A message from the 2018-2019 CFDDA President,
Dr. Daniel J. Crofton:
To Every Thing There is a Season
Here at the Central Florida District Dental Association (CFDDA) the summer season marks not only the beginning of longer, hotter days, but the transition from one CFDDA president to another. I want to thank Bryan Bergens for his outstanding leadership as president this past year. Bryan’s focus on membership and inclusiveness made our component stronger and well-positioned for the challenges ahead. It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your CFDDA president. My main goal for the coming year is to make the CFDDA even better and more prepared for the future. Along with past president Bryan Bergens, president-elect Craig Kara, our line officers, our CFDDA Executive Director, Marlinda Fulton, our very capable Executive Board, the experienced Florida Dental Association (FDA) Board of Trustees, as well as our FDA leadership and the tremendous support staff in Tallahassee led by FDA Executive Director, Drew Eason, I am confident that together we can continue to make our profession even better here in Florida.
Our mission statement is, “Helping all members succeed.” In order to do this, we will have to deal with issues both old and new. Membership retention and recruitment remains an important topic that I would like to focus on. As we all know, dentistry is changing, and the pace of change is dramatic. Diversity is all around us. How do organizations such as ours respond to these changes? How do we govern in light of increasing diversity? These are questions that all levels of organized dentistry is addressing. The good news is that our membership numbers are up here in Florida. Unfortunately, ADA membership is down across the country. Our membership leaders are working to increase participation and our member meetings and continuing education courses are designed for members to interact while improving their skills, keeping abreast of new laws and regulations, such as the opioid legislation, and learning new procedures. Our CFDDA representative to the FDA Council on Membership, Demetrick LeCorn, will be working hard this year along with the other component Council representatives to keep up our membership growth.
Our next generation of leaders in organized dentistry will come from the ranks of our members; so we need to develop a deep bench to draw from to continue to have strong leaders. Rob Pellosie from Lake County heads up our CFDDA Council on the New Dentist and is working with younger dentists. Once a member has become a leader we then need to develop their leadership skills. The FDA’s Leadership Development Committee’s task is to strengthen those of us who have already committed to organized dentistry. If you have not gotten involved, start now! If you are already involved, then encourage other members to volunteer and help them gain experience. Your profession needs you and you need your profession. Come and join in. Invite others.
A newer issue that we have been forced to deal with here in Florida is that of dental therapists. A dental therapist is a mid-level provider that is being promoted as a way to increase access to dental care. This model is also being advertised as a way for dentists to increase their revenue by paying dental therapists lower salaries and delegating routine procedures to them. The dental therapist model is part of an assault upon our scope of practice. The FDA does not support this model and believes that dental care should be provided by a licensed dentist. The FDA is working with our lobbyists and the Florida legislature to ensure that all citizens have access to quality dental care provided by a licensed dentist.
The CFDDA is in good shape both structurally and financially. We have made some notable additions to the CFDDA Executive Council and other councils and committees over the last few years. When the need arises, I would like to see and will promote any dentist from any of our affiliates who is ready and willing to get involved in our organization. Inclusiveness is necessary.
This year a number of exciting events will be occurring. In November, there will be a national election. Here in Florida, FDAPAC which is chaired by Jerry Bird from our district, will be identifying and supporting state legislators who support our issues. A past ADA President said that advocacy is the most important service that organized dentistry offers to members. Your contribution of only $50.00 a year to FDAPAC along with the contributions of other members will make a significant difference in getting our issues advanced. Money matters in politics. Help FDAPAC help us.
Next year on March 22nd and 23rd, the Central District will be hosting our first Florida Mission of Mercy or FLA-MOMS event, in Orlando. Co-chairmen Jim Antoon and Don Ilkka have been working diligently organizing this event. Volunteer dentists and staff will donate their services to patients desperately in need of dental care. Please consider volunteering and bringing your staff to this worthwhile charity event.
Our next annual Central District meeting will take place on May 3-4, 2019 at Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal OrlandoTM. Sundeep Rawal, who is our CFDDA Program Director, has outstanding speakers lined up. Mark your calendar and bring your family and staff for what promises to be both a productive and fun-filled weekend at one of Orlando’s world class theme parks.
We should all be proud to be members of such a noble profession. Dentists are well-respected professionals and members of our communities. Let’s keep it that way. I hope that you are all as optimistic as I am about the future of dentistry. By working together, we can all take better care of our patients, our practices, our families and our profession.