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2013 Annual Session gets rave reviews from attendees

Highlights include first ADA Mission of Mercy, growing numbers of CE participants

December 19, 2013

By Stacie Crozier, ADA News staff

Food for thought: Dr. Uche Odiatu, right, and Kary Odiatu demonstrate the secret ingredients of a power meal during The Naked Lunch in the Health and Fitness Center on the exhibit floor. Photos by EZ Event Photography

Eye-opening entertainment: Some 7,000 attendees gathered together for the Opening General Session and Distinguished Speaker Series, featuring President Bill Clinton.
New Orleans—For the first time since 2002, the ADA convened in The Big Easy for Annual Session Oct. 31-Nov.3, drawing nearly 23,500 attendees to the renovated Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, part of the rebirth of New Orleans after it was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

“I'm honored to have presided over a tremendously successful meeting this year,” said Dr. Michael M. Blicher, 2013 chair of the Council on ADA Sessions. “New Orleans served as a terrific host city to our dental community, providing us with a festive atmosphere and plenty of southern hospitality. I also want to thank the entire Council on ADA Sessions for their hard work in planning and running the event.”

More than 90 percent of attendees said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the meeting and 95 percent thought the meeting effectively addressed their reasons for attending. Total registration was 23,457, including 7,190 dentists and 5,576 other dental professionals.

Some 7,000 attendees woke up early on Oct. 31 to attend the Opening General Session and Distinguished Speaker Series program. Former president Bill Clinton took the podium, and talked broadly about the worldwide efforts of nongovernmental organizations, such as his own Clinton Foundation, to foster economic growth, create opportunity, protect the environment and improve health. He encouraged the development of networks of positive cooperation to facilitate change. Most attendees (90 percent) rated their overall experience at the Opening General Session as excellent or good.

Learning and professional development was an important focus for attendees in New Orleans. Meeting-goers took 40 percent more continuing education courses in 2013 than in 2012.

Big Easy band: The Wendell Brunious Brass Band provided the sounds of Dixieland, or traditional New Orleans jazz, leading attendees from the Opening General Session into the exhibit hall.

Warm welcome: Attendees gather at a kiosk in the Welcome Center to learn more about ADA benefits from a staff member.
Statistics showed that 12,766 dental professionals took 3.19 courses each, or 7.4 hours of CE hours per professional. Some 40,100 seats were occupied, the ADA's unique Education in the Round live-patient demonstration courses sold out, seven hands-on cadaver workshops were held at state-of-the-art anatomy labs at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, and other hands-on workshops allowed for small class sizes and personalized learning.

Attendees also took advantage of free courses, demonstrations and hands-on learning at ADA CE Live on the exhibit hall floor, including the Professional Product Review; the Laser Pavilion; the Preventive Equipment Maintenance Zone; CAD/CAM demonstrations; and the Pride Institute Technology Expo.

The Health and Fitness Center, a new area featuring courses on nutrition and wellness, sold out, and the Dental Office Design Center and the New and Emerging Speaker Series drew many participants.

Other new CE programs included Learning Labs with in-depth exploration and discussion of topics like geriatric care and women in dentistry; and the Affordable Care Act primer, which showcased the ADA Health Policy Resources Center data and trends on dentists' incomes and dental care utilization.

Hundreds of ADA attendees and their families and friends from across the nation donated time and expertise to volunteer at the first-ever ADA-sponsored Mission of Mercy held at Mardi Gras World.

A total of 1,119 volunteers from 42 states served 755 patients on Nov. 3. Patients ranged in age from 1-92. Volunteers performed 2,688 procedures—$352,498.50 in total care provided.

Member representatives: The ADA House of Delegates convenes in the Great Hall at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center for its first meeting Nov. 1.
The ADA House of Delegates met during Annual Session to consider 100 resolutions. Dr. Charles H. Norman III, Greensboro, N.C., was installed as the ADA's 150th president. Dr. Maxine Feinberg, Westfield, N.J., was elected president-elect and Dr. Jonathan D. Shenkin, Freeport, Maine, was elected second vice president.

Exhibitors marked the Halloween day opening by participating in a booth decoration contest. Waterpik, with representatives donned in vampire attire, and Dentaltown, sporting a Las Vegas/Hangover movie theme, took the top decorating awards.

A total of 560 exhibitors, including 78 first-time participants, showcased their products and services at the ADA World Marketplace exhibition Oct. 31-Nov. 2.

The ADA also launched its rebranded annual meeting identity while in New Orleans.

To view content from the meeting on-demand, log onto ADA365. To earn CE credits from courses that were part of the Pride Institute Technology Expo, visit ADA CE Online ( and select New Courses.

Next year's annual meeting in San Antonio, set for Oct. 9-14, 2014, will be known as ADA 2014—America's Dental Meeting.