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Financial future of ADA strengthened in 2013 budget

House, Board work together to implement change

San Francisco—The ADA House of Delegates adopted a 2013 operating budget that establishes a Capital Building Fund that forgoes the need for an earlier $50 proposed special assessment.

The House approved a 2013 budget of $119.7 million in revenue and anticipated expenses of $118.6 million. Resolution 58H-2012 set dues at $522 as of Jan. 1, 2013, an increase of $10 over 2012. Going into the meeting, the dues proposal in Board Report 2 had been for a dues level of $549.

ADA President Robert A. Faiella praised delegates for their efforts, which led to a reduction in the proposed dues increase as well as the elimination of the proposed special assessment. “The House acted in the best interests of the Association given the need to make us a stronger organization to meet the challenges that are facing the profession. By taking these actions, we feel we are best poised over the next year to tie our Strategic Plan to the goals of the profession in the best interest of all of our members."

Dr. Ronald P. Lemmo, elected treasurer at this year’s House, credits the opportunity for the Board and the House to work together at Annual Session with the budget outcome. “Through the hard work of the Board and the House, they were able to deliver valuable member programs, including $800,000 for a communications program as well as $230,000 for the taskforce studying student debt. We were also able to invest in the ADA buildings in Chicago and Washington with the creation of the Capital Building Fund at $3.5 million, and that was done within the operating budget, not through a special assessment.”

Res. 75H authorizes the ADA to spend up to $800,000 to retain an outside public relations firm to provide support in message development, proactive media outreach, creative development and production of materials and the execution of programs to:

  • Build and enhance the reputation of dentists and the dental profession;
  • Position the dentist as a fully educated doctor who leads the team that help patients attain and maintain the best possible oral health;
  • Demonstrate dentistry’s leadership in breaking down barriers to oral health for all Americans;
  • Build awareness of the importance of oral health to overall health;
  • Ensure that media portrayals of dentistry are fair and accurate;
  • Rapidly address other communications and reputational challenges and opportunities as they arise.

Res. 113H-2012 continues the work begun last year by the Board of Trustees’ Taskforce on Dental Education Economics and Student Debt. It directs that any unspent amount from the $230,000 allocated in the 2012 budget be returned to the Reserves and be used to fund its completion in 2013.

The House also approved Res. 51H-2012, which is expected to contribute $1.9 million in revenue next year. The resolution changes the Bylaws to increase the dues of active life members to 75 percent of the dues of active members and 75 percent of any active member special assessment.  This eliminates the disparity in dues for those active (practicing) life members who are currently receiving full benefits. Previously, this membership category paid 50 percent of full dues.

Outgoing ADA treasurer, Dr. Edward Leone, who was treasurer during the preparation of the 2013 budget, noted, "The 2012 House of Delegates has been extremely diligent in examining fiscal matters of the Association and has made decisions that will promote the financial health of the American Dental Association long term."

The vote to increase dues to $522 came after House discussion about the historical trends of dues revenue compared to the Consumer Price Index. Projections show a widening gap between dues levels and increases in the cost of doing business. For 2012, Dr. Leone said in a presentation to the House, the dues level of $512 compared to $535 dues level recalculated based on CPI growth since 2007. The gap was expected to grow over the next several years, he said.

After the close of the House, Dr. Lemmo commented that the outcome was the result of dialogue. "All stakeholders have a voice in the process and that allowed us to come to a final decision that reflected the work and diligence of the House and Board. We looked at priorities together. I believe that the role of the treasurer is to enhance open communication, and that is one of my goals as treasurer."

Watch for full reports on House actions on ADA.org and in the ADA News.