Leading at the highest level

As 2018 comes to a close, it is worth reflecting on the amazing impact Ohio’s dental leaders have had on organized dentistry and the dental profession. In October, Dr. Joe Crowley from Cincinnati concluded his term as ADA president and Dr. Ron Lemmo from Cleveland concluded his term as ADA treasurer. I have worked with them both for more than 20 years and am not surprised at the incredibly positive impact they have had.

Crowley and Lemmo have held top leadership roles at every level of organized dentistry, including having served as ODA president, prior to serving at the ADA level. Crowley served on the ADA Board of Trustees as the Seventh District Trustee from 2012 to 2016, representing Ohio and Indiana. He was elected ADA president-elect in October 2016 and assumed the presidency in October 2017. During his six years serving in various capacities with the ADA Board of Trustees and especially during his year as president, Crowley served with great distinction and had great success.

Crowley led the ADA in addressing the opioid crisis, demonstrating the dental profession’s commitment to acting responsibly when prescribing pain medication while ensuring that dentists retain the ability to use their own professional clinical judgement to meet patients’ needs when controlling their pain.

Crowley helped to lead the ADA in advancing licensure reform to enhance portability and provide additional avenues for dental licensure, including working towards a non-live patient clinical exam that is both valid and reliable. Crowley also helped lead the national discussion related to a possible Medicare dental benefit and worked to expand the use of Community Dental Health Coordinators to improve access to dental care for the underserved.

Lemmo served two three-year terms as ADA treasurer from 2012 to 2018. During that time, he worked tirelessly to improve the ADA’s budgetary procedures. Lemmo enhanced communication with the ADA House of Delegates and set up an open and understandable reporting process for ADA budget and financial matters. He promoted fiscal discipline to ensure the ADA acted responsibly with the members’ resources. During Lemmo’s time as treasurer, the ADA’s strategic reserves grew by more than a third.

As treasurer, Lemmo achieved his main objectives of transparency and improving the ADA’s financial position in order to stabilize membership dues and enhance the ADA’s financial sustainability.

I am not surprised by the impact Crowley and Lemmo have had on organized dentistry and the dental profession. Prior to taking their leadership skills to the ADA, they both served on the Ohio Dental Association’s Executive Committee helping to strengthen the ODA by ensuring we are a strategically-driven organization focusing our efforts and resources on our member dentists’ priorities. The ODA continues to be a high functioning and successful association today because of their hard work over the last 20 years.

By the way, Crowley and Lemmo served on the ODA Executive Committee with Dr. Billie Sue Kyger, who is the current ADA Seventh District Trustee. Ohio’s legacy of outstanding leadership at the ADA level continues.