Leadership Reports

Report of the Executive Director

Dr. Kathleen O’Loughlin, ADA Executive Director, gave the Council an update on the current state of the ADA. She covered the membership trends of the past several years and the aspects of consumerism which are now impacting dental practices.

She shared an overview of the new Strategic Plan, Common Ground, for the 2020-2025 planning cycle with an enhanced emphasis on the health of the public along with member success. The ADA can empower the profession to advance the overall oral health of the public through advocacy for effective dental benefit programs accompanied by being the recognized voice for trusted information.

She praised the Council for its focus on the public facing stakeholder groups and commended the ADA Washington Office team for its advocacy on key issues such as the opioid crisis and the Action for Dental Health bill which has passed into legislation.

She discussed dental products and the difficulties of “do it yourself” dentistry. The ADA Find a Dentist program now has over 93,000 member profiles displayed.

 Report of the Chair

Dr. Richard Herman discussed the priority issues which the membership would look to CAAP for leadership. These topics include the resolutions passed by the 2018 House of Delegates on developing a Culture of Safety within the ADA policy realm, support for the Action for Dental Health initiatives and the challenges of the public with regard to water fluoridation.

Report of the Senior Vice President

Mr. Michael Graham reviewed the success of the Division of Government Affairs and the potential opportunities for the new Senate property. He also covered the potential of the Action for Dental Health legislation and the ability of more groups to apply for federal grants. This will allow for more programs within states which can have outcomes tracked to demonstrate improvement of the oral health or the public.

Report of the Director

Dr. Jane Grover invited the Council to collaborate with the Alliance of the ADA (AADA) members on Action for Dental Health initiatives in their Districts. She also encouraged them to interact with their CGA counterparts within their Districts.

Report of the Trustee Liaison

Dr. Ken McDougall, 10th District Trustee representative from the ADA Board of Trustees updated the Council on the changes to the ADA Foundation as well as the Dues Simplification program which will be discussed by the House of Delegates this year. He shared his impressions of attending the National Oral Health Conference and offering views as a rural dentist in North Dakota.

Report of Communications and Integrated Marketing

Ms. Katherine Merullo, Manager, Public Affairs and Advocacy Communications, informed the Council on the various types of media such as earned, paid or unearned. She let the Council know about the increased emphasis on “white hat” stories and the challenges of how the media may address Community Water Fluoridation in particular communities.

Report of the Council on Government Affairs

Dr. Craig Armstrong, CGA Chair, shared the interest of his Council regarding the “team effort” necessary for the success of Action for Dental Health initiatives within states. He also described the activities of the Lobby Day issues addressed such as Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act and Surprise Billing.

Report of the Alliance of the ADA

I discussed the AADA and the overall lack of awareness of the group. We are doing amazing things in our respective communities, dental practices, and families. As we are shifting our group structure from spouse based to family centric, there are many advocacy, education, and support events that we should be utilizing. Discussed ways to build membership base. Our advocacy efforts focus not only on dental health education within communities but well-being for the entire dental family.

Report of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA)

Mr. Craig McKenzie, elected ASDA President in February of this year, updated the Council on the strategic priorities of ASDA. He covered the ASDA focus on wellness for students and mentioned the difficulty that students are having with school restrictions on attendance at national meetings. The November ASDA Leadership Conference will feature a session on Readiness for Public Practice presented by CAAP staff.

Report of the Committee of the New Dentist

Dr. Andrew Welles reported on the New Dentist Conference members being involved in all areas of the ADA. Diversity and Inclusion are two separate goals for CND with the ADAPT program having special interest in the state of Wisconsin. He stated that younger dentists first decide where they want to live, then look at practice options for that particular area. There is also special emphasis within the CND on the specific challenges of pregnant practitioners and team-based care with assistants and hygienists.


These are some of the topics the council is working to address.

Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health

Rear Admiral Dr. Tim Ricks, Assistant Surgeon General and Chief Dental Officer of the US Public Health Service, updated the Council on the efforts regarding development of the forthcoming Surgeon General’s Report on oral health. He referenced the previously published report on oral health from the Surgeon General in 2000 and noted areas where significant progress has been made.

These areas will be described within a larger framework which will cover the changing perception of oral health, build the science base of ways to address disease, support the need to replicate effective programs, highlight proven efforts, increase oral health work force diversity capacity and increase medical / dental collaborations.

He assured the Council that the current Surgeon General has oral health mentioned as a priority area for the health of the country along with vaccinations, substance misuse, community health and military readiness.

Council members engaged in effective dialogue with Dr. Ricks, sharing thoughts on designation of HPSA areas and Medicaid audits which focused on appropriate use of stainless steel crowns for treatment of children.

His additional topic areas included the increasing oral health needs of a crowing elder population, e-cigarettes, vaping and the challenge of vaccine acceptance. He mentioned that measles is at its highest level in 20 years. The support of the Surgeon General for Community Water Fluoridation remains steadfast despite various challenging reports in the media regarding its safety.

It is anticipated that the 2020 Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health will be completed in midyear 2020 and may include a section on the ADA’s Community Dental Health Coordinator program.

Science and Strategy for Talking About the HPV Vaccine

Dr. Reva Bhushan, Science Consultant, American Association of Pediatric Dentists (AAPD) and Dr. Robin Wright, Director of Oral Health Policy and Research (AAPD) presented “Science and Strategy for Talking About the HPV Vaccine)”.

They began with the foundation of “small talk isn’t small” and gave an overview of how the dental community is well positioned to play an important role in promoting the HPV vaccine for patients. Their comments focused on preventive efforts to reduce HPV-related cancer incidence can begin in the dental office with the age groups of interest stated by the CDC.

The primary message of their session was the opportunity dentists and staff have in framing the HPV vaccine conversation with patients as cancer prevention. One of their key strategies was to set the stage for HPV discussion by beginning with open-ended questions to the patient, then move to general health topics such as smoking before transitioning to the HPV vaccine discussion.

Safety in Dentistry Workgroup Update

Dr. Gregory Heinstchel is the Chair of Oral Health and Dentistry at The MetroHealth System in Toledo Ohio. He works in collaboration the Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Dental Medicine in the areas of access, patient safety, quality and patient experience.

His service on the Safety Workgroup was shared with the Council members. Other members of the workgroup include Dr. Rich Herman, CAAP Chair, Dr. Dan Klemmedson, ADA Trustee, and Dr. David White, CGA member.

Dr. Heinstchel discussed with the Council the highly regarded reputation of safety which the dental profession enjoys while presenting the case for developing an overall system of safety for both patients and providers.

While pain management efforts of the Dental Quality Alliance and waterline safety are well established, there exists a need to establish an overall culture of safety where providers may share areas of improvement which may avoid costly events. The emphasis is on systems structure, not individual actions.

Community Dental Health Coordinator Graduate Update

Four graduates of the Community Dental Health Coordinator program gave presentations to the Council on their employment activities and outcome measures for their populations, giving compelling testimony on their daily duties and the impact their training has had on improving oral health for underserved populations.

Key metrics were provided to the Council regarding the quality and dollar value added of the CDHC training to the practice operations.