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News & Press: CSPD Bulletin

President's Message - Fall 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015  
Posted by: CSPD
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Why CSPD is “Like, Totally Awesome, Dude.” 
The title above is just a little tongue in cheek. However, after you have chuckled a little bit, consider this – California is truly a special place and CSPD is truly a special group. According to Wikipedia, California is the third largest state in the US, after Alaska and Texas, and the most populous US state, with 38 million people. Of those 38 million individuals 798 are members of our special group, the California Society of Pediatric Dentistry.

CSPD was started in 1974 as the California Academy of Pedodontics. Its first organizational meeting took place on December 14, 1974 at the San Francisco Airport Hilton. The six purposes of the newly created California Society of Pedodontists were:

  • Create a Peer Review body governed by pedodontic specialists
  • Resolve issues with the California Dental Service
  • Develop continuing education programs
  • Provide input to third party carriers
  • Form liaisons with other groups
  • Organize quality and utilization control

I have been involved with various organizations over the past few decades, in membership and in leadership, and there is one thing that stands out about CSPD. We have THE hardest working people! Our volunteer leaders spend more waking hours, take more initiative, and do more legwork, than any dental organization I know. Although we have hired more professional help with administrative workload over recent years, the culture of working exceptionally hard and being dedicated to the work of CSPD persists, and we see it exemplified in many of our volunteer leaders.

And why do we work so hard? We are dedicated to working for the members of this very special organization as well as the children of the state. We routinely survey our membership every few years to try to determine your needs and wants of you, our members, and work very hard to meet those needs. Membership benefits such as the synthesis of the Bulletin newsletters take an immense amount of time and energy, as does representation of the profession on state legislative fronts. This legislative season, CSPD had significant influence over an amendment to a bill, AB 880, that would ensure protection of children as patients and also increase provider transparency at health fairs. Additionally, we are in a position to influence lawmakers and auditors about issues of importance to our patients and our members such as the Denti-Cal program and all that comes with it. The countless hours spent studying bills, attending meetings and representing CSPD are done without fanfare nor any request for recognition, but are done because our Public Policy Advocate, Paul Reggiardo, is so incredibly dedicated.

From our most recent membership survey in 2014, the number one reason for joining CSPD was for continuing education. Number two was for networking opportunities.  If you have ever attended our annual meeting, you know that it’s an educational and FUN venue where you can reconnect with friends, enjoy time with your family if you choose to bring them, and also meet new graduates and residents. Many members also choose to bring their staff to the meetings as a time for the office to bond and enjoy time together. With a very high caliber of courses and speakers, many members attend the CSPD Annual Meeting instead of the AAPD Annual Session.

The CSPD Annual Meeting is truly a labor of love, and the Annual Meeting Chair Oariona Lowe gives so much of herself to ensure that each one is a success.
For those unable to attend the Annual Meeting, Steve Niethamer, video producer and editor extraordinaire, works meticulously to make the courses available online. Because of his work, CSPD’s online offering of CE is stupendous and definitely worth checking out. It makes me very proud to be part of an organization that can offer this quality and amount of online CE!

Our CE is so crucial to CSPD that it now makes up 59 percent of all CSPD revenue, more than CSPD dues, which bring in 35 percent of our revenue. This highlights the fact that keeping our CE strong and relevant to members is a top priority, along with keeping dues from rising too high too quickly.

Now, you can see why CSPD is so special. With your pediatric dental colleagues at your side, we have a unique organization with a unique culture.  CSPD is all about our members and about the children in California. I hope that you will consider serving in some role, either now or in the future. We are always looking for volunteers! You can get more information on the positions we are looking to fill if you go to the CSPD website at You can either email us what you are interested in, or you can apply for an elected position. We are currently looking for directors to serve on the CSPD Board of Directors starting this upcoming year. The leadership applications are due on Dec 10, 2015.

It is a privilege and an honor to serve as your President. I would “like, totally” love to hear from you! You can reach me via email at

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