Like it or not, the time has come! I am the last Mike!**
Over the past three years, MDA members, ADA members, and staff have had it very lucky: All the MDA presidents have been named Mike. Say the name Mike, and several heads turn. Now that Michael Zakula and Mike Flynn have paved the way with their leadership, it is my turn to assume the MDA presidency. What has happened in the three short years is historic in terms of organizational structure and change. None of it has been easy, but I feel the MDA is positioned to be an organization that will make a difference to dentists in Minnesota.
Here is my promise to you: We will be relevant, and we will have relatable leadership.
Many times over the past three years I have heard from MDA member dentists that they felt that leadership of the Association was having a positive effect on the practice of dentistry in Minnesota. This will continue no matter what issue it is that we will be facing.
What will those issues be?
The Affordable Care Act (ACT) is certainly a signifi cant issue this year, so during my term I plan to create a task force dedicated to reviewing all aspects of the ACA that apply to dentistry in order to better inform our members about its impact on their practice. Other issues we will continue to monitor and respond to include alternative workforce members, electronic patient records, and any other important legislative, regulatory, or practice management issues that might affect our member dentists!
The changes to come over the next decade begin in the present. If we are to have any success in shaping our future, the MDA – better yet, the tripartite – must be successful. Your continued support of organized dentistry is more important today than at any other time in history. Know that we, as an organization, are dedicated to supporting our members, but we cannot go it alone … we need your help.
During my term I am confident I will be able to relate to all member dentists no matter what type of practice a given individual may be in, as I have been in your shoes in my 30 years of dentistry. Solo practice, group practice, corporate practice, state and federal practice settings all have the same key element, the dentist, who is the leader of the team providing state-of-the-art dentistry to the citizens of Minnesota.
Forty years ago as a junior in high school, my school’s football team and I went to Bemidji for the first time to play the Lumberjacks. My team won that night, and we subsequently went on to an undefeated magical season that is still talked about in my hometown of Crosby-Ironton. I am about to have another magical year, but, instead, with you, and I can’t wait to make our lives magical too!
I sincerely look forward to being your MDA president this year.
*Dr. Perpich is the 2013-2014 president of the Minnesota Dental Association. He is a general dentist practicing in St. Louis Park and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Email is firstname.lastname@example.org
**In the succession of recent MDA presidents: 2011-2012, Michael Zakula; 2012-2013, Michael Flynn; 2013-2014, Michael Perpich.