TDA Governance Update
Every May the Capital Area Dental Society TDA Delegates travel to the Texas Meeting to, along with 129 other delegates from across the state, help shape the policy and leadership of the TDA. The House of Delegates is a mystery to many of our members. What is the House of Delegates and what purpose does it serve? The main three tasks of the House are to approve or amend changes in TDA policy, to approve or amend changes in the TDA governing documents, like the bylaws and the budget, and to vote on the TDA leadership, such as TDA president. While all three of those tasks have a direct effect on all TDA members, the TDA policy that is in place, whether newly installed or decades old, is what can have the most profound effect on the profession as a whole.
Although not all Texas dentists chose to be members of ADA/TDA/Local society, we do still represent a majority. Our political action committee, DENPAC, is one of the largest medical profession PACs in the state, and our TDA legislative staff is among the best and most well respected at the Capitol. Therefore, when the TDA has a policy in place the lawmakers tend to listen to us. Every rule and every law that dentists must follow is written and enforced by a government agency. But the TDA is very influential in the final versions of those rules and laws, and it’s the TDA policy manual that determines what our legislative staff recommends. For example, in recent years legislation has been passed (that means laws were made) that affected how dental service organizations are required to register with the TSBDE, how dental insurance coverage is now a required item for child support, and not to mention the passage of the Sunset Bill of the TSBDE during last legislative session. All of these issues started at the TDA level and the policy that was created in the House of Delegates helped shape these laws. That is the power of organized dentistry!
In the 2018 House, your delegation defeated resolutions that would undermine the inclusion of any new dental students into our organization (there is a potential new dental school coming to west Texas) and passed resolutions that will increase the communication between the TDA staff and members regarding insurance questions. The House also supported (although not passed yet) policy that would ask for all dental team members to obtain education on ethics and jurisprudence. The 2018-2019 TDA Board was elected as was the 2018-2019 ADA delegation. Drs. Lance Sanders, Ensy Atarod, Rhonda Stokley, Alan Moore, and Mark Peppard will be representing us at the 2018 ADA House of Delegates, and Dr. Shailee Gupta was elected to serve as an ADA Alternate Delegate for the 2019-2022 ADA House. Dr. Lance Sanders was appointed to the Council on Governance; Dr. Ensy Atarod was appointed Chair to the Council on Membership, New Dentists, and Students; and Dr. Matt Heck was appointed to the Council on Professions and Trends.
Overall, it was a very productive and successful 2018 TDA House of Delegates, and your CADS delegation represented well and was duly well recognized.
By Jonathon R. Kimes, DDS