District News - September-October 2011

District News - September-October 2011

Associate Editors:

Student District

Aaron Bumann

Associate Editor

515 Delaware St. S.E.

Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455


It is the start of term down at the U of M, and life in organized dentistry is heating up. 

First of all, I would like to invite all of you to participate in our first big event of the fall. The Mouths in Motion 5k is in its fourth year, supporting oral cancer research, and we are hoping for a large turnout.  We will be running the race Sunday, ctober 9, at 9:00 a.m. on the U of M campus. If you would like to run the race, you can email Robbie Phillips at phil0701@umn.edu and we will set you up with a registration form, or you can show up on race day and register there. If you have any questions, please check our website: http://www.mnasda.net/  Our students have had a busy summer. For the second year in a row, we have had a student involved with national ASDA’s externship program. Megan Kack (D2) spent the summer in Chicago as an ASDA administrative extern. This was a valuable experience, and we were honored at Minnesota to once again have one of our own receive such a coveted appointment. 

Of course, one of the joys of being a student is the solace of a summer break. Granted, it is longer for some than for others, but it is appreciated nevertheless. Some of the interesting adventures I have encountered included a bike tour around southern Minnesota, trips to Florida, the Caribbean, Colorado, and of course weddings galore. It is indeed a joyous occasion to be on break!

One of the great things about being in the Student District is the regular infl ux of new faces. We are excited to be welcoming the new D1 class and getting them acquainted with the benefits of organized dentistry. We look forward to getting our new comrades involved in ASDA locally and nationally as well as forming relationships with the MDA. Speaking of national involvement, I am pleased to announce that national ASDA’s Annual Session will be held in Minneapolis the last week of February into the first week of March this coming spring. More than 300 dental students from around the country will descend upon our fair state to determine our policy for the upcoming year and to have a little winter fun as well. This is the first time we will have hosted this event, and we are excited to showcase our city and state to our colleagues from around the country.

I am also very excited to showcase the unique and wonderful relationship we enjoy with the Minnesota Dental Association and its members. We are so grateful for the MDA’s support of the Student  District, and we all look forward to showing other districts from around the country how special our partnership is and how they can begin to foster similar relationships with their own state associations.

I am also excited for the opportunity to expose as many of our own students as possible to “ASDA fever”. There is no better place to learn about why student involvement is important than at our  biggest meeting. It is a special chance to involve many more students than usual. If you have any interest in sponsoring a student or part of a student’s expense to attend this meeting, please get in touch with me, Aaron Bumann, at buman012@umn.edu. The more we get involved in this meeting, the more we can get our student body interested in how we can effect meaningful change, not only as students but as practicing dentists. 

As we move into the fall, we are looking forward to, yes, more meetings. This year’s regional meeting is in San Antonio, Texas. It will be a welcome change of pace in a busy fall to travel to Texas  with classmates new and established and get re-energized for the ASDA year as well as having the opportunity to get and share ideas with our colleagues west of the Mississippi River. 

For those of you who made it to the end of this update, congrats! I look forward to meeting many of you over the course of the next year at various MDA events and functions. Have a wonderful fall season. 


Southeastern District

Travis A. Schmitt

Associate Editor

204 4th Street SW, Suite 144

Austin, MN 55912-4427


Thank you to everyone who attended the 98th Southeastern District Dental Society Annual Meeting in Owatonna August 12! We welcomed a group of more than 100 attendees, a fantastic turnout for a meeting held outside of Rochester. Scott Lingle presented an informative update on dental implants, and Ted Takahasi gave the group many tips about technology in the dental office.

At the business meeting, our esteemed MDA officers, President Tim Flor, President-Elect Mike Zakula, First Vice-President Mike Flynn, Second Vice-President Mike Perpich, and MDA Executive Director Dick Diercks gave a thorough overview of the past year as well as a “snapshot” of things to come for 2011-2012. 

Steve Schwartz, Albert Lea, was elected District president for 2011-2012, with Rick Nolting, Byron, taking the helm at president-elect, and Paul Morgan, Winona, holding down the fort at first vice-president. Congratulations!

Door prizes were numerous. Kudos to Jeff Loveless and staff for their strong efforts to secure that much stuff! Just about everyone won something.  We had Minnesota Twins tickets, massages,  several $50 gas cards, and countless other prizes – probably well over $1,500 worth of freebies. Ask Zak—it pays to come to our meetings! 

The members of this district are blessed to be well represented at not only the state level but the district as well. These exceptional individuals represent you – take advantage of this! Mike Flynn, Winona, has done an admirable job for us here at the district level and now on the MDA officers ladder, and will be MDA president-elect for the coming year. Matt Vaillant, Red Wing, returns as our  trustee, and will continue to be a strong voice for the SEDDS.  Our thanks again, gentlemen! Steve Schwartz, Albert Lea, is again leading the pack (third time) as president of the Southeastern District. Steve, it really is great to have you in charge again!  Please contact your leaders and share any concerns or ask for information. We are here for you.

A continuing part of our mission is to upgrade the meeting experience. Current efforts have yielded the following: 

Food: We have upgraded the entrees the last two meetings to filet mignon, mahi mahi, or salmon, as well as a “new, improved” chicken offering. 

Drink: When available, an open bar has been provided.

Cost: Almost free.

Golf: The best courses the community can offer, and the last two years, PERFECT weather (How good are we!). Pro V1 golf balls provided – Wow! 

Speakers: Interesting and varied topics presented by the best speakers. 

MDA presence: This year’s meeting in Owatonna played host to the MDA president, president-elect, first vice-president, second vice-president, Speaker of the House, and Executive Director – all the heavy hitters! We have an awesome team for our MDA leadership. Thank you for your support and attendance!

People: We want you to want to attend. When the SEDDS Annual Meeting pops up, we want you to be excited. We want you to want to come. It’s fun, promise!

Summer 2012

So here’s what’s next: Next year the meeting will be in Albert Lea. We hope to make this meeting another enjoyable experience for the members and staff of the Southeastern District. And then …

Summer 2013 

We will be celebrating the 100th Annual SEDDS Meeting! This will be held at Somerby Golf Club, a very special venue for dining and golf. President-to-be Nolting promises this meeting will be extraordinary. You will not want to miss this one! So get on board – it’s going to be great! Are you ready? 


Southern District

Jeffrey J.Taylor

Associate Editor

313 Main Street N.E. P.O. Box 307

Mapleton, MN 56065-0307

Some Elections Are Easier Than Others

Following the title nod to the less than attractive process of our current state (and national) politics, it is my pleasure to report the changing of the guard that brings more of the Southern District’s active members to the fore in support of organized dentistry. As of the Annual Fall Meeting of the Southern District, SDDS officers for 2012 are: 

Grant Sorensen, Worthington, president

Jeff Taylor, Mapleton, president-elect

Paul Roggow, Jackson, Chair of Essayists

Ron Leach, LeCenter, Executive Director and secretary-treasurer

Adam Beers, Springfield, Chair of Exhibitors

Ed McNiece, Worthington, Southern District trustee 

Tom Smyth, Mankato, immediate past president A sincere thank you is extended to Dr. Smyth for his time, effort, and success in leading our district for the last 12 months. 

Mr. President

Grant Sorensen is a native of Marshall, an alumnus of St. Olaf College, and graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in 1984. He has been in private practice in Worthington  since 1985, and his practice is located in the historic former US Post Office building in downtown Worthington. 

Dr. Sorensen practices with his spouse, Dr. Maureen Sorensen, who is the daughter and grandaughter of dentists. They have three children. Grant’s non-dental interests include their lake cabin, golf, and attending school activities. District members can contact him at (507) 376-9797 or gmcdm@iw.net

Prairie Perks

The Fall Meeting of the Southern District was held near Morton at the Jackpot Junction complex, with the District business meeting conducted at the Dacotah Ridge golf club. Visitors included MDA second vice-president candidate Dan Rose of Pillager. Peter Cannon, the other MDA candidate for second vice-president, sent his regrets, as he was unable to attend. The business meeting was followed by a round of golf, with John Anderson of Mankato taking the award for best score. A banquet honoring past presidents was well attended – and mosquito-free! – on a beautiful prairie evening.

The CE program featured Dr. John Svirskyof Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Svirsky’s presentation on oral pathology was likely the most useful we have heard since the late great Bob Gorlin. Alejandro Aguirre of the Minneapolis District addressed us concerning the development of the Mission of Mercy (MOM) to be held in Mankato next year. As this is to be the first MOM in Minnesota, the organizational chart is daunting, but Dr. Aguirre managed to impart his optimism in reaching a successful completion of the planning and execution of the project. As details are hammered out, information on the MOM will be available through the MDA. We invite you and your staff to participate, and hope to have a social gathering in honor of all dental volunteers participating. 

News and a Need

We have received word one of our greatly respected members has had to discontinue practicing the dental arts due to medical concerns. John Sawyer of Blue Earth is seeking a dentist to provide continuing care for his patients. Blue Earth is a lovely small city with many amenities, and is currently underserved due to the retirement of two dentists who were not replaced. Dr. Sawyer can be contacted at (507) 526-3108, (507) 525-1339, or saw@bevcomm.net.


It is my intention to use (or abuse) this forum to broach questions, recognize concerns, and report the successes of Southern District colleagues. I invite and encourage Southern District members to keep me informed of any subject that has captured their attention regardless of suitability of being in print. My email address is kjet@hickorytech.net. I would currently appreciate receiving information on informal or formal dental study groups in the Southern District, meeting dates, and contacts. 

Well, Met

Speaking of which: The South Central Dental Study Club met Monday, September 19 at the City Center Hotel in downtown Mankato, featuring speaker Judith Buchanan, Interim Dean of the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. 

Don’t Blink

The Southern District Winter meeting is being planned for January 13, 2012. Notification of details will be mailed to members.


Northwestern District

John E. Lueth

Associate Editor

P.O.Box 310

Bemidji, MN 56619

The Rural Rodin

The Northwestern District dental community and the wider community of Northwest Dentistry are familiar with Bemidji dentist Marsh Muirhead as an accomplished poet, pilot, photographer, and owner of his own private island in the Mississippi River. On June 11, he added another accomplishment to that distinctive resume: 2011 gold medal winner of the Great American Think-Off. As one of four finalists selected from across the nation, Marsh, along with  Doug Wilhide of Minneapolis, took the pro side of the argument to debate the question “Does Poetry Matter?” at the James Mann  Performing Arts Center in New York Mills.

The first round of the debate began with each of the contestors reading a prepared essay before a panel of judges, who then asked three questions based on the presentation. Two minutes to reply were followed by one minute for comment by the opposition. The audience then voted one winner from each side. The next round had the two winners debate each other and answer questions, some from the audience, and fi nishing with a two-minute summation. 

Preparation for such an event is as individual as any poet’s process. For Muirhead it involved his long-time circle of “literati”, food and beverages, and a trial run on the essay, followed by  constructive critiquing and questions, always questions … There was time alone as well, to ponder and prepare, strategizing his answers to keep the strongest in reserve. And the questions kept  coming, among them “How does poetry connect with the unanswered questions in our lives?” and “How old do you have to be before poetry matters?” 

How old indeed. For Marsh, poetry spoke at an early age, as his mother read aloud to the children. He has entertained the idea that it is even genetic, simply waiting for whatever will trip the switch  and bring the love of words, rhyming or not, to light. To listen, to read; to speak, to write – stories, and storytellers, “teach, heal, and instruct”. 

It was in pondering the genetics of generations that he experienced what he calls the “Paul Harvey moment”: “Who,” he asked, “is the greatest infl uence in children’s literature in this country?” When all the details of his accomplishments and impact are tallied, who else could it be but Dr. Suess? National Reading Day, after all, is celebrated on his birthday. With that answer in his arsenal in all its complexities of how children receive and perceive their world, Muirhead grounded his argument in a place every member of the audience and jury could access, whether they agreed with his point of view or not. 

And what was that opposing argument? As reported in the Bemidji Pioneer, “Poetry no longer matters to society because we are more decadent and we don’t read as much as we used to. [While] poetry has a great deal of value, it is less relevant to society today because of the speed and brevity of our conversations.” 

It was the audience who voted Marsh its winner on the evening, and the prize was as resonatingly struck as the argument: a gold medal with Auguste Rodin’s “The Thinker” sitting on a tractor.

So well done, we all say, to our “rural Rodin”. We hereby acknowledge your achievement by ceding the floor for the proverbial last word: 

“In our society today, many people are spectators looking upon life as a series of problems to be solved, whereas the poet always looks at life as a mystery to be experienced.” 

Where Does Summer End?

Northwestern District members were asked, “Does Labor Day mark the passing of summer for you? How do you wrap things up? Or perhaps you REFUSE to think that way! Tell us your mindset.” And they did:

We started the summer thinking, “Boats: We’re set!” when friends upstream decided to trade their pontoon for a smaller one – just when we were thinking we would like something smaller than our current 28-footer. So we now have a 22-footer; traded the old pontoon, motor, and trailer for half a trailer. Add in the woes of arthritis, rendering me unable to slalom-start with one foot out. According to the wonderful woman to whom I am married, must be because our boat has less power than in the past. (She also allows me to claim that wet suits shrink during winter storage!) We came across a used ski boat and now have circumvented the arthritis issue with more cylinders. I will be skiing all September and into October. And I noticed too that I still have my ice fishing depth bomb on my key chain – our seasons change quickly, and for that reason we are blessed.    Doug Williams

It felt like I spent the summer of 2011 in a fog, literally. While becoming a first-time grandparent, marrying off a son, caring for a sick father, and having our daughter join the dental practice, I spent my only week of vacation under a thick, dense curtain. While kayaking on the north shores of Lake Superior, I had to rely on my compass to safely navigate the remote waters between Pic Island and Canada’s mainland. I also learned to trust my other compass – my higher power – when dealing with life’s bigger issues. The sun shines brighter once the fog is lifted.  Polly Keith Scotland

Summer ends at Labor Day when hunting season starts. Early goose started yesterday, and my trusty black lab made sure I didn’t get to shoot at the geese coming in, as she was just a little too excited. She made a break for the decoys just in time to scare off the flock. We did have three more come in, one a barnyard goose. My dog was too occupied with the big white goose to notice the two Canadas with it. But again, she was too fast, and overshot the goose. Point of all this, I’m glad it’s hunting season! I hope the city people enjoy the drive back to the Cities while I hunt. The joys of living up north. Dave Andersen

I refuse to think of Labor Day as summer’s end! From kindergarten through 12th grade it marked the last weekend of summer vacation, spent playing or hanging out to the bitter end – dusk – when we finally, grudgingly, went inside to “get ready for school tomorrow”. Even with my own children now school age, excitedly walking to the end of the driveway early Tuesday morning in the previously unnoticed darkness of the school-bus-pick-up-hour, my head just refuses to accept that summer is really over. The calendar says fall’s first day isn’t until September 23! Until then, humor me: It’s still summer; just a bit cooler and with more color. When it comes right down to it, I really can’t wait to experience so many great things about fall! Ah, if there were only two Octobers! Anonymous

Labor Day was aptly named for me this year. A friend was willing to take the weekend to hang out and chip away at duck hunting camp prep, so off to North Dakota we drove. While there, our  sweet 89-year-old neighbor lady Rachel (who makes us eat homemade apple pie – you know, “Apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze!”) mentioned she wanted to sell her older car. She has a newer one, and the older one runs great, but she doesn’t need it and it’s taking up lots of space in the garage. So Labor Day weekend we had her fire it up, back it into the driveway, and  we took pictures to show to the vintage car club at home. Rachel dug out the original Owner’s Manual, and along with it she still had the window sticker. Get this: 1970 Dodge Polarao,318 CID  engine, 8 cylinder, Odometer = 19,998 (however, no 100,000 mile column, so 119,998?), One owner. Sticker list feature items: radio, power steering and brakes, 3-speed wipers, deluxe wheel covers, remote O/S mirror, torqueflight transmission, tinted windshield; color code Q3; trim code L1K9. List price (with options): $3,813.70; destination charge $127.00. I’ll bet the price of gas was  only 32 cents then, too! Oh, those were the days! And I had a great Labor Day because of it.  John Lueth

Labor Day weekend for Cindy Lueth and friends was the culmination of the year’s wild rice harvest. Several days of hot, hard work, blistered thumbs covered with duct tape, and some itching with  each day’s effort resulted in a trip to the local processor with more than 400 pounds to show for it all. I wonder what price this year’s rice will fetch? If it’s high enough, not as much will find its way  into Santa’s stockings! 


Minneapolis District

Cale A. Strait, D.D.S.

Associate Editor

6545 France Avenue South

Edina, Minnesota 55435

Trapshoot Scores a Bull’s-eye

MDDS’ annual trapshoot was held August 17 at the Metro Gun Club in Blaine. This event continues to be one of the largest annual events – 94 members and guests this go-round. Its committee is among the longest standing within the District. Some believe it was formed when the District was – in 1926! 

Many members make this an annual event with family and friends, always including the wild game dinner with the game donated by members. Door prizes were handed out by the program emcee Kurt King, culminating in the shotgun raffle and trophies. This year’s raffle winner was Jon Jenkins, Edina. 

Our thanks to Chair Michael Gallagher, and to Herb Schulte and Al Doucette for creating an electronic scoring software program! 

The District thanks the following companies for their support of the Annual Trapshoot Event. Benco, Coltene-Whaledent, Gateway Bank, Holt Dental Supply, Inc., Klein Dental Ceramics, Maguire & Stickland Refining, Inc., Medalist Awards, Minneapolis District Dental Society, Patterson Dental, The KNW Group, Udell Dental Laboratory, W.E. Mowrey, Co.

Tennis Tournament

The Greater Twin Cities Tennis Mixer at Bearpath Golf and Country Club was so nice a day that dinner was moved to the patio so we could enjoy one last summer night! Save the date for next year: Wednesday, September 5. Winners were: Men’s Champion Flight A, Travis Schmitt, who drove in from the Southeastern District. Runners-up in a tie: John Troselius and Jonathan Twomey. Other  winners were Flight B, Brian Murn and Sachin Mehta; Flight C, George MacGibbon and Greg Hueler. Congrats! Chair Julie Chavez rates a big thanks as well! 

Upcoming Programs and Events

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Subject: “New Materials and Technologies in Esthetic Dentistry”

Speaker: Paul S. Olin, D.D.S., M.S.

One hour of core continuing education available - Minneapolis Marriott Southwest Hotel - Minnetonka, Minnesota

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Subject: “Communication Solutions: Attitudes, Breakdowns and Conflict Resolutions”

Speaker: Ms. Judy Kay Mausolf

Special Event Evening – Staff Appreciation Night - One hour of Core Continuing Education Available - Minneapolis Marriott Southwest Hotel - Minnetonka, Minnesota

Saturday, February 4, 2012

12th Annual Give Kids A Smile Day

Sharing and Caring Hands Dental Clinic - Minneapolis, Minnesota

Many volunteers needed. Please join us for this very worthwhile event. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

86th Annual Midwinter Dental Meeting

Subject: “Dentistry’s Role in Abuse Reporting, Forensics, and Oral Pathology”

Speaker: Col. Theresa L. Gonzales, D.D.S.

Five core hours of continuing education credits available - Minneapolis Marriott Southwest Hotel  - Minnetonka, Minnesota

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Subject: “How to Get the Difficult Patient Numb”

Speaker: Robert L. Kaufman, D.D.S.

One hour of Core Continuing Education Available - Minneapolis Marriott Southwest Hotel - Minnetonka, Minnesota

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Annual Installation of Officers and Guest of Honor Meeting

Minneapolis Marriott Southwest Hotel - Minnetonka, Minnesota

West Central District

Jeanni R. Foss

Associate Editor

15167 Edgewood Drive, Suite 240

Baxter, MN 56425

Send in Your Trip Photos!

As I was planning my family’s last summer outing to Yellowstone National Park this August, I found out that others in our district were making similar treks out West. I even spoke to a dentist near  Alexandria who spent time in Norway this summer. It leads me to believe that there are some fun or interesting vacation pictures to be shared. If you happen to submit one of those awkward family  pictures, you may even get a prize in the mail from me! I just missed a picture of Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock in Jackson Hole by a few days … I know the staff of Northwest Dentistry would have paid me big bucks for that one! Instead, I submit these couple of pictures of the beautiful scenery of Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Yellowstone. 

Alexandria Golf and CE

Near perfect swings, rubbing elbows with our most friendly dental reps, blue skies, and learning about how to avoid shrinking composites was a great way to play hooky from work on a Friday in  August. The event was again perfectly orchestrated by the everresourceful Rich Moen. Sponsors for the event were so kind to join in golf, supply prizes, and enjoy drinks with all of us dentists.  Zimmer Dental provided a great lunch for us as we listened to Interim Dean Judith Buchanan from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry fi ll us in on the transitions taking place this year.  Alex Fok, U of M School of Dentistry as well, was our guest lecturer. He has a theory that the Devil was indeed behind all of our current composite failures!

Send or Fax in Your Registrations!

A reminder that we have two big events coming up soon! Don’t delay in getting your registrations for the October 28 Jonathan Yuhas, Wine and Cheese Social at Grandview Lodge on Gull Lake. It is important to get your reservations there early.  Also, we have our Annual Meeting in Fergus Falls January 14, 2012. We have a very well known speaker, Sandy Botkins, speaking on tax strategies for  the health professional. This is a great tme of the year to get your questions answered by a CPA just before you file your business and personal taxes. We had several requests for a speaker on this topic. The lecture is at the Bigwood Event Center in Fergus Falls, with a block of rooms available for families or those driving from the outskirts. Please fax registrations for these events to Jeanni Foss at (218) 828-0592. 


Northeastern District

Gary Hedin

Associate Editor

324 W. Superior Street, Suite 828

Duluth, MN 55802


By the time this article reaches your hands it will be fall. The kids are back to school, leaves are changing colors, the furnace may have turned on a few times, and hunters are heading into the woods or duck blinds. Golfers are squeezing in as many rounds as they can before the greens get covered up, and tenacious gardeners are covering plants and moving them in and out of the garage like clockwork. It’s almost time to put away the lawn mower, get out the leaf rake, and start going to some district dental meetings. I love the fall, and I know many of you do as well. It’s kind of like saying goodbye to summer, hopefully slowly over a couple months time. My hunting dog loves the fall, too. He knows that a walk in the woods or field takes on a new meaning during this time of the year, one where he gets to show off his skills and hang out with his hunting buddies too.

The last couple of months in the Northeastern District have been quiet ones, as is the case every summer. Who really wants to sit in a room with the shades drawn, listening to a lecture on how to make your posterior composites look more lifelike, when it’s 80 degrees and sunny outside? We only have about 28.6 really nice summer days up here, so we have learned to maximize those days by spending them outside, maybe with family and friends, or maybe in the solitude of the BWCA. 

By late August it was time to get the NEDDS train rolling again. Our House of Delegates pre-caucus meeting was held at the Kitchi Gammi Club in Duluth, and was very well attended. We only had a handful of resolutions to discuss, none of which were too controversial. Our MDA Executive Director, Dick Diercks, made the trip up to Duluth for the meeting, as did the two gentlemen running for  second vice-president of the MDA, Peter Cannon and Dan Rose. Both candidates did a nice job of presenting their cases for being elected, and I think either one of them would be an excellent choice.

The September NEDDS meeting was held in Duluth, and featured Timothy Caruso, a physical therapist from the Chicago area. Mr. Caruso gave a talk called “Fitness in Dentistry: Exercising Your   Options”. It was a really good talk. He covered everything from the causes of the aches and pains of dentistry, which many of us accept as normal risks of our jobs, to ways to treat and prevent further problems. He stressed that  even with our busy days at work it is important to prioritize health and make time to exercise and work with our bodies every day. The difference will be greater productivity and a happier, pain-free individual. One thing that I changed because of the talk was to start doing push-ups in the operatory during appointments. I can get about 15 in while composite is being cured, and I’ve done more than 75 while waiting for a crown impression.

Duluth hosted the House of Delegates this year, at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center. We had all been looking forward to having colleagues from all over the state in town to enjoy  what many of us are blessed to experience every day. We were just hoping it wouldn’t snow. The next meeting will be held October 14 and will feature Dr. Brent Larson, speaking on orthodontics.

Okay, that’s all I had to share with you this time around. I hope your day is going well, and I was just kidding about the push-ups! 


Saint Paul District

Rosalie Perpich

Associate Editor

1725 Tower Drive West

Stillwater, MN 55082

Outstanding Choice!

The Saint Paul District congratulates Stephen McDonnell as recipient of the 2011 SPDDS Outstanding Service Award.

Dr. McDonnell was raised in Saint Paul. He and his twin sister are the eldest of six children of Dr. Robert and Eileen McDonnell. The senior Dr. McDonnell practiced and served the dental profession for nearly 40 years, retiring in 1996. He helped inspire Steve to pursue a career in dentistry. Steve was educated at Immaculate Heart of Mary grade school, Cretin High School (’75), Marquette University College of Business Administration-Finance (’79), and the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry (’85).

Thanks to his membership in the Saint Paul District Dental Society Speaker’s Bureau since 1985, Dr. McDonnell has been acquainted with and learned much from a good number of the finest dentists to serve the Saint Paul District, the Minnesota Dental Association, and the American Dental Association. In 1987, Dr. George Kinney asked Steve to serve as chair of the SPDDS Children’s Dental Health Month committee. This led to Steve’s further involvement with SPDDS Executive Council, MDA, and ADA activities.

Among varied profession-related activities, Steve served as SPDDS elected secretary, SPDDS president (‘96/’97), SPDDS and MDA Membership Committee chair, delegate to both the MDA and ADA H ouse of Delegates, MDA Dental Education chair, member of the ADA Council on Dental Education and Licensure, and chair of the ADA Continuing Education Recognition Program (CERP). Steve has  also helped provide dental services at the Union Gospel Mission since 1992. He was honored to receive the 2009 MDA Outstanding Service Award. 

Outside of dentistry, Steve has volunteered service to business organizations, and church-related activities including lector, Eucharistic minister, and parish councils. Dr. McDonnell met his wife, Nancy, a dental hygiene student (‘79), at Marquette University, and they married while he was in dental school. She provided Steve much support throughout his education and activities, while also  volunteering her services to their church, the Girl Scouts, and athletics. Steve and Nancy have worked together at their dental practice since 1990. They enjoy family activities, and are truly  blessed with two daughters: Kelly, a senior biomedical engineering student at Marquette University, and Becky, a sophomore at Cretin-Derham Hall High School. 

Dr. McDonnell will be honored at the annual Midwinter Meeting January 20, 2012. 

SPDDS Welcomes Our New Members to Organized Dentistry!

Deborah K. Anderson, D.D.S.

Amy L. Brennan, D.D.S.

Riley D. Bosch, D.D.S.

Mildred Collazo, D.D.S.

Erin K. Ladwig, D.D.S.

Lincy M. Paul, D.D.S.

Aaron J. Wachlarowicz, D.D.S.

SPDDS Midwinter Meeting 2012

It’s the Big One: For all member dentists, staff, and colleagues, mark those calendars now for Friday, January 20, 2012, for the Saint Paul District Dental Society Midwinter Meeting 2012. Don’t miss  this day for you and your staff! Join your friends and colleagues from the SPDDS at the Crowne Plaza Saint Paul Riverfront for exhibitors, eight breakfast speakers, nine morning speakers, and the luncheon/program. Programs and registration forms will be mailed to SPDDS members; outstate members can contact SPDDS to receive a program by mail at (651) 697-0831 or spdds@qwestoffice.net

HOD for Dummies

After serving as an alternate delegate and delegate for the Saint Paul District for six years, I am confident I am not the only member of the Minnesota Dental Association who values having a clear picture of the meaning and purpose of the House of Delegates (HOD) in hand. Attending has taught me a great deal about what my membership is paying for and supporting, and it has brought with it a great deal of camaraderie with other dentists in Minnesota. 

All members can become involved by contributing ideas to their constituent district or to a delegate to bring forward at the House of Delegates. 

The purpose of the House of Delegates is to set the agenda for the MDA for the upcoming year. The House of Delegates is the ultimate governing body of the Minnesota Dental Association. If you  have not attended the HOD, I recommend that you give it a try. The House follows an official parliamentary procedure. 

Each of the seven districts elects members to be delegates based on member population. The location rotates among Minneapolis, Duluth, Rochester, and other outstate districts. How do you get  your idea or concern on the agenda for the Minnesota Dental Association? If you have a concern, idea, or area of interest for further review, you can write a letter or speak to someone on the Executive Council of your district or contact a delegate. The district or individual delegate can assist you in writing a resolution to be submitted to the House of Delegates. 

What is a resolution? A resolution is a call to action for the Minnesota Dental Association. A resolution will give background information on the subject matter and a conclusion or resolve of how to move forward. Prior to the HOD, the MDA’s Board of Trustees reviews resolutions and votes on a recommendation. That recommendation can be to vote yes, vote no, or to table. 

The first session of the HOD invites guest speakers from the ADA, Hygiene Association, Dental Assistant Association, and the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry for updates since the last House.  

Next an open table discussion of all resolutions occurs. This consists of small groups combining members from all districts just talking across the table about the resolutions. Next, all delegates and alternates attend the open reference committee, where people testify in favor of or against resolutions. Then the reference committees meet, discuss, and come to a consensus concerning a  recommendation. This consensus can either be in support of a resolution, a recommendation to amend a resolution, recommendation to vote no, or a request for further investigation by the Board of  Trustees.

Let’s follow a Resolution and see how it plays out. 

Thursday, September 15; first meeting of reference committee B. We will follow the progression and discussion regarding resolution B6.

B6. Resolved, that the MDA confirm with the Board of Dentistry president that all voting members who have a conflict of interest in any business matter that comes before the Board for vote, that  are in conflict of interest of their employment business or personal gain, recuse themselves from voting. 

Fiscal impact: No financial impact to the MDA.

Strategic plan goal: Advocacy.

Board of Trustees comments: The Board of Trustees understands the intent of this resolution, but believes that this is the Board of Dentistry business and does not require House of Delegates action.

Board of Trustees recommendations: The Board of Trustees recommends voting “no” on this resolution. 

Let’s see what the House thinks? 

First we meet as groups for Round Table discussions. At the round table discussions, a number of points were brought up. 

Would the Board of Dentistry consider such a question insulting? 

The MDA has a good relationship with the Board of Dentistry. Would this question jeopardize the relationship?

Most comments felt that if handled professionally then the Board would not think this question of clarity offensive. One comment brought up the Code of Ethics and as a profession we are obligated to govern ourselves and with this task we are obligated to question, discuss, and encourage transparency and accountability. 

Next we have an Open Reference Committee hearing. This is a time where delegates can come to a microphone and give comments for or against resolutions. All comments stated were for the resolution.

One delegate cited the Board of Dentistry policy on this very topic. All policies have room for interpretation, and even “perceived conflict of interest” is stated. I could not find on the Board of  Dentistry a policy in relation to conflict of interest. I did, however, find this statement: “Board members are encouraged to bring in doughnuts and cookies for staff.” I am glad to see a staff member has a good sense of humor! In summary, there were only two comments to this resolution, and they were both in favor. Some resolutions evoke hour debates. 

The reference committee meets in the evening until all resolutions are reviewed and the reference committee writes a recommendation. 

In regard to Resolution B6, no changes were made, the Reference Committee concurred with the recommendation, and the chair moved to vote yes on resolution B6. 

On Saturday, reference committees read their recommendations, and the delegates vote. 

At this time delegates can still change the resolution or add a substitute resolution during the voting process. 

The house voted yes, and passed resolution B6.

Some years many resolutions are brought forward; some years only a dozen. Every year there is great discussion. 

Saturday the resolutions are voted on, followed by the installation of new officers of the MDA for the upcoming year. 

I hope all will consider becoming involved in a House of Delegates. I cannot say enough about how much I have learned, and how I have come to better appreciate the time and effort our volunteer officers and MDA staff give to organized dentistry.