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It’s a family affair at ADA annual meetings

February 24, 2016

By David Burger

ADA 2016 Meeting logo
New Orleans
— When dentist Dr. Maria Burmaster thinks about the ADA’s annual meetings, she thinks about family.

She is the daughter of late dentist Dr. Guy Ribando II, and two of her siblings — Drs. Guy Ribando III and Valerie Hemphill — are also dentists.

Photo of Dr. Valerie Hemphill, Dr. Guy Ribaldo II, Dr. Guy Ribaldo III, Dr. Maria Burmaster
Two generations, four dentists: Three siblings, all dentists, pose with their late father, also a dentist, in 1990. From left, Dr. Valerie Hemphill, Dr. Guy Ribando, Dr. Guy Ribando III, Dr. Maria Burmaster.
“Dad and Mom attended several ADA annual sessions,” Dr. Burmaster said. “My husband, my children and I were thrilled that we were able to attend the Hawaii annual meeting with Mom and Dad in 1999. My sister Valerie and her husband attended an annual session in San Francisco with our parents as well.”

Dr. Burmaster continued: “Our dad was a true believer in supporting organized dentistry. And he pretty much exemplified hospitality to anyone he met.  He was always making friends from other states and other countries because he just loved talking to people about dentistry.”

So it felt like a family tradition for Drs. Burmaster and Hemphill, who practice together in Louisiana, to attend ADA 2015 – America’s Dental Meeting in Washington, D.C.

But once there, they encountered someone they didn’t expect to run into.

“My sister Valerie and I were walking around looking at the interesting exhibits on Friday,” said Dr. Burmaster. “After the first 15 minutes or so we got a text from our little brother Guy asking, ‘Are you at the ADA?’  With the text he sent a selfie including several of our delegates from Louisiana. He had run into some of the dentists from our state and they mentioned that we were also at the meeting.”

Dr. Burmaster explained. “After Hurricane Katrina, Guy and his wife Kerrie decided to relocate to Greensboro, North Carolina, with their children. So Guy now has his own thriving practice with associates and a large team.  Of course, we all get together for holidays.  But for some reason, we had not discussed the possibility of seeing each other at the annual meeting in Washington, D.C. It was a beautiful surprise to find out he was there.”

Photo of Dr. Valerie Hemphill, Dr. Guy Ribaldo, Dr. Maria Bumaster
Happy together: Three siblings pose as they all attend ADA 2015 – America’s Dental Meeting. From left, Dr. Valerie Hemphill, Dr. Guy Ribando, Dr. Maria Burmaster. 
Reuniting and experiencing ADA 2015 together reminded her of her father, Dr. Burmaster said. “Our dad would be really proud to see us together at the ADA annual meeting,” she said.

“So maybe this is sort of funny or a coincidence,” Dr. Burmaster said. “But somehow we ended up together again and we couldn’t stop smiling.

“Thanks, Dad!  We are trying to follow in your footsteps.”

ADA 2016 – America’s Dental Meeting will convene in Denver Oct. 20-25.

ADA 2016 registration will open in the spring. For the most updated information, visit ADA.org/meeting. Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using #ADADEN.