New beginnings – President’s Page

New beginnings – President’s Page – Inaugural speech of the new president of ADAA

Karen Waide

Excerpts from inaugural speech presented July 6, 2002 in Honolulu, Hawaii

I am honored to be the President of the American Dental Assistants Association and I thank you for this privilege. I am also honored to be in the midst of a group of individuals whose lives are dedicated to making a difference. Whether it is to relieve pain or to create smiles, you share compassion to help make the world a better place. You make a Difference!

We enter a New Beginning in ADAA as it begins its 79th year.

It is our shared belief that certain values characterize the Association which represents us and also guides us to accomplish our mission.

This is a New Beginning tonight … one that also reflects our grass roots. Mine began with being a phobic dental patient, then finding a caring dentist and staff which made the difference. Before I knew it, I became a dental assistant. I joined a local DA Society. And it all began.

We all started somewhere or are currently in a New Beginning of our life.

A New Beginning. First, it is nice to have employment, and second to have a career in a health related field.

With a position in the health field we have an opportunity to join a professional organization … one with common interests: ADAA

I value my professional organization and membership in the ADAA. It provides a bridge or a link to others that my office might isolate me from. Similar to a bridge, the bridge abutment be it one, two or three units, is the foundation of that structure. That foundation will provide me support in specific job related issues. It is the anchor!! ADAA membership anchors and links me with other professionals in my local, state, national, international and the military … a link to share and to use to pass on educational and professional information.

Also through the ADAA, the link offers various member benefits, such as the Journal, the continuing education offerings, the fellowship that it offers both in friendship and other educational goals. It can help me become a more competent member of the dental office.

As a member and through these links, I have learned that dental assistants are in demand. And the demand is for a healthy, motivated, educated patient-oriented dental assistant.

You are in demand–according to ADA and your state dental associations, and you’ve heard it yourself: “I can’t work without my dental assistant.” Demand sees ADA with their current door to door campaign to recruit dental assistants. Perhaps you should recruit members into this challenging field, and you should do it now.

Dentistry must also meet the challenges of change brought by the most rapid advancement in technology, and each member of dentistry must know and understand the technology and how it is changing and effecting the workplace.

One also has to question value and mission with these technologies. One of these changes is that of high tech … how are you affected by it? Digitization. Computerization. You know individually about them and the paperless office and dealing with computer conversions. You know that computer conversion will “only take an hour or two. You will be up and running the same day.” That is a “Maybe,” and hopefully no data is lost.

Now, it’s a new century, with a new beginning, and keeping a balance is our goal.

Since computers are one of the major influences of our lives, we know that there are many computers, with hardware, software and servers available. Cost factors and major dollars are invested. Selections! Decisions! One questions which are the best?

One of the hottest technology items is The All-In-One-Package: computer hardware, software and server that is all in one. The technology with options–a hard drive driven with compassion. Wow!! The package includes:

* A business specialist with software that will input pertinent patient information, process information at the chair and network with the front office.

* A product specialist with software that can distinguish and decipher all dental materials, manipulate product material and even deliver at the chair.

* An educator and sales specialist with a software which will provide and deliver selected individual patient education materials at the chair.

* An infection control specialist with software that will distinguish protocols of aseptic nature and provide them to all patients and procedures.

This software is so diverse. It has stick-to-it-ivity and like in the movie Spiderman, it is flexible, adaptable and dependable. Can you compare the dollars spent in the office on computerization to this personable technology package? You ask what is it? The real computer package driven with compassion is none other than THE DENTAL ASSISTANT!

They are the true value deal. Best of class. The dental assistant staying high tech. Performing at the highest possible level.

As dental assistants, we share this quote, “We may be ordinary people but we are creating extraordinary work.” Working on instinct, experience and imagination, while developing inspiration in our patients and dental team.

Thus, the value and mission of this association is to advance the career and promote the education of dental assistants, which enhances the delivery of quality dental health care.

Stepping up to a new level of quality and value In 2002-2003 we are faced with various opportunities. A bit like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Take a leap to meet the challenge NOT to be afraid to stretch yourself. It provides for “New Beginnings”, hope for a renewed purpose. Every day we are reminded of why we have chosen this profession, because everyday we see the differences that we make in people’s lives. It is our shared compassion to help one another to succeed. We do it day to day with our patients and with the Association.

And as a result, with our Association members working together, we are ever stronger by rallying new members, new locals.

Thus we accept the Association mission and value to its members as an opportunity and a challenge for our future.

Some of our challenges will be to continue to generate growth of ADAA membership while maintaining the value of our customer service to the members we serve and to continue an active membership recruitment.

Come invest with us–it is a membership atmosphere that enhances creative ideas. By being a member you add value and bring value. Plus, each new member brings new ideas, boosts knowledge and shares in educational value.

You can make a link–working for the future … yours/mine.

We will also be challenged as a business in the 21st century by increased effectiveness in Central Office with latest technology and data collection capabilities, and challenged to increase contributions to the Foundation, thereby increasing its educational opportunities, which help you in being the best you can be as a deliverer of quality dental health care. More links.

We are further challenged to continue to develop diverse education program materials and curriculum, maintaining ADAA as a leading resource organization and to continue alliances which encourage and enhance the vision of common interests.

As we traveled to Hawaii, we were greeted by our airline captain who pledged a commitment for our safety. Equally supported and demonstrated by safety instructions from our stewardess.

Thus we say to you “Welcome Aboard”, for one of our missions will be to meet the new demand for more trained and educated dental assistants, and as part of our welcome may I tell you that l think of you as friends. Good friends, in fact. That is because of the many of you who live or work on behalf of all of us as diplomats representing dental assisting every day.

Each one of us has hopes and dreams for the future. We appreciate the dynamics of your everyday home life, working day life and application to life for this association involvement.

You are the strength, resilience and success of ADAA.

For those of you just visiting as guests, we are always eager to show you our special brand of friendship. You are welcome and we’re glad you are here.

Pass it on! Share your experiences about coming to Annual Conference where you can make friends, have fun, build skills for life, enjoy great places and experience a sense of community. Let us not forget the stars we don’t really see but we know are always out there night after night…. a potential member just waiting to be asked to participate. Pass it on and welcome them.

We would like to have the biggest representation of all dental assistants, but we want to be the best. Our heritage is pure and simple: education, efficiency, loyalty, and service. Be proud to be an ADAA member, best informed, best educated. And we have been ADAA for quite some time now since 1929. Which of course now makes this our 78th Annual Conference. Seventy eight years seems all the more remarkable when I think of all the many presidents who have preceded me.

ADAA continues to stand tall and strong because we have a pioneering spirit of commitment and determination. We obviously owe a big debt of gratitude to these past presidents and their boards. It behooves us to thank them for their vision and reflect on the heritage. Hopefully our founder is smiling proudly on what we’ve become. Successful!!!

It has been a storied history and we look forward to adding to this history as we share the year with you. Come. Celebrate with us.

In closing, tomorrow is the new morning, the new beginning when your Board of Trustees will be setting goals and objectives for the new year. Few things are as important as taking the time to take stock of where we are right now, and why we are there. The analysis will be to review and evaluate what had been planned in making sure we are focused in the right direction. It will be time to get back to business because we have another year to build on the success of the past.

The efforts of all of our membership will bring about success.

Yes, “Each One Reach One”, make a link, make a connection, join together in the spirit of achievement. What each of us does will make a difference.

Our ADAA Board and staff express a commitment to you and the membership. We are “Mission Fit” to meet the diversification of our member needs. Together, we are committed to the health and welfare of the operations of this Association. We ask for your trust, support and continued guidance to achieve these goals.

Until we meet again in Nashville, Tennessee–safe travel and God Bless America.

Aloha! Mahalo!

Elections in Brief

Full coverage of the national annual conference will appear in the September/October issue of the Dental Assistant, but for your information, we present the results of the elections held in July at the conference:


Karen Waide, CDA, EFDA

Newberg, OR


Kay Mosley, CDA

Oklahoma City, OK

Vice President

Cathy J. Roberts, CDA, EFDA,


Bloomington, IN


Natalie Kaweckyj, RDA, CDA,


Minneapolis, MN

Immediate Past President

Cynthia K. Bradley, CDA,


Winter Park, FL

Second District Trustee

Sarah L. Gresko, CDA, RDA

Lincoln Park, NJ

Third District Trustee

Robin M. Caplan, CDA, QDT,


Owings Mills, MD

Sixth District Trustee

Angie M. Swatts, CDA, EFDA

Indianapolis, IN

Ninth District Trustee

Marthann Dafft

Dallas, TX

COPYRIGHT 2002 American Dental Assistants Association

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group