I am delighted to be writing my first message to the membership as WSPD President. I am the second Canadian President for the WSPD, following in the footsteps of my friend and colleague, Sarah Hulland, who was President 2017 – 2019. I live and practice on Vancouver Island – just across the water from our Immediate Past President, Bri Butler, who has been an invaluable resource for me as I moved onto the Executive Committee of WSPD. I have been involved with WSPD previously as the British Columbia representative starting in 2007, when with the encouragement of Dr. Jonathan Lee, British Columbia joined the WSPD as an affiliate society. I stepped down from that role in 2017, when Dr. Geoff Grant, took over as our WSPD rep.
I am looking forward to continuing the amazing work of my predecessors:
1. The Western Society Leadership Intern Program – an incredible way for new members to have opportunities in leadership and governance. Our current intern, Dr. Nadiene Wu, from Hawaii, has a project which promises to teach our Executive Committee and members as much as she will be learning.
2. Providing large scale leadership and support for the smaller states and Canadian provinces.
3. Advocating for our members regarding issues which affect us all, e.g., Medicaid, operating room time and funding, staff shortages etc.
4. Advocating for our members to ensure the public is given the information to be able to differentiate between specialists and general dentists.
5. Facilitating collaboration between the western states and provinces on common issues.
6. Strategic Planning – we are fortunate to have Dr. Paul Amundsen (AAPD Foundation VP for Development and Charitable Programs) leading our Strategic Planning. We have had one meeting with him and I can assure you that this will be an excellent, collaborative exercise, which will allow WSPD to continue the path to our full potential.
7. Endorsing and providing some financial support for the joint Alaska/Hawaii meeting taking place at the Aulani Disney Resort on Oahu – January 26 th – 28 th , 2024. Please check your email as AAPD will soon be sending out information regarding this exciting CE opportunity.
I have worn many hats during my career as a pediatric dentist. Whether I was engaged in advocacy, academics or private practice, there seems to be very little that can’t be solved by good communication and treating people with respect. I am excited to be working with an Executive Committee which is filled with individuals I admire and respect and know that together we will ensure the WSPD continues to fulfill its mandate of representing the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, as well as the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. I look forward to meeting many of the members of WSPD in the year to come, and please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, concerns, suggestions or just to say hello.