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Patsy Dumas brings history of service and advocacy to AADA presidency

September 17, 2012

By Stacie Crozier, ADA News staff

Fort Wayne, Ind.—As the Alliance of the American Dental Association prepares to review its organizational structure and function during its 2012 convention in San Francisco, Patsy Dumas, AADA’s president-elect, has also made some recent transformation in her role as a dental spouse and leader.

“After my husband, Dr. James Dumas, sold his oral surgery practice, he decided he enjoyed his work and didn’t want to quit, so he opened a new office in April,” said Mrs. Dumas. “I was somehow talked into being the office manager. I have not worked for him all these years, but it is a new challenge in my life.”

Mrs. Dumas’ presidency begins as the Alliance considers changes that could reduce the size of their governing board and how it serves its members.

“I hope I am able to help with any transition we choose to implement and to make it go smoothly,” said Mrs. Dumas. “The meeting in San Francisco next month will determine if we begin this process.”

In her 45 years as an Alliance member, Mrs. Dumas, a resident of Fort Wayne, Ind., has seen the focus of the organization change with the times.

“When I first joined, members focused on providing dental health education for young children and also served as a social organization for dental spouses,” she said. “Today, the Alliance is composed of career women who advocate for legislation to protect the profession of dentistry, educate the public about the importance of good dental health and promote well-being for dental families.”

Mrs. Dumas’ track record of service and volunteerism will help her lead the Alliance as it faces the future. She has served as president for the Alliance of the Isaac Knapp District Dental Society and the Alliance of the Indiana Dental Association; national District 4 trustee; and chair for the AADA Dishing Up Smiles book project. She has also been active in dental health education and many fund-raising efforts.

Mrs. Dumas

She has been a tireless volunteer for both dentistry and her community. She has devoted her talents and time as a leader, board member and fundraiser for the Girl Scouts, board president and fundraising chair for The Carriage House, a rehabilitation facility for people recovering from mental illness, and chair of an annual event that funded the construction of a training center for mental health care professionals. In 2005, her efforts in the community and in dentistry were recognized with a Special Service Award from the Indiana Dental Association. The honor is bestowed on nondentists who advance the objectives of the health professions and/or the dental profession.

Mrs. Dumas and her husband have six children and 19 grandchildren, and four of her children are either currently working in dentistry or have in the past. Daughter Jenny Dahm is a dentist, and son Dave had a dental service and supply business before embarking on a career in real estate. Daughter Beth is a sales representative for Straumann, and son Steve is a sales rep for Pelton and Crane. Daughter Julie works for a sporting goods company, and daughter Sarah is an attorney.

“I care a great deal about the Alliance, from the local to the state to the national level,” said Mrs. Dumas. “I see the importance of keeping up on current legislation affecting organized dentistry and programs that address the well-being of the dental family. I am proud of our contributions to educating schoolchildren about good dental health habits. I want the Alliance to be important to the next generation of spouses, even though it may be accomplished with a different approach than we’ve used in the past.”

Mrs. Dumas said Alliance members can serve the profession in a variety of ways.

“Members can get involved with legislation activities and be educated about candidates who care about the dental profession and the needs of the patients we serve,” she said. “They can also participate in dental health education programs such as the From Head to Toe project or become involved in well-being activities that promote personal health, satisfaction, life balance, surviving spouse activities and much more.

The AADA annual convention will be held Oct. 19-20 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. For more information about the meeting or about AADA activities and membership, visit Alliance ADA .