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News & Press: CSPD Bulletin

President's Message - Controlling Our Destiny

Thursday, March 12, 2015  
Posted by: CSPD
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In the pursuit of any goal, it is useful to pause, and ask if what you are doing will get you where you want to go. If you don’t, you could end up like Johannes Kepler.

In order for Kepler to solve the orbital riddle of the Copernican model, he desperately needed to get his hands on the observational data of the legendary astronomer, Tycho Brahe. But, Brahe was not giving out his life’s work to just anyone. He had spent the last 30 years making accurate, repeated observations of planetary movement and he guarded that data jealously. Kepler needed to prove himself first. But without pausing to think things out, he made a strategic error. In an effort to further his reputation and thus gain Brahe’s respect, he wrote a letter to the Imperial Mathematician asking his opinion on certain computational ideas and praised him as “the greatest mathematician of all time”. The Imperial Mathematician then took Kepler’s written praise and published it as an endorsement of his own work; work that was critical of Brahe!

After that, Brahe never really trusted Kepler. For years, Brahe reluctantly dribbled out data to him. Brahe only consented to give Kepler full access when Brahe was literally on his deathbed. A brief pause to look at the forces he was contending with might have saved Kepler years of grief.

Unlike Kepler, this past September the CSPD Board of Directors paused to scan our environment, think about where we want to go and created a plan to better control our destiny. They noted that we are at a watershed time for the profession of pediatric dentistry. There will be pressure to reduce the cost of dental care from government, employers and patients. Dental plans will increasingly use more selective networks and demand more accountability in the form of data and performance measures. Recently graduated pediatric dentists, under pressure from debt, will likely follow the trend toward multi-site, corporate practices. The drive to reduce healthcare costs will compel exploration of alternative care delivery models.

In a series of meetings and breakout sessions the directors reevaluated and retooled CSPD’s strategic plan to prepare us for these challenges. The board focused on three areas in order to shape our future – Policy/Advocacy, Membership and Governance.

One of the strategic aims to come out of those discussions was for CSPD to bring in outside expertise so that our decisions are based on relevant data. The board would also like to be able to be more proactive in communicating to membership our policy stances. Another aim is to increase our collaborations with other healthcare entities. Along this line, the CSPD board has already initiated development of a Recertification Course in collaboration with the College of Diplomates. Many thanks go to Jonathon Lee for his efforts in planning this course. Leveraging other association strengths with ours will help us serve our members better.

The board also wants to better understand CSPD’s membership needs and values. They want our decisions to be data driven so that we can deliver “true and effective representation of membership.” Kudos are given to Jeff Huston who, as Membership Chair, has been relentless in trying to get data on our members.

In common with past strategic plans, the board wants to take firm steps to secure a sustainable development of leaders in pediatric dentistry. Suzy Tavana who is slated to become CSPD’s Secretary in March, is an example of how CSPD has endeavored to do this in the past. She is a former Warren Brandli Intern who attended board meetings as a part of that leadership development program’s itinerary of duties.

Lastly, the board rejected any plan to compliment Imperial Mathematicians! Speaking of compliments...

Many Thanks: My sincere thanks goes to Paul Reggiardo, our Public Policy Advocate, for his succinct and wise counsel. At the recent board meeting, he was declared a national healthcare treasure by CDA Vice President for Government Affairs Carrie Gordon. For Paul, this is actually not hyperbole. And I’ve checked, he has nothing against Brahe.

My sincere thanks go to Ray Stewart for your sage counsel, patience and diplomacy. There is a vast constituency in the profession that knows of your splendid contributions of service and advocacy.

I would also like to thank Oariona Lowe, chair of the annual meeting. Your organizational talent is impressive. Under your stewardship, the CSPD Annual Meeting has been taken to a higher level. Ora you are a master at keeping all those plates spinning. I keep expecting a call from Cirque du Soleil asking for you!

Thank you Kenneth Szymanski for your stentorian viewpoint and authoritative financial guidance.

Thank you Mel Rowan for keeping the CSPD ship of state upright and driven by clear and concise bylaws language. Your counsel on leadership, while not always translated by me into effective action, was nonetheless welcome and cherished.

Thank you Steven Niethamer for your dedication to our website and online continuing education. It is because of your attention to CSPD’s digital presence that we can offer CE online and communicate to membership through the website – a strategic objective!

Thank you Jung-Wei Anna Chen for guiding the Bulletin through an important transition and launching the column of scientific abstracts. Thank you Donald Schmitt for taking care of dues and finances for us and all those other tasks that you took up without being asked.

Thank you David Okawachi for delivering judgment and assessment with a palliating demeanor. Thank you for a great Dana Point annual meeting. Kudos to Sharine Thenard for finding us a well qualified Executive Director nominee! Not an easy task. Thank you Rebecca Lee for running the baton that last mile and La Juan Hall for carrying the baton the first mile.

Thank you Aparna Aghi (another Warren Brandli Intern) and Jacob Lee for your inspiring work on CSPD Continuing Education.

Thank you Eric Dixon, Daniela Silva, Rick Nichols and Nancy Hsieh for your integrity and perspective.

Lastly, thank you Stacie Lewis and Catherine Smith for taking CSPD operations to a higher level of service to our members.

And to all a good night!

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