President’s Message: Better Together

Apr 12, 2021

By: Kayleigh Temple

2020 was the year of unexpected changes.  2021 is turning out to be somewhat similar with a massive snowstorm resulting in office closures, power outages, and a week of winter wonderland.  I think we can all agree that unexpected moments of free time can be huge blessings – these moments give us time to press pause, reset, and readjust, not to mention the fun memories we get to enjoy with our friends and families.  However, the stress of the unknown in these situations can be significant, as well.  As the snow started to accumulate, I heard from several of our colleagues.  Dr. Rossall called to tell me he had plenty of salt for my sidewalks.  Dr. Stansbury generously volunteered to keep an eye on our offices as they’re right across the street from each other.  I talked to a few others who knew my husband, the game warden, would be out and about and know about road conditions.  And I really enjoyed seeing all of the snow photos flooding social media pages, displaying the pure joy of our children running through this once-in-a-lifetime amount of snow in East Texas.  All of this got me thinking… 

We have an incredibly unique community of dentists in this area.  From Tyler to Longview, Lufkin to Mineola – our district covers a huge piece of Texas, and we benefit from the small-town feel that permeates our area.  There is a collective sense of community.  There is a desire to serve our patients well.  There is an exceptionally broad range of dental experience as well as a vested interest in encouraging each other to grow as dentists as evidenced by the vast number of members who regularly attend our meetings.  In the world of growing commercialization and corporate empires, East Texas continues to thrive as the exception to the rule in many ways.  Our strong membership in the East Texas Dental Society is an example of this.   Some may argue that the TDA and ADA failed to deliver during Covid.  I would counter that though the TDA response was imperfect, it has continued to evolve, improve, and provide a collective voice for the practice of dentistry in Texas.  We are better together.  Our voice is louder when it is amplified by the voices of many.  Our worth is more obvious when our collective actions show our desire to help our patients and communities.  

If you’re reading this and you’re not a member, I implore you to join us.  The local benefits you gain through the East Texas Dental Society far outweigh any downside risks, even financial.  If you’re not sure, any one of us on the ETDS board would be happy to sit down and talk about it.  Call me.  Call Mark Camp, Caleb Rossall, or Delaine Daniels.  Call Lynette Ogletree or Madison Mack.  We want to help you achieve success in dentistry.  We want to be your colleagues.  We want you to have access to the network we have built here.  The Golf Meeting in April is an excellent opportunity for you to come try us out.  The meeting is free for all dentists in our area and a great way to get to know our group.  

In 2021, I hope our society continues to grow as we welcome new members at every point in their career, from those just graduating to those eyeing retirement.  We are an inclusive group of good dentists; let us continue to be so for each other and for our communities.  It has been my distinct pleasure to serve as your president, even in this odd world of covid, snowstorms, and power outages when we have had limited opportunity to see one another.  I look forward to continuing to serve our society in years to come and welcome seeing everyone at the April Golf Meeting.