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MyView: What an experience: Missouri delegate closes out 14 years in House

March 18, 2013

By Kenneth Weinand, D.D.S.

I always love the fall of the year and especially August. You see, that is the time the first set of ADA resolutions appears on ADA Connect, a secure Web-based site for delegates and alternate delegates to go to for ADA House of Delegates information.

Then in September, a second set of resolutions appear on ADA Connect. This means that it is not long until the ADA Annual Session and the ADA House of Delegates. The day after the opening ceremony of the ADA Annual Session, the ADA House of Delegates meets at 3 p.m.

Let me explain a little more. Any of you can submit a resolution to the ADA no later than June. You first submit the resolution to the state association's board of trustees for discussion and then approval. Once approved, the resolution is submitted to the ADA House of Delegates for discussion in October, although in 2013 the House of Delegates will be in November in New Orleans.

It is exciting to see a resolution you have submitted make its way to the ADA House of Delegates. Once your resolution reaches the ADA, it is first assigned to an ADA reference committee for a hearing where it is discussed by any dentist member who would like to speak on the resolution. This is where you hear from your colleagues as to their opinion or facts. What I mean to say is, you learn how the resolution will fare.

The next day, our caucus meets to further discuss the resolution. At this time, we talk about all the resolutions that were submitted—which can be up to 60 to 90 resolutions. The following day, we go to the ADA House of Delegates and vote. It is now Monday of Annual Session and all but the ADA House has traveled home. We stay until business is finished on Tuesday. We say goodbye to many colleagues with whom we had the pleasure to work on House resolutions and ADA business.

It is a real pleasure to meet the many dentists who serve as ADA delegates and alternate delegates. You meet and become friends with those running for ADA president-elect and all the officers of the ADA. They are awesome people just like you. Each year, I would see some dentists again and then we would email and keep in touch by email and also Facebook.

Hello, Chad, Tom, Mark, Marry, Chuck, Ron, Bob, Sam, Kathy, Linda, Richard, Stan, Paul, Arthur, James, Larry, Peter, Gregory, Raymond, Robert, Lidia, Charles, Neil, Katie, Ken, Kathleen, Eugene, Ray, Morris, Jose-Luis, Donna, Wendy and Larry; see you next year at the ADA meeting or in Chicago.

I have met dentists from the United States and other countries just because I have proudly served as ADA delegate and alternate delegate. I have traveled to many cities and spent a week there at the ADA Annual Session—Chicago, San Antonio, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Orlando, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Kansas City and Honolulu. There is time to see the area, especially if you go days early to see the sights. Do not forget to bring your best friend.

When you get home, you tell all your component and constituent society colleagues about your trip to the ADA House of Delegates, and at board meetings you fight for the ADA. I have always said that if you criticize the ADA, you should become an ADA delegate or alternate delegate, or maybe a trustee or first or second vice president or treasurer or even president. You see, I have met them all and I am so glad I did. They are very good people who want to serve just like me as a delegate or alternate delegate.

I learned that getting ready for the ADA House of Delegates takes time. It is time well-spent because I learn so much by reading ADA Connect. I also learn from the officers and staff of the ADA and my colleagues who see things just a little different.

It will not be the same for me as I have finished my last year as a delegate. I am so thankful I had this awesome opportunity. I want to thank my component and constituent societies and the ADA for allowing me to serve with my best foot forward, just like everyone else at the ADA House of Delegates.

Dr. Weinand is a general dentist in Independence, Mo. In addition to his 14 years as a delegate or alternate delegate, he has served terms as a president of the Greater Kansas City Dental Society, a trustee to the Missouri Dental Association and a member of the ADA Council on Membership.