Kudos to Dr. Natasha Bramley and her editorial team of the Western Society of Pediatric Dentistry!
The inaugural publication of Odontoblast is an awesome accomplishment, demonstrating the dedication and the ingenuity of the WSPD leadership to inform and to unify our chapter members.
As your AAPD district trustee, the following highlights a number of collaborative activities that I would like to share with you:
The AAPD Board of Trustees meets quarterly. Our members can view the action minutes on the AAPD website under Member Resources, subsection Governance.
The latest BOT action minutes can be viewed in their entirety at:
https://www.aapd.org/globalassets/2019-05-21-board-minutes.pdf, https://www.aapd.org/globalassets/2019-05-26-2018-19board-minutes.pdf, and https://www.aapd.org/globalassets/2019-05-26-2019-20board-minutes.pdf.
I have a unique opportunity to observe and interact with the district and chapter leadership. Rest assured that they work ceaselessly and are committed to serving you.
A special shout-out to the Idaho Society of Pediatric Dentistry (ISPD) for the inaugural Continuing Education-Business meeting held in Boise, during the Idaho State Dental Association Meeting on June 14th, 2019. The ISPD leaders’ incredible commitment along with their tireless work for the children and the pediatric dentists in their state is truly inspiring and energizing.
Safety Symposium: Hidden Threats and Safe Practices: Steps to Creating a Safe Dental Home
Concern for the safety of our pediatric patients has always been at the forefront of the minds of our members. As the flag bearer for safety among our general and dental specialties, the AAPD has charged its safety committee with organizing the Safety Symposium: Hidden Threats and Safe Practices: Steps to creating a safe dental home, November 8-9, 2019, at the Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel.
In order to develop a culture of safety in all aspects and for all ages in dentistry, AAPD has invited representatives from the American Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, various dental specialties, and from each state dental board to attend and to discuss future collaborations.
Call-A-Thon to our legislators to co-sponsor the bicameral bill (S. 359, H.R. 996): Dental Loan Repayment Assistance Act
The AAPD has embarked on a legislative campaign encouraging our members to contact their lawmakers and ask them to support Senate Bill 359 and House of Representatives Bill 996, both of which strengthen the Dental Faculty Loan Repayment program. We need to continually recruit and retain outstanding academicians to teach the dentists-to-be. However, heavily laden with student loans upon graduation, individuals aspiring to teach often cannot afford to secure a full-time faculty position. This bill exempts certain dental faculty participants from paying tax on the federal loan repayment credit (Title VII) they receive. This is not merely a tax issue, but a policy question on how much our legislators value high-quality dental care for the children in the states and districts they serve.
Under the guidance of Dr. Heber Simmons, our AAPD congressional liaison, Alaska Call-A-Thon, Hawaii Call-A-Thon, Oregon Call-A-Thon [Alaska Call-A-Thon, Hawaii Call-A-Thon, Oregon Call-A-Thon in bold], etc., were organized. Each state was provided with the contact information for their respective legislators and customized scripts. The past trustees of the AAPD Western District, Drs. Santos Cortez, John Gibbons, Weyland Lum, Jade Miller, Dick Mungo, Paul Reggiardo, and Ray Stewart, were instrumental in reaching out to our fellow advocates, program directors, past and current residents, etc. Each caller was provided with the contact information for their legislator’s office in DC, calling procedures, and the discussion points. My profound gratitude to the state chapter leaders who mobilized their grassroots advocates to call their respective legislators.
On Monday July 22nd, 2019 and on Friday July 26th, 2019, between the hours of 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM PST, member advocates in the Western Districts called their legislators in DC, urging them to co-sponsor S. 359 and H.R. 996.
Although this is the busiest time of the year for pediatric dentists, donating personal time to advocate for children is truly admirable. Our sacrificial spirit is deeply rooted in the words of Dr. Simmons: “We can make a difference, but first, you have to be the difference.“
From Hawaii to Alaska, and on to Arizona, the big advocates for little teeth strive to be the brave voice not only for their chapter states but also for children across our nation as we build the United States of pediatric dentistry!
If you are interested in joining the AAPD Grassroots Movement, please log onto the grassroots page to share the immensely rewarding experience: https://www.aapd.org/advocacy/grassroots-advocacy/advocacy-tools/.
I also would like to thank the AAPD PAC donors, whose contributions are indispensable to our campaign, providing the fuel for our advocacy juggernaut.