The Merits of Organized Dentistry

Thanksgiving time is once again drawing near.  As this beginning to a busy holiday season rapidly approaches, we are all finding ourselves extremely busy.  However, we should not forget to stop and give thanks for all that we have.  For myself, I am very thankful for my family, friends, profession, and this country that I live in.

I feel that we should all be thankful for our chosen profession. It helps us to help those who are suffering while allowing us to have a good life.  We should not take this for granted. Organized dentistry helps us to maintain what we have worked so hard to achieve.  Our local society provides timely CE courses, fellowship, advocacy, and peer review, to name a few.
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A Call to Serve

Albert Schweitzer once said, “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve”.  These words are very appropriate to us today.  We have a dental society in which we can be proud.  Much has been accomplished, and we will achieve greater things in the years to come….if we all work together.  Your Board is working hard to provide excellent programs, community service opportunities, and working towards favorable outcomes with legislative issues.

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Something to be Thankful For

Summer is finally winding down, and most of us are looking forward to cooler weather, hunting seasons, or football, to name a few.  I hope that everyone had a great summer, and if you went on a vacation, that you had a wonderful and safe time.

As for myself, I did have a chance to get out of the office and go to Colorado and do some hiking, mountain biking and trout fishing.  It gave me a chance to unwind, and to once again put things in perspective. Read more

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TDA Leadership Conference Summary

The TDA Leadership Conference was held on Saturday, June 16, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Austin. It was wonderful to hear about all that the TDA is doing for the dentists of Texas, and to me, it was a very rewarding day. To those of you who have never had the opportunity to attend one of these meetings, think of this as a board meeting of the TDA, with the component society Presidents and President Elects attending. Representing CADS in various capacities were Misti James, Wayne Radwanski, Jerry Katz, Jeran Hooten, Mark Peppard, and myself. Read more

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An Invitation to Get Involved

As your new president of the Capital Area Dental Society, I want to welcome all of you to the start of another great year. I want to thank all of the members who had the confidence in me to elect me to this position.

Our Society has accomplished so much in the past years, and we should all we proud of the work that has been done. I know that I have several hard acts to follow, but I am inspired by the fact that my job will be made easier, thanks to the support of my fellow Board members and our past presidents. Read more

A Sincere Thank You

Dear Colleagues,

It has been almost 4 years since I joined the CADS Executive Committee and began the path that has led me to be the President of this great dental society. My first feelings when I began this journey were those of apprehension and then excitement. The apprehension comes naturally from being in an unfamiliar situation. Sure, I had been in leadership roles before but nothing with the magnitude of being the President of the oldest and first dental society in the state of Texas. I’ve known since high school that I wanted to be dentist. I knew years before moving to Austin that the Capitol City is where I wanted live, practice and have a family. However, I never would have imagined how well Austin and dentistry would have accepted me.

I have had the honor to follow in the footsteps of many others that have dedicated time and efforts to make CADS what it is today. It was knowing that I had the support and encouragement of previous leaders and other members that helped ease the apprehension and led to the excitement of what is next.

In these four years, much has been accomplished that has added to this excitement. A group of leaders from CADS, including Past-President Leonard Dolce, took the initiative to start what is now a successful and growing foundation to benefit the oral health of our community. Past-President Dr. Wayne Radwanski led the way in starting a fund to allow us to be fiscally prepared in the event that CADS needs a physical structure to operate. Past-President Dr. Stan LaCroix and Dr. Ensy Atarod started a dental health educational program targeting local elementary children. Past-President Dr. Eric Hollander supported these programs as well as asked many important questions of our TDA leadership that has led to positive change at the state level. As you can see, there is not only tremendous support but also big shoes to fill.

With so many great things being accomplished I asked myself—”How can I help, what can I do?” This thought consumed me for several weeks until I had an idea while on break at the Kois Center in Seattle, WA. “I should see if Dr. Kois would come speak to our membership.”

Thankfully, Dr. Kois was interested. Most importantly the CADS Board of Directors was also keen to this idea. It was not an easy decision to bring a speaker of this magnitude to Austin. There would be substantial costs to the society if the meeting was not successful. CADS had never been in this position before. I asked your Board to take a calculated risk. I was warned of my fiduciary responsibilities to the membership, but I felt that this was a risk worth taking. Thankfully, your Board agreed and as many of you know the meeting was a smashing triumph in both education and attendance. The financial success of this meeting has given CADS greater flexibility and has likely prevented any dues increase for several years.

However, this Board and Executive Committee are not done yet. With all of these changes that have been detailed, we needed a new strategic plan. By now you should have seen the new CADS strategic plan. We have new goals in place to help carry us forward on a defined path. Due to the hard work of many individuals, I believe that your dental society is in a better position today than it has ever been.

On a personal level, I thank all of you for giving me the opportunity to contribute. I entered this society young and eager to help. Without your reaching back to me, I could have never realized the potential that this profession can provide. I have cherished this role and responsibility. I have learned more than I could have ever expected and step aside knowing that future leadership is strong. Your next CADS President, Dr. Tom Wichita has shown a steady hand and leadership style that will continue our society’s success. Although my role as President is coming to an end, I am not leaving and I will continue to help this society whenever and wherever there is a need.

Sincerest thank you,

Jeffery Brunson

Becoming an Active Part of Your Society

On every internet discussion forum there are active posters and there are “lurkers”. The same can be true of our Dental Society. Which would you rather be?

In my years of service on the CADS Board, beginning with the New Dentist Committee, progressing to TDA Delegate, and then to the Executive Board, I have always found that participating actively was not only personally satisfying, but also gave insights into the workings of our Society and its many different members. I would never have known how many decisions were made that directly affect me and the way we practice dentistry. Being a part of the process does not afford total control but it does allow you to have an active role in the shaping of dentistry.

Joining in the process gives insights into the importance of the questions and issues that never seem to stop coming. We take a lot of things about the way we are allowed to practice Dentistry for granted. Everything we have has been earned by the hard work of those involved at all levels of organized dentistry.

When I get my dues statement each year I know what it represents. It is an investment in the profession, as we know it. I only know this because I have put in the time and effort to be aware of what has been achieved. If you doubt this, look at the state of many other health related careers that have lost self-control to outside parties. If you wanted that, you probably wouldn’t be reading this letter.

If you prefer a satisfying professional career and meaningful interaction with your peers, then raise a hand and get involved. We all don’t have to be “President” to help out, but finding an area where we can contribute is of extreme importance to the continued high standards under which CADS operates. Everyone’s ideas and energy is what keeps us as one of the most vibrant and respected societies in Texas. Be a part of this undertaking and get some real value for your dues dollars.

We are, Your Dental Society

Over the course of the last few months, many of our members have been working on the development of a new strategic plan that will help guide CADS to continued success. An item of the highest importance is that we stay committed to our membership. One thing that has always been constant is the influx of new people to the Austin area. This population increase includes both potential patients as well as other dentists.

In an effort to capture the excitement of new members, we have launched an initiative we are calling our Welcome Program. With this program, your CADS Board Members will be personally contacting all new members to offer a friendly welcome to our society. These new members will be invited to attend the next CADS General Meeting and given an opportunity to sit with an existing board member. With more and more of our membership moving to Austin from out of state, many do not have local professional dental contacts outside of their place of practice. The intent of the program is to build a bridge to new members and make their transition a pleasant process. Our hope is that this will not only have an impact on member retention, but also help motivate these new professionals to be active members and future leaders of our dental society.

Although I have highlighted our Welcome Program, there are many other facets involved in the formulation and execution of our plan. As a dental society we also remain committed to areas that have made us the best component society in Texas. Increasing access to dental care for those who would not otherwise receive care has been one of the highlights. I am happy to say that the brilliant work of our Foundation is moving forward at a tremendous pace, and the members of CADS will remain committed to supporting our philanthropic arm.

Additionally, we will continue to bring in the best available speakers to educate our members and much more. This new Strategic Plan will be available at a future general meeting for everyone to view. It will also be made available on our website. www.capitalareadental.org/qa

A recent change that you might have noted is the moment of silence at the beginning of our general meetings. This was a deviation from our normal protocol of having an opening prayer. The moment of silence was designed to be respectful to those that wanted to pray or have a personal moment. At future meetings we will be asking for volunteer members of our society to give a spoken prayer. If there are no volunteers we will hold a moment of silence. If you would like to volunteer, please find me or any other board member and we would be happy to give you the honor. Please know that these spoken words will be open to all faiths and we welcome our membership’s involvement.

Lastly, I would like to thank my fellow Board members; we always have active and lively discussions. I wish all of our membership could attend these meetings to see how we are constantly working to make your dental society the best it can possibly be.

Best Regards,

El Presidente

Looking Back, Looking Forward

It’s always exciting to start another year. I hope that in 2012 you, your family, and your dental career can build on the successes and challenges that were 2011.

Last year was many things for the Capital Area Dental Society. It was another year of growth in overall membership for CADS. We welcomed 74 dentists to our society. We also had several current members nominated for awards. Special congratulations again to Don Taylor and Eric Hollander for their nominations for Texas Dentist of the Year. Also, we were fortunate to have Ensy Atarod receive the Texas New Dentist of the Year Award, and Elyse Cronin took home the CADS New Dentist of the Year Award.

Financially, CADS has positioned itself very well. This good fortune has come our way because of the support of our members. Thanks to all of you who attended a CADS General Meeting or our John Kois Lecture last year. We are also positioning ourself for the future. While there is no immediate need or date set for a CADS central office, measures are being made to insure that we are fiscally ready when CADS’ growth dictates its necessity.

In 2011, the issue of water fluoridation arose in Austin. As the local dental society, we felt that it was important to take facts regarding this important dental public health measure to Austin’s City Hall. I would personally like to thank Barry Rouch, David Slaughter, Mark Peppard and Frank Bonasso for joining me and taking time from their practice to speak on benefits of water fluoridation. I am happy to report that we were successful and that your Austin City Council values our opinion as healthcare professionals. Even though we have been successful to this point, we know that water fluoridation could remain a topic of discussion locally. I would ask all of you to make yourself knowledgeable on the subject, not only for your patients, but also for your family, friends and fellow citizens of Austin.

Please make plans to attend the Capital Area Dental Foundation Gala on February 18th at the Four Seasons Hotel. Donations are still being accepted and raffle tickets are for sale for this great event. For further details please visit capitalareadentalfoundation.org. Hope to see you there.

Here are some dates to be aware of as you are planning your continuing education for 2012. Registration is currently open for the TDA Annual Session in San Antonio scheduled to be held May 3-6. Additionally, the Southwest Dental Conference in Dallas is set for January 12-14th and the Star of the South Dental Meeting in Houston is March 29-31st.

As we look forward into this year, I wish all of you the best.

Executing Plans

The Capital Area Dental Society has never been more active than it is now. Over the past several years your colleagues have committed substantial time and effort to make our organization the best dental society in Texas. The success of this group is no mistake. It came about through planning, organizing and ultimately, executing plans.

Many years ago a strategic plan was developed. Some of the highlights of that plan included increasing our charitable contributions, improving the quality of CE for our members, and increasing the visibility of CADS to the local community.

I am happy to say that we have met and exceeded the challenges set forth.

  • CADS now proudly has an active and growing charitable organization, the Capital Area Dental Foundation. The foundation has done many great things in a short period of time. They are currently raising money and looking for grants to help local citizens receive dental care they otherwise couldn’t afford. The presence of the foundation increases our exposure throughout the community and sends a message to the public that, as organized dentists, we care.
  • Most members are aware of the quality of CE that CADS consistently brings to Austin. Our General Meetings are the best attended local dental society meetings in the state, and possibly the country. We regularly have more than 100 dentists in attendance, and recently had almost 300 in attendance at our Kois all day seminar.
  • For multiple reasons, our visibility has increased in the community. I would like to spotlight the Dentists on Campus (DOCS) program. As part of this program, our member dentists are going into elementary schools to educate students on healthy living and dental hygiene. This year, the program was able to reach 3,900 children, making a difference locally.
  • An additional facet is our new Member Benefits program. This program is similar to TDA Perks but has a local flair to it. The companies participating in this program are: Peoples Pharmacy, ABC Home and Commercial Services, Russell Korman Jewelry, Austin Area Computers, Blue Sky Scrubs, The Steam Team. Every time you patronize one of these companies, there is a benefit for CADS and a direct benefit to you in the form of a discount.

We will be setting new goals this summer to reach even greater heights in the future. If you would like to be a part of our new strategic plan, now is the time to be heard.