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News & Press: CSPD Bulletin

President's Message - Fall 2016

Tuesday, November 22, 2016  
Posted by: CSPD
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Thanksgiving! If I’ve timed my message correctly, we are all about to celebrate one of my favorite holidays. It’s a time for me to meet with my family in northern California and have that special turkey dinner I’ve waited for since last year’s Thanksgiving. I drive the 6 ½ hours to my destination and while the rest of my family sleep, I have time to clear my mind and think about a myriad of things. I usually think about my family and how thankful I am that one brother of mine hosts Thanksgiving every year and we are joined by my other brother and a childhood friend and his elderly mother. I think about my practice and how fortunate I’ve been to select a profession that I love dearly and where I feel I do my best treating the children I see. And of course I think about unfinished CSPD business. So, what am I thankful for…family, friends, my practice and the organization in which I am most active at the moment. 

I now sit at my computer thinking about the theme for this CSPD Quarterly Bulletin – the CSPD Foundation. As you will read in the following pages, the CSPD Foundation (CSPDF) is not CSPD, but rather an arm’s length extension of it. You will learn so much more about the Foundation than I could ever hope to cover accurately, so I will defer to this Bulletin for that information. 

For the past two years I have encouraged all members in leadership to contribute any amount they are able to the CSPD Foundation.

My encouragement for all CSPD leaders to do so is directly reflected in my lead by example motto. I realize we are all bombarded with organizations requesting support and donations. From the community education foundation in the city where I grew up, to the university I attended for undergraduate education, to the dental school and residency program I attended, they are all asking for my financial support. I have a soft spot in my heart for each and it is to each that I contribute.

I grew up in a small town in northern California. I attended public schools and was able to be active in many extra-curricular school activities. It was a time when public schools had enough government financial support to provide these activities. Now with many statewide cutbacks, students aren’t able to experience the things I did. I thank the small community where I grew up by giving to their community education foundation. I want the young students of today to be able to experience what I did in my youth.

I think about how important my undergraduate education was. I was fortunate to have some caring individuals motivate me to do my best and encourage me to follow a dream of dentistry. One of my favorite Biology professors passed away at a young age. A scholarship fund was created in his name and I annually give to that fund. I know my undergraduate university is not a big one, so the amount I am able to give is greatly appreciated. I thank my undergraduate school by giving to the Biology department, it has provided me with the tools to do well and be accepted into dental school.

I think about dental school and have those same nightmare thoughts that almost all of us have. I hope I’m not the only one who gets sweaty palms thinking about special clinics, mock boards and oral pathology slides that just look like a bunch of pink or blue dots. But, my dental school prepared me for specialty school training and I am thankful that enough individuals saw enough spark and potential in me to accept me into a pediatric dental residency program. I thank my residency program for preparing me and giving me the tools to be a pediatric dentist by giving back to the program. I want to help my alma mater continue to provide excellent educational opportunities and produce outstanding pediatric dentists to join me as colleagues in the practice of pediatric dentistry.

I thank CSPD for keeping me aware of pediatric dentistry in California. From State mandated regulations to patient care and everything in between, CSPD has been a source of information and support for me. My way of giving back to CSPD for all that it has given me, is to be involved in leadership. It took me awhile but the wait for me was well worth it. It’s never too late to get involved in CSPD leadership. I’m living proof!

The CSPD Foundation financially helps all the California pediatric dental residency programs and the residents that attend them. The CSPD Foundation’s goals are education, research and leadership. The CSPD Foundation was not in existence when I was a pediatric dental resident, so what does or has the Foundation done for me? The Foundation has helped educate the pediatric dentists of today. It has helped create superb pediatric dental colleagues that share my love for our great profession of taking care of children. The new, recent graduate is as much a reflection of our profession as I am. I want to support the organizations that help them become outstanding pediatric dentists.

Even though we are all individuals, we are so often judged as a profession. Let’s help the members of our profession succeed. Please help the CSPD Foundation succeed.

As you may or may not be aware, our CSPD dues are now being collected by our Academy. The upside, we are now over 950 members strong. The downside, we are no longer able to place a line item for donations to our CSPD Foundation on the dues statement. Let’s make this upside of increased membership a big plus by giving to the CSPD Foundation. Become one of the newest donors to the CSPD Foundation at any level.

I now thank everyone who presently gives to the CSPDF for giving to this worthy cause. My hat is off to you and I praise you with a big “Thank You!” I encourage all our membership who, like me has been bombarded with donation requests, to consider giving to the CSPD Foundation.  Just a little bit makes a difference. As Steve Gross, our CSPD Foundation President stated in a previous bulletin, “If every member who does not already give, just gave $100, the Foundation would have a successful giving campaign of about $110,000 this year.

I am so thankful for what I have. Thank you all, and wishing you and your families a wonderful Thanksgiving and Holiday season.

David Okawachi, DDS, MS
CSPD President


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