team building, and collaborations enhanced the ADA efforts this last year concerning issues
on access, oral health, and other committees involving dental issues. At the beginning of the year, the Board spent
three days in a leadership retreat, learning about what it means to be an
authentic leader. The Board focused on the value of leadership qualities and
how to work together as a high performance team. It was a powerful experience for
all that will strengthen and improve the Board’s work on behalf of the members.
Native Oral Health Access Summit
Indian/Alaska Native Oral Health Access Summit was held last November in Santa
Ana Pueblo, New Mexico. Stakeholders
gathered to focus on issues impacting access to oral health for these
populations. The theme was “What are we
going to do, both individually and collectively, to improve access to dental
treatment and prevention strategies that address the oral health of American
Indian and Alaskan Native people?”
discussed problems unique to American Indian and Alaskan Native children. Findings included information such as 95% of
four-year-olds have caries, and anywhere from 25 to 50% of young children require
treatment in operating rooms that on average are located four hours from their
homes. Solutions focus on three areas, including increasing funding and funding
sources, staffing, and infrastructure.
many short- and long-term goals that will only be effective by overcoming fear
and working together. More work is needed with water fluoridation, SCHIP
funding, CDHC and OHA workforce models, and building an understanding that
there are unique problems in these and other local areas. The ADA
will help by establishing a list-serve group e-mail for participants,
communicate the summit progress, “tell the story” of oral health disparities,
convene additional strategy groups, and provide progress reports.
Unprofessional Conduct and Sexual Boundaries
will also be reading more about unprofessional conduct and sexual boundary
guidelines proposed by the American Association of Dental Examiners. The guidelines are recommendations offered by
AADE to assist state dental boards on “sexual boundary” violations involving
practitioners and patients. They provide that for purposes of protecting the
public, it is incumbent upon dental care practitioners to respect sexual
boundaries and ensure that non-professional considerations do not intrude into the
Health Care/Universal Coverage Task Force
Future of Health Care/Universal Coverage Task Force had solid progress at its
meeting this winter. They have further defined the draft principles that will
form the foundation for the task force’s ultimate recommendations to the House
and agreed on a draft list of white paper topics. The draft principles, white
paper topics, scenarios, and other foundational material will be shared in the
Delegates Digest, and we hope to get good input on the draft principles from
state leaders, councils, specialty organizations, public health community, and
others. All of this continues to be a work in progress.
force also heard an interesting presentation from a medical resident member of
the AMA board, summarizing the AMA’s impressively large “Voice for the
Uninsured” public campaign. Like us, they are still in the process of analyzing
how they will address the anticipated and yet unclear presidential candidate
“plans” for health care reform.
all who so generously participated in our sixth annual Give Kids A Smile® day
February 1. There were 1,796 programs
across the country, with nearly 12,000 dentists and 33,000 other dental
professional volunteers serving more than 450,000 children. There were many
programs in the Tenth District, including my own in the Quad Cities working
with the Quad City Health Initiative and the United Way. I would encourage program
initiators to visit ADA.org and register programs and/or update statistics.
Those who do will be eligible to win $500 that they can put toward their 2009
GKAS program next February 6.
received great press coverage this year. Our Public Affairs Department is
compiling hundreds of Give Kids A Smile® press clippings, both print and
broadcast, from across the country that describe many wonderful events, some
attended by state legislators or other high profile individuals.
remind you, it is never too early to start thinking about developing and
submitting your resolutions to the ADA House of Delegates this fall. The meeting will take place in San Antonio, Texas.
All of you, whether you are delegates or not, should consider attending the ADA
Annual Session, which is October 16 through the 19. It should be a spectacular
array of speakers, exhibits, and other functions of interest to dentists,
staff, and families.
can attend. If you have never been to an ADA House of Delegates, I guarantee
that it is a great opportunity to see how your delegates and dental association
work for you. I hope to see most of you this spring at your district and state
please feel free to contact me if you have questions.
can be reached at the following numbers.
Kathryn Kell is the Trustee to the Tenth District of the American Dental
Association, representing Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South