currently serving my second term as Trustee for the MDA West Central District.
I have worked with my state legislators, helping educate them on issues of concern to Minnesota dentists. I attended the ADA Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., establishing an opportunity to help educate, encourage, and work directly with our senators and representatives at the national level. This helps ensure that decisions made at the national level, regarding oral health, have an input reflecting the concerns and needs of dentists in Minnesota.
The coming years are a critical time for dentistry. Decisions made at the state and national levels will have a definite impact on our practice of dentistry. Oral health care providers need to have a strong voice and experienced leadership.
Members deserve and have a right to experienced capable leadership. Leadership means we must listen, and govern by encouraging, enabling, and empowering the voice of the membership. This requires the ability to balance short-term objectives with long-term goals; demands a keen sense of our fiduciary responsibility; discernment in making and directing the focus of the organization. The MDA needs active involvement of its membership: learning from the past, evaluating the present, and planning for the future.
I am qualified to provide leadership, experienced to implement policy, and “weathered enough” to be sensitive and respectful of the needs and desires of our membership. I will listen, deliberate, and act on behalf of the members of the Minnesota Dental Association.
*Dr. Cannon is a general dentist in private practice in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
**Dr. Rose is a general dentist in private practice in Pillager, Minnesota. Email is email@example.com.