October 18, 2012
Your voices, ideas, and passion for dentistry are needed! Challenges from powerful, well-financed forces including insurance giants and national non-profit organizations continue to vex organized dentistry in Washington state. This year, with midlevel legislation coming to the fore, delegates at the 2012 House worked tirelessly to hammer out a proposal that left dentists in control. Still, there is much work to be done.
WSDA’s Leadership Institute can help shape you into a leader of the future by pairing you with a WSDA Board member for key activities throughout the year. Tailored to develop emerging leaders from within our membership, the Leadership Institute is designed to educate participants and illuminate the leadership process without overwhelming participants with too many activities. All program costs will be paid by WSDA, including airfare, hotels, meals and transportation.
Mentors and participants are encouraged to meet privately during the year to discuss perspectives, leadership issues and questions, and to further enhance the collaborative nature of the leadership process. Leadership Institute participant Dr. Duane Pegg said, “I found the experience to be invigorating and an extremely helpful introduction to the many roles and contributions of those in leadership positions in our association. I would highly recommend the experience to anyone wishing to be more involved in the association on a leadership level.”
Past members include influential colleagues like Dr. Marissa Bender (President, Snohomish County Dental Society), and Dr. Ashley Ulmer (Committee on Government Affairs), Dr. John Lo (PCDS Board of Trustees, Treasurer, political division lead) and others, who have used their experience in the program as a springboard to continued involvement in national, state and component-level politics.
Leadership Institute participant Dr. Tom Natale said, “The benefit I derived from getting to know people from around the state who are active in promoting and protecting our profession is incalculable. I have gained a further measure of appreciation for how much work goes on behind the scenes, as well as how much we need everyone to participate to whatever degree possible. I would like there to be a way for all our members to see what our options are to maintain a fully functioning and vibrant state organization.” Ulmer concurred, saying, “Through the course of the year we had exposure to the many aspects of leadership in our association. It is a great overview and introduction to how things work behind the scenes. There are so many great people working at all levels in our association — it has been wonderful to meet them. I think anyone interested in learning more about WSDA or organized dentistry should consider participating in the leadership institute — I had a great time!”
What lies ahead
Renewed challenges to organized dentistry include health care reform, dental workforce issues, funding for higher education and dental residency programs, and third party payers. In the public sector, looming issues include cuts to dental care funding for children, the working poor, and medically-complex patients.
We need to nurture and propagate dental leaders more than ever. None of our recent successes could have happened without the impassioned service of your colleagues from across the state, working together to secure the future for dentists in Washington. As outside forces attempt to make decisions for the people of Washington, it is imperative that we remain their staunchest allies and advocates.
Let your voice be heard by applying for the 2013 Leadership Institute at www.wsda.org/leadership-institute. Applications must be received by November 9, 2012 to be considered eligible. While all applicants will be considered, preference will be given to those who have demonstrated their commitment at either the component or state level, including component leadership or attendance at WSDA events throughout the year. Questions? Contact Kainoa Trotter at 800-448-3368 or by email at email@example.com.