Saint Paul District
1227 Northwood Parkway
User Friendly Vampire …The Saint Paul District Hosts Children’s Dental Health
Paul District Dental Society accomplishes many things for its members and the
greater Saint Paul
community each year, and it is due in great measure to the work of its
committees and the members who volunteer their time to serve on them. Without
the people who volunteer for these various committees, most of the great things
we do in our area and for the people of Saint
Paul would not be possible. I recently sat down with
one such person, Dr. Tiffany Waki, a practicing orthodontist in Burnsville and a member
of our district. One of the most visible things we do each year occurs during
February: Children’s Dental Health Month. For the past few years, Dr. Waki has
been involved in various capacities with Children’s Dental Health Day at the
Minnesota Children’s Museum.
you give me some background on what Children’s Dental Health Day is all about?
For the past four years, I have been the chairperson of this event, with the
help of the District’s Executive Director Kathy Krauter and staff person Cindy
Smith. This year the event was held on Saturday, February 16, at the Minnesota
Children’s Museum in downtown Saint
pleased to tell you that we had record attendance: more than 3,000 people! (A
typical day at the Children’s Museum draws about half that amount.) With the help of more than 40 volunteers, the
event was nothing short of truly successful. We had a number of Saint Paul dentists and assisting and hygiene students
from Century College
and Dakota County Technical
College, along with many
dental students from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.
is designed to provide awareness of and education about dental issues to the
public. All the kids attending got a
real kick out of visiting with Count Plaquela, the Tooth Fairy, Crest Sparkle,
and Dudley the Dinosaur. As well, stationed
throughout the Museum were various interactive activities. One of the kids’
favorites was the “Dentist for a Day” station where the kids got to wear
smocks, gloves, and masks and perform exams on their parents’ teeth. We would
like to thank Patterson Dental for the use of the dental chair for this
activity. They also provided us with an intra-oral camera for another part of
the exhibit. There were crafting areas where the kids could make their own
tooth fairy wands and create art using toothbrushes. Another of the most
popular areas was “Ask the Dentist”. Kids and their parents could ask the
dentist questions and get educational materials on topics running the gamut
from fluoride and general oral care to whitening and oral piercings. In
addition to these areas, we also had a “Sip All Day, Get Decay” display, and
demonstrations on sealant placement and proper brushing and flossing
motivated you to become involved with this event and continue chairing it?
Being an orthodontist, I am naturally drawn to working with children. This
event seemed like a natural fit for me to get more involved with providing
dental education in a fun way to a wide variety of kids. I volunteered as one
of the dentists for the first two years I worked on this event. Each year I got
more and more involved, and when the opportunity for me to become chair
occurred, I was more than happy to step up and help out. I have now chaired the
event for the last three years.
do you think you and the other volunteers have gained from being involved in a
project such as Children’s Dental Health Day?
I think a great part of an event like this is the ability to reach out and
touch so many kids and families who may not otherwise have the opportunity to
get access to even a limited amount of dental education - especially education
that is provided in such a fun and non-threatening environment.
do you think contributed to the large increase in the public’s participation
I think the Saint Paul
dentists’ promotion of the event through distribution of the free admission
coupons was a big part of it. Also, the event has now been going on for a few
years, and it has begun to have a public recognition of its own, which has
helped attendance grow every year.
can you say about all of the people who volunteer for an event like this?
The mixture of volunteer students and dentists is what makes the day run like a
well oiled machine. They make the event young, hip, and energetic. As a side
benefit to the volunteers, I think there is a lot of mentoring that goes on
between the dentists and the students.
like to thank Dr. Waki for taking the time to sit down with me and talk about
such a successful event. I also want to commend her and all of the volunteers
for their time and commitment to the Saint Paul District and helping to place
such a positive light on the dental profession.
would like to volunteer for future Children’s Dental Health Days or any of the
other many committees that the District has operating on an ongoing basis,
please call the District Office at (651) 697-0831. We would love to have you
involved and make Saint Paul
an even more vibrant district than it already is. Unless we know you are
interested in a particular area, we sometimes do not know to ask.
Shannon M. Held is a general dentist practicing at Metro Dental Care in Cottage Grove. Please
welcome her to the ranks of the SPDDS.
condolences to the family and friends of Charles H. Buscher, who died
February 14, 2008.
See You There…
Leadership Retreat and Long
& Learn Continuing Education
“White and Red Lesions of the Mouth”
Dr. John Koutlas
of Officers & Spring Social
Caucus at Minnesota
500 Osborne Road, Suite 345
of Officers and Guest of Honor Evening
2008 Installation of Officers and Guest of Honor Evening will be Thursday,
April 17, at the Golden Valley Country Club. Officers for the upcoming year are
James D. Nickman, president; Alejandro M. Aguirre, president-elect; Mark R.
Omlie, vice-president; and Gary
A. Bolmgren, secretary/treasurer. The MDDS will present its Guest of Honor
Recognition Award during the evening’s program as well, this year to Bashar
Bakdash in recognition of his years of service to the profession. Please join
us to honor these members as the take office for 2008–2009. Again this year, we
will be honoring the District past presidents. Please plan on attending,
getting reacquainted with colleagues, and enjoying the hors‘d oeuvres, wine,
dinner, and program.
difference a day makes! On Saturday, February 2, MDDS held its eighth annual “Give
Kids a Smile” day at the Sharing and Caring Hands Dental Clinic in Minneapolis. Many thanks
to Mary Jo Copeland for opening her heart and the doors of Sharing and Caring
Hands so that we could provide a full day of dental care to children who are
most in need. It was truly a celebration of service to the community and a commitment to volunteerism by District members. We provided more than $37,200 in dental care
to 108 children who might otherwise have no access to care. Volunteers provided
oral hygiene instruction, dental exams, toothbrush prophylaxis, fluoride
treatments, radiographs, sealants, extractions, pulpotomies, stainless steel
crowns, and composite and amalgam restorations. We had face painting, a
coloring table, and a goody bag with toothbrush and floss for each child.
Dental once again provided their mobile dental unit, helping us to more than
double the size of Sharing and Caring Hands’ permanent dental clinic, giving us
the opportunity to see even more patients in a single day. Many thanks to all
our GKAS donors as well as Sullivan-Schein Dental for providing
comprehensive/complete restorative kits for every child treated.
gratefully acknowledges the following companies’ support of Sharing and Caring
Hands’ Give Kids A Smile Day.
3M – ESPE
Dental Products Division
Health Smiles 2010 Program
Minnesota Dental Foundation
Teresa Fong coordinated another very successful event. Thanks go out to our
more than 80 volunteer dentists, dental specialists, dental hygienists, dental
assistants, dental students, other dental auxiliaries and volunteers. Our
dentists who led the way:
Michael Flamenbaum, D.D.S.
Teresa Fong, D.D.S.
Venetia Laganis, D.D.S.
Gregory Lawton, D.D.S.
to participate this year, please plan to volunteer next year: Saturday,
February 7, 2009.
Some Fun in the Sun?
August 11 brings the MDDS golf tournament to a new location: Golden Valley Golf
Club. Kick-off with a delicious lunch before a shot-gun start of 1:00 p.m. This
event is open to all MDA members statewide, so plan a trip to the cities and
join us for prizes and special events!
annual Trapshoot Tournament is set for Wednesday, August 20. We will be
returning to the Metro Gun Club in Blaine,
Minnesota. The day will culminate
with a gourmet wild game dinner and prizes. For those of you who have not
participated for awhile or who have never join us, this is an event not to be
missed…even for the novice. Everyone is welcome to come out and enjoy the
wonderful wild game dinner even if you are not in the tournament.
Greater Twin Cities Tennis Mixer is scheduled for Wednesday, September 3 at the
Bearpath Golf and Country Club, Eden
Prairie. This event will include members from both the
Saint Paul District Dental Societies. The Tennis Committee has a fantastic day
arranged. Play on outdoor clay courts starting at 1:00 through 5:00 p.m., with
dinner following. Again this year all competition is doubles. Players of all
skill levels are encouraged to come.
forms for all summer events will be included in upcoming issues of the Brush-Up
newsletter. If you need a form, please contact the District Office at (651)
Programs and Events
April 17, 2008
Installation of Officers and Guest of Honor Evening
Guest of Honor: Bashar Bakdash, D.D.S.
Golden Valley Golf and Country Club
Golden Valley, Minnesota
August 5, 2008 – Tentative Date
Golden Valley Golf and Country Club
Golden Valley, Minnesota
August 11, 2008
District Golf Tournament
All MDA Members
Golden Valley Golf and Country Club
Golden Valley, Minnesota
August 20, 2008
September 3, 2007
Twin Cities Tennis Event
LOCATION: Bearpath Golf and Country Club
Eden Prairie, Minnesota
September 19 and
September 20, 2008
Airport Marriott Hotel
December 5, 2008
Annual Midwinter Dental Meeting
Guest Speaker: TBA
Marriott Southwest Hotel
to the following new members of the District.
Michael J. Tulkki, D.D.S.
927 Trettle Lane
Having Enough to Share
by the time you are reading this the weather will have warmed up somewhat and
the glaciers will have retreated from the Northeastern District. As I write
this article, the temperature is pretty close to zero and so is the patience
level of most of my patients for the cold. Anyone who enjoys winter has been
blessed with a good one, with plenty of snow for skiing the Birkie or
snowmobiling on the North Shore Trail. But we are ready for a change, one that
comes in the form of green grass and lower heating bills. Anyway, it’s been a
good couple of months in the Northeast, and I have a few words and several
pictures to share.
January NEDDS meeting was held in Grand Rapids
at Itasca Community College. Geri Lewis was the
featured speaker, and her talk was entitled “Relating to Others: Improving
Workplace Communication”. She has a background in communications, has taught at
UMD, and has lectured at the Star of the North Meeting. Throughout the day-long
presentation, the subject of interpersonal communication was discussed. Geri
gave an entertaining and down-to-earth talk, and I think everyone in attendance
was able to take a few pearls back to his or her office the next week. It was
also good to see a number of staff members at the meeting in addition to the doctors present.
February, a very well-attended NEDDS meeting was held at the Kitchi Gammi Club
in Duluth. The
title of the presentation was “Minnesota Board of Dentistry Update/Minnesota
Department of Health Radiation Control Update”.
Marshall Shragg, Executive Director of the State Board of Dentistry,
gave the first part of the presentation. He discussed new requirements that
have been recently enacted by the Board of Dentistry, and cleared up questions
about current requirements that may seem confusing.
second speaker of the day was Kimberly Pappas, the X-ray Unit Supervisor for
the Minnesota Department of Health. She presented material on the current
ionizing radiation rules and requirements for the state of Minnesota. Although these topics aren’t
quite as exciting as, say, a Rolling Stones concert or a 30-inch walleye, they
are unquestionably very important to our practices, and we owe it to our
patients to be on top of the most current regulations.
the meeting, two outstanding dental hygiene students from Lake Superior College
were presented with scholarships from the Northeastern District. The students
were Katie Muerman, a first-year hygiene student, and Sheree Harwood, a
second-year hygiene student. Dental hygiene faculty member Tess Caywood was
present for the recognition, and our district president, John Conry, awarded
the scholarships. Each year the Northeastern District gives out four
scholarships, two to hygiene students and two to dental assisting students from
our local hygiene and assisting programs. Every year a great group of students
graduate from these programs, and we hope that many of them stay in the
Northeastern District for years to come.
you are very interested in legislation that affects the practice of dentistry
You should rest assured that your Northeastern District leadership is working
hard to keep on top of everything happening in the legislature this year. Here
are a couple examples of what I’m talking about…
February, several dentists from our district met with Representative Tom
Huntley of Duluth
to discuss legislative concerns of the MDA and the Northeastern District. I
won’t go into excruciating detail, but suffice to say that some good discussion
took place and Rep. Huntley is well aware of the concerns that many of you may have.
second event that recently took place was Dental Day at the Capitol. This is a
time when dentists from throughout the state can go to the legislature and meet
with the elected representatives from their home areas to discuss the goals and
concerns of the MDA. Our Northeastern District sent a great group of folks down
for the day,
and a number of fruitful meetings took place.
put away my ice fishing gear for the year, after what some friends were
starting to call the “World Tour of Ice Fishing”. It was a decent year on the
ice, and I was fortunate to fish on Lake
Winnibigosh in January
with several friends from dental school, including Steve Graber. In February, Peter Mayer, Peder Morse, Adam
Huneke, and I took on the walleye of Lake of the Woods
with good success, and also in February I fished in the BWCA off the Gunflint
Trail for some trout. Since I was the only dentist on that trip, I had to
endure plenty of jokes and razzing from my so-called buddies. It’s no wonder
dentists need to travel in packs!
thanks to Mike Zakula and Greg Kaake for providing many of the pictures in this
report. Until next time, here’s to immediate dentures that need no adjustment
and endo files that stay in one piece!
LuethP.O. Box 310
Dental Society “Christmas Dinner”
practice dentistry anywhere near the Headwaters of the Mississippi
River, you are automatically a member of the Headwaters Dental
Society. From Fosston and Park Rapids; from Walker,
and Blackduck; Clearbrook, Bagley, and Bemidji
– you are part of the group. There are no applications. There are no dues.
There are no requirements. You’re from the region? You’re in.
of old, the Headwaters Dental Society functioned as both a dental study club
and twice-a-year socializer for dentists and spouses. (In those early days,
“dentist” meant male and “spouse” meant wife. Not so for many years now!)
However, this younger generation has not found it in themselves to continue the
study club activities, and has elected to meet once or twice annually purely to
socialize. And so it was that on Monday, February 11, at the wonderful Italian
restaurant Tutto Bene in Bemidji, many found themselves at the Annual
Headwaters Dental Society “Near one of the Holidays” Socializer.
It was a
bitter cold evening outside, but the assemblage did a good job of heating up
the restaurant with their Belated Christmas/Early Valentine’s spirit. It has
been a rare year when this Headwaters function occurs prior to Christmas…it’s
just too busy then! And besides, sometime between mid-January and St. Patrick’s
Day is a great time of year to have the excuse to go out for a fun evening! Braving
temperatures of 20 below or colder, folks came from Fosston, Clearbrook,
Blackduck, Walker, and the Bemidji area, with the longest drive, 100 miles,
done by our Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Drs. Bill Baker and John Foss from
urging of Dr. Lee Scotland (Bemidji),
all the dentists were encouraged to bring photos of themselves in their first
year of practice. As couples arrived, the photos were posted on the “Their
Early Years” display. During the social hour hosted by local orthodontist Brett
Cooper and the aforementioned oral surgeons, everyone crowded around the
display of ourselves in some former life. Some of the group had much more
“former” than others! Thanks, Lee, for the great idea!
seated, it was a great time to briefly address the events of the year since our
last get-together, recognizing area accomplishments and items of note while
informally welcoming the newest dental families to join the group.
sadness we noted the passing of Dr. Roy Bengtson, who had a long and
distinguished career in Bemidji.
Much reminiscing ensued about the old days and those having gone before us, and
a number of those who are now the older practicing dentists among us (boy, did
that fact meet with some feistiness among those guys…it’s still the guys
getting old here!) told stories about a photo on the display board which was
taken of the Headwaters Dental Society members as they were in 1976. Many of
those members are now gone, but their memories carry on. The stories,
anecdotes, and laughter from those who are now the “oldtimers” (they were the
ones who were in their first years of practice in the 1976 photo) hopefully
were appreciated by the recent 2007 arrivals to area! Because as the meal was
winding down and conversations turned to good-byes, a camera came out with the
request to photograph this evening’s Headwaters Dental Society members. And
hopefully years from now at another gathering of the area dental community,
folks will share the enjoyment of their colleagues’ company, discuss the
happenings of the day in which they live, and reminisce fondly about those in
our photo who have gone before them.
Lange Syne Starts Here
Don’t Have Fun…It’s Your Own Fault!” Ask the folks who trekked north to
Baudette and the Boundary Waters of Minnesota and Canada for the 2008 Edition of the
Northwestern District’s Winter Meeting, aka “2008 Ice Fishing Adventure”, and
you’re likely to get an earful of the fun they had. From far and wide they
came. Most by car, some with snowmobiles in tow, experienced anglers and
novices. And once again a group from the southern reaches of our state hopped
on the Sportsman’s bus for a worry-free drive and rolling Kaffee Klatch.
fishing, and why Baudette and Lake of the Woods?
The reason when it’s freezin’: to
conduct one of the two yearly district meetings which the “remote” Northwestern
District must hold. The method: to have a heckuvalotta fun while doing so!
past format for our district meeting as a multi-day weekend affair - with a couple
of half days of continuing dental education linked to afternoons of golf,
fishing, shopping, or family activities, followed by evenings of fine dining
and socializing – had devolved to a rather sterile “nine to four” lecture
format, a revival of fun and fellowship at least once every couple of years was
the hope with the Lake of the Woods festivities.
verdict is in: It seems to appeal to many folks! Just consider this: 24 people
took advantage of the bus ride option, double the number of the 2006 LOW
meeting. Word of how fun a good ol’ bus ride can be really spread! And like the
old Greyhound Bus television commercials stated, those easy riders spent the
miles on the road socializing, snacking, swapping tales, and “leaving the
driving to us”.
first pick-up of Dr. Grant Florine in Rochester
very early Friday morning, the bus pointed its hood ornament to the great white
north for stops in Inver Grove Heights, Moose Lake,
and several more locations on its journey north … picking up 23 more along the
way. Past MDA presidents, the dean of
our dental school, general practice, specialty practice, large and small, Minneapolis and Saint
Paul – quite a group it was. MDA president Jamie Sledd
braved the trip as the sole female on the bus. But when greeted upon arrival at
Sportsman’s Lodge at the other end of the ride, she appeared none the worse for
wear. In fact, a few of the guys confided that she more than held her own!
CDE program speakers Drs. Dave Resch and Roger Ettel elected to hop on the bus.
What the heck, they were experienced – they did the same two years ago.
checking in at the dental meeting registration desk, everyone attending
received a custom sewn and embroidered “Northwest: If You Don’t Have Fun…It’s
Your Own Fault” fleece stocking cap, a shiny gold lead head fishing jig, and an
LED light (used for charging that glow-in-the-dark fish-catching tackle!). Once
settled in their cabins or rooms, everyone headed toward the lower level of the
lodge where all our activities originated. Dr. Resch (private practice in Saint Paul and involved
in infection control and OSHA regulations for the past 17 years) did a great
job with his presentation “OSHA and Infection Control: Flintstone Ideas in a
Jetson World?” Dean Patrick Lloyd wrapped the afternoon by sharing with
everyone all the new and exciting things happening at the U of M School of
day was really just beginning! With a few minutes to powder their noses, these
hardy fisherpersons headed to the Sportsman’s dining room for a great border
water dinner and an evening of entertainment. With tips and instruction on how
to catch those wiley walleyes and sauger for the next day’s adventure provided
by longtime Sportsman’s guide Flip, a “Catch and Release” walleye jigging
competition was held…indoors. Rod/reel combos and other fishing paraphernalia
prizes were awarded, and the evening continued with the “Friday Night Raffle”
to raise money for our district dental educational institutions. The generosity
of prize donors and raffle tickets buyers raised $1,800.00! A huge “Thank you”
to all! One lucky winner went home Friday night with a Pioneer portable
satellite radio, while another winner was immediately outfitted with a
custom-built walleye ice fishing rod and reel combo and complete package of
gear to put him straight on the ice the next morning. The only thing needed was
minnows! To top it all off, every single
person’s name was drawn for ice-fishing-related door prizes thanks to Lindy
Tackle and Dr. Roland Kehr (Brainerd).
hearty breakfast and second wonderful CDE presentation (by Dr. Ettel, White
Bear Lake, practice limited to periodontics, “Periodontal Esthetics” and
“Periodontal Regeneration”) segued into changing into our ice fishing duds,
climbing into the “Bombers” for the ride out to ice houses where the angling
began. It was your choice whether or not to kiss your minnows for good luck!
Seventeen ice houses full of fisherpersons jigged, bobber-fished, danced, and
snoozed the day away. It was a great time to visit and make new friends - and
many folks even caught fish! We topped it off upon return to the lodge with a
scrumptious “Shore Lunch” dinner of the best tasting north country fried
walleye you’ll ever eat, surrounded by all the fixins’. And just when you think
that it can’t get any better than that, along came the Ice Fishing Awards and
the Saturday Night Raffle.
Alcorn (Red Lake Falls)
served as award presenter for the former, where largest, smallest, most, and
least were recognized. Some sore but lucky person won a prize for having the
worst case of “bobber neck” (a sore neck from staring down at a bobber in an
ice fishing hole for too long). One unlucky person received a “Jigger of
Consolation” drink coupon for having dropped her cell phone down the ice house
hole. The story related by her companions was that at 32 feet deep it was not
possible to hear the phone ring on the bottom of the lake…nor determine if any
species of fish had answered! This unlucky recipient of the “Jigger” drink
coupon immediately redeemed it! As for the Saturday Night Raffle, everything
from hand-tied ice fishing flies to golf ball dozens to top-of-the-line power
toothbrushes were given away. President Jamie Sledd “traded” her cell phone for
an Apple iPod Shuffle (not long after redeeming the “Jigger of Consolation”!).
A portable DVD player, TV/weather/AM/FM/CD kitchen clock radio, $100 Cabela’s
gift certificate, and more fishing tackle and related items were awarded. Even
the new Guitar Hero III video play-along game had been donated and went to one
lucky guy! Every single donation was appreciated. And they all helped to raise
money. The grand prize of the Saturday Night Raffle was a Dell laptop computer
generously donated by Dental Technology Group Inc. Wow!
all just fabulous! What I mean by that is that it was a fun filled weekend made
so primarily by the great people who attended and the degree to which they
participated to make it so. To those who attended or contributed in some way,
the District extends a genuine “Thank you”.
Thank you for taking the time and making the effort to create a
memorable weekend in the Northwestern District. As was asked at the bottom of the weekend agenda when it was
all said and done, “Did you have fun?” The answer comes from our 2008 Ice Fishing Adventure motto: “If you didn’t have fun…!”
officers of the Northwestern District and organizers of the 2008 Ice Fishing
Adventure would like to acknowledge and sincerely thank the following:
Technology Group, Inc. –
Tony Groen and John Lester
Jodi Nelson and Curt Wilson
Tackle – Dr. Roland Kehr
and Gamble – Trent Schull
Dental Lab (Fargo)
Bemidji Woolen Mills
Lodge: Gregg Hennum, Diane, Shelly, Jenny, and staff
204 4th Street SW, Suite 144
Your Dreams: Mission Trip to Tanzania
for many years that I would like to serve at a mission somewhere in the world
on a short-term basis, but never took action to make it happen. Then about a
year and a half ago, a physician friend who once lived in Austin called me and asked if I could have
lunch with him. At that meeting, Dr. John Toso asked me if I would consider
coming to a medical mission he was building in Tanzania to help with advanced
training for the two mission dentists. It was like God was telling me,
“Remember your dreams, Jim.”
left Austin about eight years ago to become the
director of Global Health Ministries in Minneapolis.
He and his wife, Joann, had a long history of missionary service in Africa. He ultimately partnered with a gentleman who
wanted to build a mission in Tanzania.
From this partnership has come the Dodoma Christian Medical Center (DCMC).
project completed at the Center was eight homes for mission staff. Then a
dental clinic was built, and dedicated in November of 2006. The clinic is
staffed by two mission dentists: Dr. Charles Rebemahefa, a full-time mission
dentist from Madagascar,
and Dr. Francis Mdoe, a Tanzanian-trained dentist three years out of dental
school. Thanks to the generosity of dental supply companies, the dental clinic
has four fully equipped operatories which boast X-ray units, a panorex, and a
vacuum system. The clinic has as well a sterilizing area, a laboratory, a
training room, and a preparation center. Since opening, it has served more than
1,300 patients and has established a poor fund to expand outreach to the poor.
DCMC’s dental capabilities include simple to complex extractions, routine
restorative dentistry, and periodontal and endodontic procedures. Bleaching is
also offered for those who have fluoridosis, which is prevalent in some regions
of the country.
asked by Dr. Charles and Dr. Francis if I would teach them rotary endodontics.
They had a rotary endo engine, but no supplies or knowledge of how to utilize
the technology. Prior to my wife Mary and I leaving for DCMC in March of 2007,
I received a generous gift of rotary files and obturators from Dentsply/Tulsa
arrived in Dare Salam, Tanzania,
and from there took a Mission Air Foundation (MAF) flight to Dodoma,
in central Tanzania.
This is a town of about 750,000 people, and is five kilometers from DCMC.
two-week stay at DCMC was a most enjoyable and rewarding experience for Mary
and me. Two Tanzanian dentists joined Dr. Charles and Dr. Francis at the dental
clinic as we spent time in lectures on rotary endodontics, hands-on work at the
lab bench, and also many endodontic procedures on patients. I cannot adequately
describe how enthusiastic and appreciative these four dentists were as we
learned a new technology.
to a warehouse in Dodoma with Dr. Charles’ wife
and Joann Toso to help sort medical supplies, including midwife kits that had
arrived from the USA.
She was so excited to have the opportunity to see what happens to all the items
donated and packed with so much love and care at our various churches in the U.S. She
commented that it would now be even more special if she could see the midwife
kits actually distributed to the people.
two days, Dr. Charles and his wife, Irma, had arranged to take us to an
Anglican mission hospital about 40 kilometers from DCMC in the village of Mvumi. We were welcomed to the 250-bed
hospital by the medical director, who gave us a tour which ended in the
maternity ward. There, Mary and Irma distributed these much appreciated kits to
new mothers. It is so eye-opening to see how so much of the world does with so
much less and such antiquated equipment and facilities.
back to the DCMC clinic. Dr. Charles and Dr. Francis are very conscientious
dentists who do their very best to provide the patients with the best care.
They are aware that there is a lot of knowledge still there for them to learn,
and so they asked me to help develop a five-year plan for continuing education
for them when volunteer dentists come to work at DCMC. It was so enjoyable to
see how thirsty they are for knowledge and excited at the prospect of being
able to utilize this wonderful facility to provide high quality dentistry for
patients who have so many needs.
clinic does charge for its services on a sliding scale according to the ability
of the patient to pay, though they never turn anyone away for financial
reasons. Consequently, there is a lot of dentistry done free of charge. There
are some people in the Dodoma
area who can afford to pay a modest amount for the dental services provided to
them at this wonderful clinic. Drs. Charles and Francis also are continually
hosting school children at the clinic to provide them with valuable information
on how and why they should take care of their teeth.
now completing a medical clinic adjacent to the dental clinic that will have a
focus on women and children. They will be utilizing the facility for a lot of
education of the people of the surrounding area as well as staffing it with
health care professionals to provide much needed care. As soon as it is
financially feasible, an 80-bed full service hospital will be built.
mission statement sums up for me what the mission is all about. It is “To
provide accessible and sustainable quality health care through both
community-based and a referral/specialized health delivery system, with the
compassion and love of Jesus Christ in collaboration with other stakeholders
and in line with government policies.”
experience like we had continues to call us back for more service. I hope to
return to DCMC some time this year to further serve wherever I can. This is a
wonderful opportunity to give back for any dentist who has a desire to serve at
a foreign dental mission. Please feel free to contact me at
firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Herrick is a general dentist (“mostly retired”) in private practice in Austin, Minnesota.
2799 Rustic Place
Little Canada, Minnesota
Busy Keeps You Warm
been a busy semester for the Student District.
We started out in January with our “Mentor Mingler”. The event was held at the Radisson hotel on
campus. This year about two hundred
first- and second-year students attended the event with their mentors. This tradition is always a great opportunity
to get together and share a meal with the dentists who sponsored our first year
The weekend following the Mingler took us
to our American Student Dental Association Western Regional Meeting. This year it was held in Chicago, Illinois. Our chapter sent five first-year dental
students to the meeting. It was a great
event, and included many lectures and discussions about ASDA and why it is so
important to be involved in organized dentistry.
Every year at our regional meetings we
also hold a mock House of Delegates to train our new members in legislative
procedure. That is the work of the
trip. The adventure, and I have to say
the highlight, of this year’s regional meeting was a tour of the Hu-Friedy
factory. It was amazing to get to see
how the handpieces we use in clinic every day are made.
That same weekend the dental school put on
its Give Kids a Smile event. Hundreds of
student, faculty, and staff volunteers came together to treat about 125
children in need of dental work. This is
one of our favorite events of the year, and it continues to get better and
better for everyone involved.
The month of February was also a busy
one. We joined with the MDA to hold our
State Lobby Day event. This year there
were about 90 students and dentists at the event. This particular activity was even more
important this year when considered in the perspective of some of the
legislative events occurring at the Capitol.
The couple of weeks following State Lobby Day are probably the busiest
ones I can remember as far as student involvement with the legislative
process. There has been a huge movement
on the part of the student body to voice their concerns over the ADHP bill with
the legislators. During the first week
in March more than a hundred students attended a Senate committee meeting when
the bill was discussed. I am excited to
see so many students taking part in these discussions, and we all hope that, as
a result, they take away a lifelong commitment to the political process.
The political stone kept rolling with
National Lobby Day March 10 and 11. We
sent eight students to attend the event and lobby our national leaders
regarding dental issues. We will also be
holding our own chapter elections sometime in early April, when we will choose
our new president-elect, vice-president, secretary, and membership chair.
Copyright 2008. Minnesota Dental Association