The Many Hats I Wear


Seeing all the spring bonnets appear made me think of the many hats I wear!

I am very proud of my profession and am honored to serve organized dentistry in many capacities. I am  an active member of the Colorado Association of Pediatric Dentists. I try to attend the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists national meeting every other year in order to stay current on everything in pediatric dentistry. I am always looking for ways to improve the services SRPD provides our patients. I attend many CE courses and have sought training in laser dentistry as well as Myobrace®.

More organizational opportunities is one of the reasons I moved from the Western Slope. When I lived in Greenwood Village while in kindergarten, I actually lived across the street from a young periodontist. When I moved back to Colorado after dental training, finding him very involved in organized dentistry inspired me. In fact, the guy I grew up across the street from became a Vice President of the American Dental Association(ADA)-how cool is that? What a mentor and role model right in my front yard; thank you Dr Kenneth Versman.

In organized dentistry there are three levels – locally, the Metro Denver Dental Society (MDDS), the state constituent, Colorado Dental Association(CDA) and the national ADA. For MDDS, I am currently finishing my third year on the Board of Directors. During these three years MDDS moved to a new building and bought the space. Quite an undertaking for a dental society but something that is great for the future of the organization. As a director, I attend as many networking and educational programs as I possibly can. For the first two years, I served as director liaison to the public relations committee. This year I am director liaison to the Rocky Mountain Dental Convention Arrangements Committee. MDDS organizes and delivers a great convention for dentists from all over the world each January and the CAC oversees the planning for this convention. After sitting several years on the MDDS Bylaws committee, I am the chair this year. MDDS recognized me with the Volunteer of the Year Award in 2011-2012.

At the CDA level, I chair CODPAC, the political action committee for the CDA. I have learned a lot about politics and politicians through this experience. In addition, for the past three years, I have been on the Sunset Review taskforce for the CDA. Every ten years the State of Colorado requires most professions to have the statutes they work/practice under reviewed by the legislature. As part of the committee, I studied the current Colorado Dental Practice Act and those from many other states to identify what changes/updates needed to be made. With this level of participation, it seemed natural for me to join the Government Relations Council for the CDA as well.

Since 2010, I have served as an alternate delegate or delegate for the ADA. The House of Delegates, as the legislative and governing body, is the supreme authority in the American Dental Association and I have been honored to be able to serve in such a role. The 473 members of the House of Delegates speak for the more than 157,000 dentist members of the Association and for the dental profession in the United States. The House meets once a year, during the Association’s Annual meeting usually held in October. I also attend pre-convention 14th District Caucus meetings and ADA Leadership development training sessions throughout the year.

Marketing gurus often tell you to humanize yourself to your patients and potential patients. Well I guess I am taking that advice to heart with this blog. I want to share with you why Dr Foster is sometimes not available. I also wear the hat of a medical patient. Like Phil Mickelson I am an excellent golfer-NOT! But he and I do have psoriatic arthritis in common. It has been a year of medical discoveries, seeing specialists and taking time to determine a diagnosis. It began in December 2012 with an itchy rash and some joint swelling. First I tried Urgent Care and was put on steroids that helped for a bit. When the rash came back with a vengeance, I tried a dermatologist. She was not sure of the cause, so we tried some different medications. I have suffered from allergies my entire life so I also started to see an allergist. She recommended the dermatologist complete a biopsy. This confirmed the diagnosis of psoriasis. Next, I was sent to a rheumatologist. She concurred that I had psoriatic arthritis, now I have good days and bad. Currently the medications prescribed by the rheumatologist control the skin rash. We are working to find the correct medication for the joint pain. The goal is to slow down any joint degeneration associated with chronic arthritis conditions so I can practice pediatric dentistry for years to come. My current medication regimen includes having infusions, about a three hour process of administering medication through an IV. My veins were not very well behaved at my last appointment which added to the time I was away from the office. But once you start down the path, you can’t turn back. I try very hard to minimize the impact on SRPD by scheduling my infusions when an associate is at the office. I apologize to those patients I am not here to see. In my search to reduce inflammation in my body, I have also begun working with a nutritionist. The knowledge I have gained through this journey as a medical patient has made me better able to work with patients who have dietary issues as well as other health issues. I hope this has given you a glimpse into why I am so grateful to have my SRPD team!

P.S. I’ve ordered a hat in his size!