Well Met

Well Met

James K. Zenk, D.D.S.*:
Finally — spring came to Minnesota! Even the hardiest of us certainly had to be patient waiting for our kinder season this year!
 
Spring also brought with it a very busy time for this “first-timer” trustee as far as fulfilling my duties to attend the ADA Tenth District state meetings.  
 
The “States Tour” began with Nebraska and Minnesota - on the same weekend. Both were excellent meetings, and it was fun getting reacquainted with our dental friends in Nebraska. Our  very own Star of the North Meeting continues to be the premier dental meeting of the Midwest. A big shoutout for a job well done to our MDA’s Scientific Session Committee for producing  a truly first class meeting.
 
Star of the North  was followed by the Iowa 151st Annual Session “celebrating 150 years of smiles”. Iowa dentists always treat their guests like rock stars. This milestone meeting was followed by a three-day meeting in Chicago at the American Dental Association Headquarters to hammer out the new ADA budget for 2014, which will be presented to the ADA House of  Delegates in November in New Orleans.
 
Following that meeting (are you keeping up?), I met with our ADA Tenth District officers at the Washington Leadership Conference. With the help of our “dental congressman”,  representative Paul Gosar of Arizona, we were given updates on our national dental issues, which gave us much needed information with which to lobby our representatives and senators  on Capitol Hill. 
 
The “Spring Tour” ended at the South Dakota Annual Meeting in Rapid City, South Dakota. Our ADA president, Robert Faiella, was present to speak to the delegation and thank them for  leading the nation in ADA membership percentage. South Dakota continues to maintain a rate of 95% of state dentists belonging to the ADA. Another highlight of this meeting was the  President’s dinner reception at the base of Mount Rushmore. No matter how many times you see this monument, its magnificence continues to be overwhelming.
 
Now it is time to turn to summer — time to be outside and enjoying all our state has to offer. Baseball is a great summer pastime, both playing and watching. I admit to being an avid  Minnesota Twins fan, and I enjoy following their season, whether it is successful or just average. Of course we want the Twins to be successful, just as we want our ADA member dentists  to be successful as stated in the first goal on the current Strategic Plan: To provide support to dentists so they may succeed and excel throughout their careers. With that firmly in our  sites, the ADA is set to soon launch the Center for Professional Success (CPS). This is a new Web-based portal designed to give our membership assistance in dealing with their real-time practice needs. As it rolls out, it will present interactive support tools and applications, along with a portfolio of online and in-person executive management certificate programs. The  Center will provide relevant and impactful solutions to the business challenges dentists face every day in their offices. Our members have done a fantastic job training to be clinically  excellent. Now the Association can support that excellence and success on the business side of practice. Watch for the launch of CPS!
 
Remember as well to check out and use the new MouthHealthy.org. This new American Dental Association’s website has information to help our patients seek information relevant to all  ages. Our patients, our dental teams, and dentists are able to search topics related to oral health issues from A to Z, explore ADA Seal of Acceptance Products, and have fun watching  videos and playing games related to oral health.
 
Dentists – did you graduate from dental school after 2003? If so, you are invited to register for the American Dental Association 27th New Dentist Conference scheduled for July 18-20, 2013 in Denver, Colorado at the Four Seasons Hotel. The conference offers up to 15 hours of continuing education, a full day of leadership development, an emerging speakers training track, receptions, and a baseball night at Coors Field for a game between the Colorado Rockies and the Chicago Cubs. I encourage you to go online at www.ADA.org/newdentistconf to register.
Even though I graduated from dental school 34 years ago, I get to go and be energized by all the enthusiasm and brilliance emitted by our next generation of dental leaders. 
 
Dentists of all ages and your families: I want to invite you to join me at the American Dental Association Annual Session October 31 – November 3, 2013 in New Orleans. If you haven’t  registered yet, please register today. Think of it — Halloween in New Orleans with all your dental friends. ADA Annual Sessions offer the highest quality continuing education available anywhere. There are classes available for everyone on your dental team. The exhibition hall offers an amazing array of new dental products and cutting edge technology for you to touch,  feel, and compare. This year’s Distinguished Speaker Series features President Bill Clinton. No matter what your politics favor, President Clinton is an excellent speaker and is sure to  entertain and enlighten all in attendance. If you are unable to attend the session, please check out ADA 365. All ADA members have online access to ADA 365 year-round, with select  Annual Session courses available for viewing on demand. 
 
I thank you for allowing me to be your ADA Tenth District Trustee. This last month I have been able to meet and visit with many dentists and hear their success stories. I am thankful for  this opportunity. Dentistry is a wonderful profession, and I give thanks for being a dentist. 
 
 
 
*Dr. Zenk is the Trustee to the Tenth District of the American Dental Association, representing Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. He is a general dentist in  Montevideo, Minnesota. Email is zenkj@ada.org.