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'The future is bright'

Responding, staying ahead of changes in profession highlights 2018 President-Elect's Conference

August 08, 2018

By Kimber Solana

Photo of Dr. Cole speaking at president-elect conference
Welcome: Dr. Jeffrey Cole, ADA president-elect, welcomed about 190 volunteer leaders and staff from state dental associations and related groups to ADA Headquarters July 22-26 during the 2018 President-Elect's & Management Conference.
Despite all of the challenges facing the profession and all of the disruptions that could dramatically change the business and practice of dentistry, Dr. Jeffrey Cole says they don't keep him awake late at night.
    
"I actually sleep pretty well," said Dr. Cole, ADA president-elect. "I truly believe the future of our profession is bright."
    
That was a message he shared with about 190 volunteer leaders and staff from state dental associations and related groups to ADA Headquarters July 22-26 during the 2018 President-Elect's & Management Conference.
    
This year's conference, which combined with the annual Management Conference, focused on innovation and data-driven decision-making to help state and local dental associations respond and stay ahead of the changes in the profession and organized dentistry.
    
These changes include the shifts in consumer attitudes toward health care, particularly among younger generations, the growing diversity in the profession, and the ways organizations recruit and engage members.
    
"This conference gives the president-elects the opportunity to develop a network of support and find new insights into how best to tackle the challenges facing our profession," Dr. Cole said. "It gives them assurances they will not falter, and inspires them to achieve greatness during their term of service as they lead their organizations into the future."
 

Question: Dr. Chi Leung of the San Fernando Valley Dental Society asks a question during the 2018 President-Elect's & Management Conference. This year's conference focused on innovation and data-driven decision-making to help state and local dental associations respond and stay ahead of the changes in the profession and organized dentistry.
In addition, attendees received an update on organized dentistry's response to the national opioid epidemic. Keynote speaker Austin Eubanks, chief operations officer at Foundry Treatment, shared his understanding on the connection between emotional pain and addition.

"I hope that Austin Eubanks' moving and personal account of how the physical and emotional pain he suffered during the Columbine massacre spiraled into opioid addition resonated with the attendees," Dr. Cole said. "And that they have new found purpose in advocating solutions to the opioid epidemic."

Another keynote speaker, Julie Williamson, vice president of strategy and research from Karrikins Group, focused on how volunteers and staff can lead their organization through changes in the profession and the challenges in organized dentistry. This can be achieved by aligning themselves and their organization to higher order impact; inspiring a changeable environment; and elevating their engagement of members, volunteers and society staff.
    
"One of the most pressing calls for us as leaders in dentistry is to shape the forces challenging the profession in such a way that we continue to move the profession in a positive direction," Dr. Cole said. "Together, we can take pride in charting the future of our profession. Together we will advance dentistry. The future is bright."