July-August 2014
Volume 93 - Number 4

Find Your Way by the Star of the North

Development of a National TMJ Implant Registry and Repository - NICDR's TIRR

The Thought That Counts

Golden: Recognizing the MDA's 25-Year Members and Retirees

President's Message:

Strength in Diversity

Jamie L. Sledd, D.D.S.*

I am 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 view.

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.

• You 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 negotiating.

• Improved communications between leadership and members. We are building more avenues of communication among the officers, the Board of Trustees, and our district officers.•
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 resolution.

A final 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.


*Dr. 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 jsledd@arborlakesdental.com.

Copyright 2007. Minnesota Dental Association

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