A Message from 2023-2024 CFDDA President

Dr. Rod MacIntyre

Volunteer Leadership…


It is my honor and privilege to serve as your 2023-2024 Central Florida District Dental Association (CFDDA) component president. I am a Daytona Beach native and moved back to the area in 2001 with my wife and four kids after serving 10 years as a U.S. Navy dentist. I would like to thank Dr. Elizabeth Nixon for her dedicated leadership and service to this organization this past year as our CFDDA president. Also, we were extremely fortunate to have Dr. Gerald Bird, a Central District member lead our Florida Dental Association. Jerry is the quintessential leader in courage, determination, and dedication to our Central District and the FDA. We certainly had a productive year under their leadership.

First, I want to take this opportunity to talk about a topic that is very dear to me, “Volunteer Leadership.” Our organization is solely dependent on volunteers. The volunteer opportunities usually start at the affiliate level. Years ago, I was first asked by a couple of my affiliate colleagues to become an alternate delegate on the CFDDA delegation to the FDA. I had no idea what the duties of an alternate delegate consisted of or how the FDA House of Delegates operated. These two members were active members of the delegation and became mentors to me regarding organized dentistry. I can’t thank them enough for educating, supporting, and pushing me to get involved. Our organization is only as strong as our membership and its member volunteers. I implore all our affiliate and component leadership to identify and mentor willing and quality candidates into leadership roles!

According to BV Semah there are four indispensable elements of volunteerism:

1. Selflessness – the genesis of every noble volunteering initiative is a desire to make life better for others. This is especially true because making our FDA stronger, in turn makes the lives of our colleagues and ultimately our patients dental health better.

2. Sacrifice – Selflessness leads to sacrifice. True volunteerism requires a great deal of sacrifice. A response to the call to volunteerism demands a willingness to sacrifice one’s time, energy, money and other resources as well as stepping outside your comfort zone.

3. Service – Service is putting your volunteerism into action. Get involved!

4. Support – Every worthwhile volunteering endeavor needs the unremitting support of individuals, corporate bodies and even political authority. The FDA and your Central District provide its members and volunteer leaders with unparalleled support and resources. If you are asked to volunteer or run for a leadership role, rest assured that any of the current and past leadership as well as our outstanding executive director, Marlinda Fulton will be available to help you!

Even though our FDA leadership structure has recently undergone a streamlining (downsizing) process, there are plenty of opportunities to serve on committees and councils at the affiliate, component, FDA and ADA levels. The FDA’s Leadership Development Committee is another invaluable asset to our membership. According to the FDA website, “Leadership matters – in your office and with your colleagues. Great leaders can create tremendous success, but leadership skills don’t always come naturally. At the Florida Dental Association (FDA) we believe that leaders are developed through learned skills and practices. Leaders Emerging Among Dentistry (LEAD), is an FDA program that provides participants with training to help develop their leadership and interpersonal skills.” There is a Lead Video Library link that currently provides 19 videos pertaining to leadership training. Get a mentor, get training, and get involved!

Secondly, I would like to cover the ongoing issue of membership. Ultimately, membership starts at the affiliate level. The affiliates need to be vigilant in membership growth. I suggest that each affiliate have a membership chair and/or committee. For years we have been experiencing decreasing membership numbers for many social and service groups due to members aging out and lack of new, younger members coming in. Organized dentistry can follow the same path if we are not careful. Dr. Bird states that a strong membership “keeps the unified voice of organized dentistry strong amongst legislators and the public. For more than a century, the FDA and its members have represented the dental profession and high ethical standards to help direct the evolution of the practice environment. With active support of the FDA and American Dental Association (ADA), your interests in your chosen career are protected.” If you are not aware there is a massive dental market disruption which is transforming the dental profession. Currently, approximately 18-20% of dental practices are affiliated with a Dental Service Organization (Continued from page 3) (DSO) and some experts predict that by the year 2025 that percentage will grow to 50-65%. According to the ADA Health Policy Institute in 2022, 13% of dentists nationwide are affiliated with DSOs and for dentists less than 10 years out of dental school the rate is much higher at 23%. The root cause is a fundamental shift in the economy that is dramatically increasing the value of dental practices. There is a growing pool of potential sellers with a decreasing pool of potential buyers. Private equity/capital views dentistry as a low-risk business model with substantial profits. Meanwhile, new dentists are choosing to forgo the additional debt required to invest in a new practice and affiliate with corporate and/ or DSOs. Whether this is good for our profession or not is a different discussion for a different time. My point is that we may be approaching a critical point in potential dips in membership numbers. I fear that these new dentists are not joining or staying in organized dentistry. This is where we as an organization need to continue to reach out to new dentists and stress the importance and benefits of membership in organized dentistry. I am proud to say that one way Central District accomplishes this is by hosting two panel discussions per year with the students and specialty residents at University of Florida College of Dentistry. It’s a Q&A session that also emphasizes the benefits of organized dentistry and ends with social time at a local brewery. This year I challenge every member to invite at least one new potential member to your respective affiliate meetings.

Lastly, as previously mentioned, tripartite (ADA/FDA/ CFDDA) membership affords each of us a multitude of benefits. These include: Advocacy in Tallahassee and nationally, Third-Party Payer assistance (Insurance issues), Educating the Public, Helping Patients Find You, Paths to Information (District Meetings, Today’s FDA, News Bites, FDA Blog-Beyond the Bite, Social Media), Florida Dental Convention (Free registration & CE, Education, Exhibit Hall, Networking), Free online CE, License expiration notices, CE Broker, Trusted COVID-19 resource, Emergency, Disaster and Crisis preparedness, Community Connections, Practice Management, Career Resources, Peer Review, FDA Services, and FDA Crown Savings to name a few. The only way to take advantage of these tremendous benefits is through membership. Please visit www.floridadental.org and login with your credentials to take advantage of these benefits.

Next year’s CFDDA Annual Meeting is May 3-4, 2024, and will be back at Hammock Beach Resort. Stay tuned for more information as the meeting nears and save the date!

I am looking forward to an outstanding year!

Sincerely, Rod MacIntyre, D.M.D., M.S.