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Washington State Dental Association



The Washington State Dental Association was recently awarded three prestigious Golden Apple awards from the American Dental Association: for Achievement in Dental School/Student Involvement in Organized Dentistry; Promoting Diversity and Inclusion; and an additional award in an open category for “The ACA and You,” an insert that appeared in the WSDA News. The awards, now in their 26th year, are given to constituent and component dental societies in recognition for their leaders, members and staff. Mr. Stephen Hardymon, Executive Director of the WSDA said, “This is a direct reflection of the hard work by the Board and the staff in setting a very high standard for others to follow. I would like to congratulate them for thinking outside the box, taking calculated risks and not accepting average as a standard.”

“The ACA and You” was an insert that appeared in Issue 1 of the WSDA News in 2013, and was a comprehensive explanation of the Affordable Care Act and the ways it would affect members of the WSDA. Informative and concise, the piece served as an effective primer on federal legislation that was often convoluted and confusing. The WSDA’s efforts in creating a how-to guide in navigating the ACA was a large undertaking that reinforced the fact that it is consistently providing accurate, timely and valuable information its membership needs. 

WSDA received the Golden Apple for Achievement in Dental School/Student Involvement for its collaborative work with the University of Washington School of Dentistry’s chapter of American Student Dental Association (ASDA) to bolster attendance at Dental Action Day (DAD), WSDA’s annual legislative event. With WSDA’s urging and ASDA’s backing, Dean Joel Berg of the UWSoD closed the dental school for the first time in history to allow students and faculty to attend the event. The result was the largest DAD in WSDA’s history, with the majority of the dental students attending and advocating for their profession alongside WSDA members. Legislators and members spoke very highly of the student's involvement, knowledge of the issues, and ability to lead conversations with legislators. “Due to the resounding success of the event,” said WSDA President Dr. David Minahan, “Dean Berg announced that he will be closing this school again in 2015. Collaboration between the WSDA, ASDA, and the UWSoD is instrumental in fostering an engaged and active membership of the future. We are indebted to Dean Berg for his commitment to organized dentistry and the students of the UWSoD.”

Finally, the WSDA received the Golden Apple for Promoting Diversity and Inclusion for two cover stories that appeared in back-to-back issues of the WSDA News: “Race and Dentistry: A Conversation,” and “Gender and Dentistry: A Conversation.” As an Association, the WSDA is reaching out to both women and minorities, working to involve them in leadership positions on the Board, in committees, and in task forces to ensure the promotion of diversity within the organization. “While they weren’t intended to resolve any remaining issues surround race or gender equality colleagues in the state might feel,” Hardymon said, “The articles were our way as an Association of publicly acknowledging the issues, and setting the stage for inclusion and continued conversation.”

The Golden Apple awards are presented yearly in 12 categories, and are the highest honor the ADA can bestow upon its constituents.
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TAGGED: Membership