The American Academy of Periodontology



Summary Report Background:

In December 1999, the Academy's Executive Committee met to discuss future domestic and international directions for the Academy. The discussion from the domestic perspective centered around the strategic considerations for strengthening the grass roots network by actively pursuing interaction with organized dentistry and state periodontal organizations. In response to the Executive Committee's discussion regarding domestic activities, the first Leadership Conference for State Periodontal Organizations was convened on July 29-30, 2000 to provide a forum for state leaders to brief AAP leadership and each other on state legislative and regulatory issues. Awareness of the issues facing the organizations was effectively achieved with the first leadership conference. The second conference focused on beginning to build the skills needed for effective communication and advocacy when addressing state legislative and regulatory issues.

Purpose and Overview:

The purpose of the 2001 Leadership Conference was threefold: To analyze issues occurring within states and assist state leaders in identifying steps to address the issues. Discuss how the Academy may facilitate communication about such activities. To encourage involvement of Academy members in organized dentistry to strengthen the Academy's domestic activities.

Participation: 24 presidents of 27 state periodontal societies attended. Six of the eight regional periodontal organizations sent leadership several members of the AAP Task Force on ADA Delegate/Alternate Relations; trustees from each Academy district five (5); Academy officers attended the meeting.

Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director State Issues and Advocacy Strategies: Mr. Jon Holtzee, Director of ADA State Government Affairs Federal Patient Bill of Rights Ergonomics Regulations HIPAA Implementation States Access to Dental Services (e.g. Medicaid, SCHIP) Waste Water Contamination Regulations Workforce Issues (Dentists and Auxiliaries)Licensure by Credentials Mr. Holtzee emphasized three components for effective advocacy-knowing the individual or group one is trying to influence or educate, developing the relationships with key influencers and preparing and delivering a message. Building and maintaining a long-term relationship with elected officials, as an expert resource is a valuable way to learn about issues as they arise and often provides a successful route for advocacy. Conducting careful research into groups supporting and opposing an issue will also help ensure a more effective message. He also noted that when legislation is passed, the state periodontal organization leaders should remain vigilant during the development of rules or interpretation of legislation. Questions arose during the presentation related to the ADA's position on dental auxiliaries and ADA staff provided copies of the comprehensive policy to the participants. Members also requested information on the date of the 2002 ADA Leadership Conference in Washington, DC; staff will provide an update to periodontal leaders once the date of the conference is established.

Taking Action: A Case Report Dr. Steven Daniel of the Tennessee Society of Periodontists provided a review of two recent issues potentially impacting dental professionals in Tennessee-legislation regarding composition of the state dental board and sedation regulations. According to Dr. Daniel, one of the greatest lessons learned by the Society has been that in addition to being a good practitioner, professionals need to be proactive in the legislative and regulatory arena. Practical Advice on Establishing and Maintaining a Relationship with a State Dental Society. Dr. Timothy McNamara, president of the Wisconsin Dental Association, and Dr. Marie C. Schweinebraten, past-president of the Georgia Dental Association and an ADA Delegate, provided an overview of why it is important to establish relationships with state dental associations, even when an urgent issue is not present. Three primary reasons for being active in a time of relative calm were highlighted: It can lay groundwork for the future when help may be needed It provides an opportunity to be proactive on an issue It is a great time to develop relationships with colleagues Drs. Schweinebraten and McNamara cited numerous ways in which state periodontal organizations can align with state dental organizations, such as: Develop an identity, to include a clear articulation of the state periodontal organization's mission Continue communication horizontally (perio organization members and the dental society) and vertically (regional and national periodontal and dental organizations) through face-to-face meetings, phone, fax and online. Scan the landscape of issues faced by the profession of dentistry, not just Periodontics; use these issues to volunteer and be visible.

Key Influencer: State Dental Boards Dr. J. Kevin Irons of the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners. Dr. Iron's messages: build relationships, get involved on a volunteer basis and work with the Board to find solutions to problems when possible. Discussion and Summary: Several issues, beyond the scope of the Conference intended outcomes, emerged for future consideration and action by the Academy and regional and state periodontal organizations: 1)Propagation of future leadership; 2) articulation of the expectations and relationship between the Academy and the regional and state periodontal organizations; 3) development of policies related to dental auxiliary issues; 4) planning of strategic direction by regional and state periodontal organizations. Post-Conference Call to Action: Attendees will receive a brief survey and feedback on the steps state periodontal organizations plan to take during the next year to address an issue or promote a relationship with a state dental society or board.