WDA Trustee Election Q&A

Northwest Region 1
Dr. Rick Mueller
(Marshfield) |  curriculum vitae

  1. Why would you like to be a Wisconsin Dental Association trustee?
    Three years ago when I was elected as a trustee for central Wisconsin, it was my goal to keep our component members involved and engaged through me at the state level. Working with our component leaders and sending out e-newsletters, I believe I’ve been successful in representing central Wisconsin. I would like to build on those efforts in a second three-year term.

 

  1. What issues do you believe will shape the future of this organization?
    We depend on membership recruitment and engagement as the basis for all we do as national, state and component groups. In this practice environment, the challenge is making organized dentistry relevant. The second challenge is intrusion of special interest groups trying to reshape our professional landscape in the interest of access to care. The WDA must formulate and act on a strategy that challenges basic assumptions underlying these groups. We may not succeed and we should be prepared.  However, in defending our profession and being part of the solution, we will keep organized dentistry relevant and the voice for dentists.

 

Northeast Region 2
Dr. Chris Hansen
(Two Rivers) | curriculum vitae

  1. Why would you like to be a Wisconsin Dental Association trustee?

I have enjoyed the camaraderie and the experience of teamwork of working with fellow leaders in the WDA in helping to confront and address the challenges that we face in the dental profession and within our state organization. I feel the first term was more of a learning experience, trying to understand Board processes and getting to know trustees from all parts of the state. With this knowledge and experience, I feel I’m in a better position now to have real impact as a trustee.

  1. What issues do you believe will shape the future of this organization?

I feel the primary challenge we face, to be a relevant organization, is to maintain membership levels and more importantly improve membership engagement. The WDA and our Board of Trustees exist to serve the interest of our members as well as be the leading advocate for the oral health for residents of Wisconsin. We are facing epic change to our profession from a technical aspect as well as how dental care is delivered to our patients. In this transition period, we need to be at the table to help guide the change that will be coming. Organized dentistry needs to be engaged professionally, politically and legislatively to have the best possible outcome for our profession and for the health of our patients.

 

 

 

Greater Milwaukee Region 3
Dr. Cheska Avery-Stafford
(Waukegan, IL) | curriculum vitae

  1. Why would you like to be a Wisconsin Dental Association trustee?

I have actively participated in the WDA House of Delegates for ten years.  During this time I gained a better understanding of many of the issues facing organized dentistry, dentists and the public.  Those experiences solidified my desire to remain an active member of organized dentistry.  I have served various positions in organized dentistry, including most recently, President of my local component, the Greater Milwaukee Dental Association.  I feel that serving organized dentistry and the state of Wisconsin as Region 3 Trustee will allow me to utilize my experiences to continue to make a difference for my fellow colleagues and my profession.

  1. What issues do you believe will shape the future of this organization?

Membership has been an important issue over the past few years and though Wisconsin is making great strides in increasing membership numbers, I feel that this should remain a focus.  The leaders in organized dentistry have a duty to keep our membership informed and encourage active participation.  There is still much work to be done in educating our colleagues on the advantages of membership and ensuring that membership is relevant to every dentist in the state.   When more of our colleagues are members, we can be sure that we collectively make the appropriate decisions in regards to issues that affect all dentists, such as workforce, insurance, etc.

 

Southwest Region 4
Dr. Brian Watkins (Kenosha)| curriculum vitae

1. Why would you like to be a Wisconsin Dental Association trustee?

I have been a WDA delegate for the past 5 years and have seen how the legislative process works. I recognize the importance of the issues that are discussed and decided. Working in Mequon, Kenosha and Janesville, I feel qualified to represent the members of Region 4. With this background, I feel I can be a positive influence to help the “Tooth Party” meet future challenges. I assuredly want to try.

2. What issues do you believe will shape the future of this organization?

The growth of Dental Support Organizations will shape the future of the WDA. DSOs have become a permanent member of the dental practice landscape. We want the WDA to represent all Wisconsin dentists, so encouraging DSO dentists to join our organization is important. We need to show them the value of the WDA; the Professional Insurance Programs and Supply Source are two great new professional examples. If we show them the personal as well as professional benefits of joining, we can ensure they know they are welcome in our organization and that we can work together.

 

 

Southeast Region 5
Dr. Rachel Steele (Black River Falls) | curriculum vitae

  1. Why would you like to be a Wisconsin Dental Association trustee?

When I became a delegate six years ago, I didn’t realize all that the WDA and the board does for dentistry.  It is so important for everyone to be aware of what is happening with the political aspects and how we can affect the decisions that are made. My experiences have driven me to become more involved. I hope to continue my involvement by becoming a trustee.

  1. What issues do you believe will shape the future of this organization?

I feel that new dentist placement is one of the issues that we currently face. It has become increasingly more difficult to find a dentist willing to practice in rural areas. I practice in a small rural community. Our practice has been looking for a new partner for four years and I know we are not alone. I understand that working and living in a small community is not for everyone. I would like to be able to show the benefits of working and living in these areas.

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