A Message from 2021-2022 CFDDA President

Dr. John Cordoba

Well, it looks like we may be finally out of the woods … the COVID woods that is. It has been a long and strange year and a half or so. However, all things considered, it appears to me that most Central Florida District dentists have fared well through the pandemic despite the many obstacles. By sticking to the protocols that were learned during the HIV times 30 years ago, we were well-suited to apply the necessary standards for infection control (as long as we could find the proper PPE such as masks!). This has paid off since dentists have a much lower incidence rate of COVID compared to other healthcare workers such as physicians and nurses. Also, there has yet to be a case of COVID-19 transmission in a dental office. We should all be proud that we have been diligent during these times.

The experiences we have had over the past year or so has shown us how important it really is to be part of organized dentistry. We are fortunate to have such a great team at the Florida Dental Association. Drew Eason and his crew run what I consider to be the best state dental association in the country. And we were lucky to have great people as president of the FDA, first Dr. Rudy Liddell and then Dr. Andy Brown. Without their leadership, it would have been a much different and difficult time for Florida dentists. The material that the FDA learned kept us all informed of the mandatory shutdowns and latest guidance that was invaluable to helping us keep our practices open and functioning properly. Also, it was helpful to have advice regarding the maze of PPP loans, EIDL loans and other small business grants. Without their help, it would have been difficult to find out all of the information on our own, let alone to be aware of some of these resources that were available.

The Central Florida District Dental Association has several members that are retiring from positions in the FDA after many years of service. Dr. Yvette Godet has been on the Committee for Conventions and Continuing Education (C-CCE), which includes extensive work planning the Florida Dental Convention, for 10 years. Dr. Drew Johnson has been on the Council on Ethics, Bylaws, and Judicial Affairs (CEBJA) since 2013, most recently as chairman. He has presided over a turbulent time with many bylaws changes considered and put into effect, especially in regards to elections. Dr. Howard Pranikoff, who has served in many roles in organized dentistry including President of CFDDA, will soon be finishing as a member of the FDA Board of Trustees after 8 years. Finally, a special debt of gratitude is owed to our now Immediate Past- President, Dr. Suzi Thiems-Heflin. She was President during a challenging time, and we were lucky to have the right person at the right time. We have also been fortunate to have these very capable people as members and we thank them for their hard work and service over the years.

The CFDDA Annual Meeting in Palm Coast this past May was a great success. Since it was one of the first in-person meetings in a while, everyone was happy to finally be able to be at a meeting that was not in a Zoom format. And as far as we know, there were no reported cases of COVID transmission which is a major achievement considering the number of people who attended!

As we emerge from the special circumstances of the COVID era, most of us are experiencing improved busyness which is a welcome relief. We need to make sure to remember to always keep excellence at the forefront in order to ensure that dental profession continues to enjoy the great reputation that it has enjoyed for so many years.