ODA members participate in ADA House of Delegates
Thirty-two ODA members participated in the American Dental Association’s House of Delegates meetings held in Las Vegas during the ADA’s Annual Session on Oct 10 – 14. These delegates and alternate delegates, who were selected by their Ohio peers at the local level, participated in discussions regarding various resolutions governing the internal operations of the ADA and setting ADA policy. ODA president, Dr. Mark Bronson, a general dentist from Cincinnati, who also serves as an ADA delegate, said “participating as a delegate at the national level allows the dentists of Ohio to help set the direction for the ADA.”
One of the resolutions passed by the ADA House called for a governance study of the American Dental Association. Past ODA president and current ADA-trustee-elect, Dr. Joseph Crowley, a general dentist from Cincinnati, pointed out that “the Ohio Dental Association conducted a thorough governance evaluation eight years ago and it was very beneficial.” Crowley noted that the ODA’s Governance Task Force evaluated the efficiency and effectiveness of the ODA’s governance structure and processes, including the ODA’s council and committee structure, House of Delegates, communication tools, strategic plan and outcomes assessment strategies. “We made some significant changes that made the ODA more effective and efficient in the use of our members’ resources,” said Crowley, who hopes the ADA has a “similar experience” with its governance study.
The ADA House also passed a resolution in response to the growing momentum in Washington for Congress to fund Medicaid back to the states through block grants. Congress may try to control its Medicaid spending by sending block grants to the states and then leaving it up to the states to determine how they would utilize the money in their respective Medicaid programs.
The resolution directs the ADA to advocate for adequate funding and safeguards in order to ensure that comprehensive oral health care for underserved children and adults are maintained in the event that the Medicaid block grant concept becomes law. Pursuant to the resolution, the ADA would oppose the block grant concept if adequate funding and safeguards are not put in place.
The House of Delegates was just one of many activities held in Las Vegas during the ADA Annual session. Attendees had the opportunity to attend continuing education courses, walk through one of the largest dental exhibit halls in the world and attend many other dental-related events. This year’s general chairman of the ADA’s Council on ADA Sessions was Dr. Kevin Laing, a general dentist from Van Wert, Ohio, who is a past chair of the ODA’s Annual Session Committee and a former ODA officer. Laing said, “it was very humbling and rewarding to be involved in such a massive undertaking.”
ODA executive director, David Owsiany, pointed out that the ODA was well represented at the ADA Annual Session. “Our delegation did an excellent job in testifying and giving input on resolutions during the House of Delegates meetings,” said Owsiany, “and Dr. Laing did an outstanding job in chairing the Council on ADA Sessions.”