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President's Message

Message from the President Dr. David Goerz                                            2019 Annual Report

The professions of dental assisting and dentistry have been granted the privilege of self regulation by the people of Manitoba through the Manitoba Dental Association Act.   By direct election by over 760 dentists, more than 1400 dental assistants or appointed from those elected by 1.4 million Manitobans, the Board is tasked by this legislation to govern, determine, control and administer the affairs of the Manitoba Dental Association.

Like many committees of our Association, the Board has undergone a number of changes in the past year.   Clarifying roles and responsibilities has been a key focus for our group.  At the core of our efforts has been a renewal of our commitment of providing oversight to the profession of dentistry and public protection. As I stood in front of my peers at the 2019 Business meeting, I was asked by a Member if the people of Manitoba were protected. I responded with confidence that they were protected.

The Board’s journey to provide oversight to our profession and public protection is not always a smooth path.   The MDA Board does many things well but our challenge is that we need to have the courage to continue improve. Your Board has that courage and I am looking forward to continuing my participation in the reshaping of the governance of dentistry in Manitoba in my position of “Past-President”.

As I now reflect on the past year of my presidency, I am reminded of a number of needs that continue to challenge our association. One of the needs that I have personally experienced along with my many colleagues of is the shortage of trained dental assistants in rural Manitoba.  Regretfully, we have seen this need increase and now it is impacting all dental practices in Manitoba. Please be assured that I will continue to search out avenues to help alleviate the pressures for all dentists experiencing this human resource shortage.  Secondly, and all Presidents hope for this, is a year without major challenges that get in the way of accomplishing positive growth for the association.  Legal challenges faced under my watch would say that the MDA Board is fulfilling its requirement under The Dental Association Act of fulfilling its mandate of public protection.  I am proud of the MDA in how we have met these challenges and that we are well positioned to move forward.  Moving forward has not and will not be possible without vision, review, preparation and ultimately dedication to our mandate for the Manitoba Dental Association. I remind everyone that our professional mandate is to protect the public we serve.

Nationally, as I have traveled across the country, I am always reminded of the reputation that Manitoba has developed over the years. The leadership that Manitoba has provided at the national level and across the provinces allows our voice to be heard loud and clear. Manitoba punched well above our weight class at the national level whether on professional services or regulatory matters. Our membership should be proud of the work that so many of our colleagues have accomplished over the years. When Manitoba speaks, the country listens. A example of this is that through our influence at the national level we were able to help broker a new 10 year Memorandum of Understanding with the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) and all other provincial dental associations. This new MOU will see a reduction in the corporate fees we pay to the CDA.

Access to care continues to be at the top of our minds for our Association. We have created an Access to Care Working Group to address issues of access in remote and northern communities. In addition, the Manitoba Dental Foundation (MDF) continue to disperse funds to needy organizations, in keeping with their mission statement. These gifts to those in need are possible largely through the generosity of Manitoba dentists. The MDA continues to support the MDF and recognizes the kind donations made by our members.  I applaud our members who champion this cause.

One of the most impactful aspects that I have experienced during my tenure on the board had been the privilege of seeing the volunteer involvement of the members of our association.  The willingness of our members to give back to our chosen profession is unmatched in this country. Over a third of our members are directly involved in one of the many committees that help run, govern, and ultimately allow dentists across the province to practice in an environment that is healthy and rewarding for all.  The volunteer list is too lengthy to list and acknowledge so I will simply say that you know who you are and thank you for everything you give.

I would like to congratulate and thank Dr. Cory Sul for his time served on the board.  His vision of transparency and the need for accountability within our association set a new standard moving forward.  This new standard has been a learning curve for all and this road we now travel continues to evolve with new destinations of where we are going as an association and insights as to who we need to be.  Your current President Dr. Marc Mollot has been instrumental in the review of our Association's framework.  The committee foundation, instrumental to our association's success has been reviewed and organized under Marc's dedication to detail and proper structure.  Without question, the MDA will be very well served by Dr. Mollot.   As President, I was very fortunate to have Cory and Marc as bookends for my term.  It has been a pleasure to serve on the Executive with both of you.
                    
Linda, Dianne, Sarah, Cheryl, and now recently added Greg, do the work that is unmatched in the country.  To be quite honest, we probably over task these very talented individuals and their collective response is to quietly and efficiently make us all look good.   Job well done and thank you.

This year Dr. Patricia Ling moved on from her role as our Registrar.   Dr. Ling stepped in as Registrar during a difficult and challenging time for the Association.   I have seen firsthand, her dedication and commitment to the Registrar's job. I want to thank Dr. Ling for handling this job with grace and professionalism.  Thank you Patti.   We are fortunate to have Dr. Arun Misra fulfill the duties of the Registrar until a successor has been identified by the Board. I am confident that we will be well served with the talents Arun will be bringing to the table.  

I read many of the final reports from outgoing Presidents on their gratitude for Rafi Mohammed.  I have now had the distinct privilege to work alongside Rafi and can only echo all the positive statements made about him.  As CEO for the Manitoba Dental Association, the guidance and direction Rafi provides the dentists of Manitoba cannot be understated. The respect and voice that Rafi carries across Canada's dental world is unmatched.  The MDA is very well served at the CEO level. 

On a final note, I would like to share with all, the one personal mantra that I have attempted to bring to the table this past year.  The path to success whether it be personal or professional is rooted in effective communication.  Sharing one's concerns, effective listening and creating the environment to allow healthy debate is what our Association needs.  We can only then move forward with necessary change and continued success within our association.  I can certainly say these past few years have been quite the journey.  It has been very enjoyable  having the opportunity to develop new friendships and relationships across this province and country.

We can all hold each other accountable to continue to do what is best for Dentistry and our patients.  It has been humbling and an honor to serve as the President of the Manitoba Dental Association.   Thank you for this opportunity to be a small part of our wonderful association and profession.

Respectfully,

Dr. David Goerz,
President and Board Chair
2019-2020