honored to have your confidence and support to serve as president of the
Minnesota Dental Association. It is a privilege to work with our membership and
beside our hard-working and dedicated staff. I want to thank all of you who
continue to give your time and energy to volunteer for our great association.
As I look forward to my year as president, one of my
priorities is to improve communication with our members. It is critical that
our leadership keep members informed of issues and concerns affecting us all. I
want each of you to feel you have a voice as a member of the MDA and look
forward to communication going in both directions. As active members of our
dental community, we have the opportunity to voice our concerns and opinions
and work together to better our profession both for dentists and for our
patients. The strength of our membership is its diversity and range of
opinions. We may disagree, but we can always respect each other’s point of
The MDA is an extraordinary community with a reservoir of
knowledge, expertise, and energy among our members. One thing I enjoy most is
being able to work with the officers and trustees on different issues. We do
not always agree on how a matter should be handled, but we have free-flowing
dialogue to determine what is best for the members and our patients. In the
end, we are able to cultivate a common opinion.
In August, I had the opportunity to speak to the incoming
freshman dental students. Thinking back to our freshman year, each of us will
remember the sense of community we felt. We had the same end goal and were
supportive of one another. I asked the students to think more broadly than
their immediate position and to think of the community they will become a part
of following graduation. That community is organized dentistry and the
Minnesota Dental Association.
The MDA is the authoritative resource for oral health and
is committed to serving the profession, and by doing so, the public. By looking
critically at our mission statement, vision, and values, we can identify
specific ways to increase the value of membership.
Following the House of Delegates (HOD), we will keep you informed of the
actions and progress of all resolutions.
will be receiving legislative updates. When resolutions are passed at our HOD
in September, we wait six months for the legislative session to begin. Many
things can happen during that time. We may learn that a resolution may not
pass, and due to these possible changes, we may choose to pursue our resolution
differently. If we cannot achieve our policy goal, we must change our direction
so we can achieve as much of our goal as possible. While we have goals at the
MDA level, we must remember that these may not be the goals of the legislators.
Victories don’t always occur on the first try. Our goals may be lofty, but each
of them must have a beginning point, a position from which we can begin
Improved communications between leadership and members. We are building more
avenues of communication among the officers, the Board of Trustees, and our
Meeting the changing realities of dentistry today. Dentistry is ever-evolving,
whether on the political front, via changes at the state level with the Board
of Dentistry, or improvements in technology and clinical care. It is our goal
to keep you informed.
• I am
listening to your concerns and actively working to come to appropriate
thought: Not many people get where they are going by doing it themselves! I
encourage you to reflect on your role as a member of the MDA and strive to
contribute your strengths and build new professional relationships within the
community of the Minnesota Dental Association.
Sledd is the president of the Minnesota Dental Association for 2007-2008. She
is a general dentist in private practice in Maple Grove, Minnesota.
E-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.