ISSUE 42: FALL 2023
Dr. Kayleigh Eaves Temple, Editor

Community:

a group of people who share common culture or heritage. 

The East Texas Dental Society has suffered several losses of longstanding pillars of our community in the recent past. The passing of Dr. Marvin Stephens followed shortly thereafter by Dr. Barry Acker has been unexpected and heartbreaking for many of our members. Though Dr. Acker had been enjoying retirement for several years and Dr. Stephens was easing into his retirement phase, both of these men leave long-lasting legacies within our society.

In this issue of the newsletter, we will take time to focus on the legacy of these two members of our community with remembrances from colleagues that highlight the joy of camaraderie in our field. May they both rest in peace.

The East Texas dental world has suffered some real losses of late.

First of all, Dr. Marvin Stephens, orthodontist from Tyler, died tragically at an home accident. Making things even multiply worse- his son Tray has passed away several months before, and his son Cory (also an orthodontist) also passed away several weeks later. We all need to extend to Penny, and extended family our deepest sympathies to this almost unbelievable loss.

Last week, Dr. Barry Acker was involved in a four wheeler accident in Colorado, and tragically lost his life. Barry had been retired for several years, but was still active with his hunting and exploring. We need to keep his widow, Lina, in our hearts as she deals with this loss.

Both of these men meant a lot to the East Texas Dental community, with their leadership  and commitment to patient care. Personally, I was involved with both men and our dealings were always pleasant and positive. Our world is a little smaller and darker today. We will miss both of these men!
Rick Coker, DDS

Barry G. Acker, DDS

When a friend and colleague passes away, it is a sad time, but the funeral includes a memorial service to celebrate a life.  Barry Acker was involved in a tragic accident resulting in his death in the mountains near Marble,  Colorado related to a mechanical failure in an all-terrain vehicle.  In a short memoriam, it is not possible to cover the fullness of Barry’s life, but he remained positive in outlook through both the good times and the unexpected twists and turns of life everyone experiences. 

Barry had a personality to quickly turn strangers into friends from their first introduction whether they were patients or members of the community.  His outgoing personality developed from being a cheerleader at TCU.   My wife and I took Barry and his wife to a TCU football game, his first in 30 years.  We were amazed at how many people (>10) recognized Barry and stopped to renew past friendships while walking to the seats.  Many  of us who are golfers had the opportunity to join Barry for golf outings with other dentists at Barton Creek in Austin.  I was always impressed with the relationships he had developed with all levels of employees  at various Austin restaurants and the happiness they displayed as he asked about their families.  If you were his friend, he wanted you to enjoy life with him.  He and his wife Lina had a lifestyle of more life in their years rather than more years of life.

The call of the outdoors was a big part of Barry’s life.  His trips varied from fishing in the Cook Islands to 10 day trips on horseback with one guide hunting in the Canadian Rockies.  He frequently went elk hunting in New Mexico and on fishing trips in the East Texas region.  Typical for Barry, he helped his wife develop into an excellent shot and elk hunter.  When you went to their house for dinner, there would usually be at least one dish with meat they had harvested from a hunting trip.

Barry’s college experience was at TCU followed by his graduation from Baylor College of Dentistry.  He subsequently started a general dentistry practice in Fort Worth,  but after 4 years his interest in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery drew him to Dallas where he completed his residency at Southwestern/Parkland.  He then came to Tyler where practiced for 39 years.  He developed collegial relationships with his friends in the dental community. 

For those of us who knew Barry, there is sadness at his passing.  However, we can all say that our lives were better because he was in them. 

John Adcock, DDS

I was blessed to have Barry spend the last 3 years of his career in this office before he retired.  We had a fantastic time taking care of patients and helping each other with challenging cases.  This actually started 25 years ago when I was finishing my training, and it continued through the years, each in our own offices.  But the last 3 years was a bonus for me, spending extra time with him every day.  

What I love about Barry was how much he cared for people, patients, staff, family.  His heart was enormous and he showed it daily with his smile, and on occasion, tears.  I miss that man.

Will Parks, DDS, MD

What a wonderful friend and mentor. Over the years, we shared many patients and Barry’s contribution was always the same. Without fail he knew their families, he knew their story, he knew what made their circumstance unique and he knew how to make their solution unique. On any given day when I heard, “Dr. Acker is on the phone,” it was followed by that unmistakable voice, “Chipper, I need your help with something.”  He would guide me through that particular patient’s story, who they were, and the reasons why we care. The precise dental need of the patient at hand was secondary to Barry. He had a special kind of compassion and interest in our patient’s stories that displayed the man he truly was at heart. That is what he showed me and that is the legacy of Dr. Barry Acker in practice and in life. Thank you, Barry. 

Chip Swinney, DDS

Remembering Barry:  

Barry was my classmate.  He excelled in everything that he tried.  And he cost me LOTS OF MONEY!!

In 1991, Barry decides that we need to load up our horses and go camp out in the Pala Dura Canyon and look at Texas from horseback… my horse is a Tennessee Walker made for long comfortable rides.  We’re having dinner in a small town on the southeast end of the canyon at a local cafe.  A rancher and his wife notice that we’re strangers and strikes up a conversation.  By the end of the dinner, the rancher has invited us to help gather cattle and brand all the stuff associated with roundups.  It was the dream come tru.  The roundup was done just like they did 100 years ago… wild cows on a huge ranch on the cap rock. 

So we get home and I of course now need a real cow pony… and a bigger truck and a gooseneck trailer and aI need to build an arena and I need calves to practice roping and train my horse and we need to start competing in team penning… LOTS OF MONEY and LOTS OF FUN. 

Having lunch with Barry and he starts regaling me with the vignettes of prairie dog hunts in West Texas with long range rifles and all the skill involved in making the shots… It sounded like sniper training 101.  So of course I need multiple long range guns, laser range finder capable of accuracy out to 2500 meters, spotting scopes, reloading equipment for perfect sounds, suppressors, and all the other stuff that goes along with it. 

Yep, Barry cost me lots of money, but introduced me to lots of fun. 

Chris Freeman, DDS

Marvin G. Stephens Jr., DDS, MSD

Diplomate American Board of Orthodontics

04/05/1942 – 04/10/2023

MARVIN STEPHENS grew up in Fort Worth, Texas graduating from Paschal high School prior to attending Texas Tech University for his Pre Dental Studies. He then joined The United States Marine Corps, and served in the reserves for two years. After graduating with honors from Baylor College Of Dentistry, Marvin completed the Orthodontic Residency Training Program at Baylor College Dentistry in 1973.

Upon completion of his Orthodontic Training, Marvin and his wife, Penny, moved to Tyler, Texas establishing Stevens Orthodontics for which he practiced from 1973 to 2023. Marvin provided orthodontic services for East Texas with offices in Mineola and Lindale in addition to the main location in Tyler. He was joined in practice by his son, Cory Stephens DDS MSD creating Stephens and Stephens Orthodontics.

Professionally, Marvin was a member of the Tweed Society, the Angle Society, a Diplomat of the American Board of Orthodontics, Texas Dental Association, and was a Fellow of The Academy of General Dentistry. He served as President of The Smith County Dental Society, the Baylor Orthodontic Alumni Association, and The Robert Gaylord Study Club. He was actively involved in advanced study clubs his entire career.

Marvin was on the staff of Texas A&M Dental School Department of Orthodontics. He spent every Friday teaching Residents. He was a vibrant practitioner bringing the latest in orthodontic care of children and adults to East Texas. Marvin was particularly interested in the treatment of the cleft palate child and Oral and Facial Deformities.

Marvin and Penny raised their loving family, Trey, Cory and Brooke, in Tyler. The family enjoyed snow skiing and taking numerous beach trips. Weekends were spent at their lake house cruising the lake listening to Willie Nelson or at The Ranch hunting and cooking with family and friends.

Marvin was active in the Tyler Community. He was a charter member of The Tyler Centurion Club, long time member of The Tyler Lions Club, and The Order of The Rose. He was a member of Marvin Methodist Church and enjoyed ushering and teaching youth Bible Studies.

James Holton, DDS

President’s Message

By: Dr. Delaine Daniels

Each August, the board holds an annual strategic planning session.  This year as the incoming president, I assigned some homework:  in seven words or less, tell me your “why.”  Why do you volunteer to give your time to ETDS?  Baylor grads will remember Dr. Amp Miller repeating, “Our time is our most expensive resource.”

Posing this question at my first board meeting as President felt risky.  What answers would I get?  Would eyes roll?  Would I hear crickets?  My insecurities couldn’t have been further from reality. Dr. Mark Camp piped up first, “I want to stay connected.”  Whew, I exhaled, and my hives turned a less deep shade of red.  This played perfectly into the annual theme I planned to reveal next.  President Elect Dr. Madison Mack chimed in, “I want my region represented.” Me too I thought, and  immediately felt a kindred spirit in my successor! Personally, I want the dentists from the smaller towns of our district to have a seat at the table.  As we went around the room, board member after board member let down their guard and thoughtfully shared their personal points of view.  What I intended as a simple ice breaker to provoke board members to think ended up making me think!

Dr. Kayleigh Temple offered one of the most genuine and heartfelt answers, “I care about dentistry.”  WOW.  What a simple but powerful statement.  I think we all truly care about dentistry:  mostly we are concerned that our patients are treated like we want to be treated, and we recognize that sometimes quality dentistry requires more than knowledge and skill.

We care that we are able to well compensate our employees as they provide for their families.  It matters that we are reimbursed fairly for the work we love. We l care that our overhead is contained, we care that we can maintain affordable fees for our important services, and we care that we achieve reasonable work life balance. We care that our newest colleagues exiting dental school are afforded the same opportunities as ourselves, and we care that we are able to practice in the communities and settings of our own choice. We care about the healthcare of the aging and under privileged children, we care that we are able to practice free of intrusive government regulations, and we care that we are allowed to compete equitably with our colleagues. Bottom line- this is a group that REALLY CARES about dentistry.

Undoubtedly, dentistry is changing.  We as small business professionals have limited defenses against big insurance, big government, and big business.  One of our few resources is to connect and stay organized.  As members, it’s imperative to maintain your membership, it MATTERS that you show up for quarterly meetings, it’s important to encourage your leaders. Your thoughts, ideas and opinions are meaningful, and it’s important to play an active role.  I know that under the incoming leadership of Dr. Madison Mack and others, this district will always endeavor to prepare excellent clinicians, provide useful resources, and protect the interests of our members. 

Each August, the board holds an annual strategic planning session.  This year as the incoming president, I assigned some homework:  in seven words or less, tell me your “why.”  Why do you volunteer to give your time to ETDS?  Baylor grads will remember Dr. Amp Miller repeating, “Our time is our most expensive resource.”

Posing this question at my first board meeting as President felt risky.  What answers would I get?  Would eyes roll?  Would I hear crickets?  My insecurities couldn’t have been further from reality. Dr. Mark Camp piped up first, “I want to stay connected.”  Whew, I exhaled, and my hives turned a less deep shade of red.  This played perfectly into the annual theme I planned to reveal next.  President Elect Dr. Madison Mack chimed in, “I want my region represented.” Me too I thought, and  immediately felt a kindred spirit in my successor! Personally, I want the dentists from the smaller towns of our district to have a seat at the table.  As we went around the room, board member after board member let down their guard and thoughtfully shared their personal points of view.  What I intended as a simple ice breaker to provoke board members to think ended up making me think!

Dr. Kayleigh Temple offered one of the most genuine and heartfelt answers, “I care about dentistry.”  WOW.  What a simple but powerful statement.  I think we all truly care about dentistry:  mostly we are concerned that our patients are treated like we want to be treated, and we recognize that sometimes quality dentistry requires more than knowledge and skill.

We care that we are able to well compensate our employees as they provide for their families.  It matters that we are reimbursed fairly for the work we love. We l care that our overhead is contained, we care that we can maintain affordable fees for our important services, and we care that we achieve reasonable work life balance. We care that our newest colleagues exiting dental school are afforded the same opportunities as ourselves, and we care that we are able to practice in the communities and settings of our own choice. We care about the healthcare of the aging and under privileged children, we care that we are able to practice free of intrusive government regulations, and we care that we are allowed to compete equitably with our colleagues. Bottom line- this is a group that REALLY CARES about dentistry.

Undoubtedly, dentistry is changing.  We as small business professionals have limited defenses against big insurance, big government, and big business.  One of our few resources is to connect and stay organized.  As members, it’s imperative to maintain your membership, it MATTERS that you show up for quarterly meetings, it’s important to encourage your leaders. Your thoughts, ideas and opinions are meaningful, and it’s important to play an active role.  I know that under the incoming leadership of Dr. Madison Mack and others, this district will always endeavor to prepare excellent clinicians, provide useful resources, and protect the interests of our members. 

Legislative Update

By: Dr. Mark Camp

The TDA legislative agenda was very successful during the 88th legislative session.  Our volunteers and lobbyists achieved significant accomplishments, benefitting all Texas dentists.  These accomplishments further underscore the importance of continued involvement and membership in organized dentistry. The key legislative matters are outlined as follows:

I. Insurance

TDA-backed HB 1527 (1) restricts state-regulated insurance plans from recovering over payments made to dentists; (2) prohibits denying dental benefits and restricting fee collection; and (3) mandates fair network leasing for state-regulated insurance carriers, granting dentists the right to review contracts before opting out of an insurance network. 

Further, HB 290 expands MEWA eligibility to sole proprietors and professional organizations within the same state. TDA’s insurance vendor is researching potential MEWA healthcare options for TDA members, their families, and staff.  This is a big win as members will soon have access to lower-cost medical insurance plans.

II. Hygienist Administration of Local Anesthetic

TDA’s efforts led to the passage of HB 3824, allowing Texas dentists to delegate the administration of local infiltration anesthetic to Texas-licensed dental hygienists under direct supervision.  

III. Guarded Dentists from Onerous Patient Billing Requirements

SB 490 was amended to exempt dentists from itemized patient billing requirements. The legislation now focuses only on requiring hospitals to provide itemized bills to patients upon request.  Without getting this exemption, dentist would have been required to give itemized bills for all materials used, like anesthetic, cotton rolls, impression materials, etc.

IV. Licensure Compact Study

At TDA’s recommendation, the legislature will continue to study dental workforce distribution in Texas and the implications of participating in the Dentist and Dental Hygienist Interstate Licensure Compact before making a decision. 

V. Access to Dental Care

SB 1854 mandates the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) to offer an optional insurance plan for dental care to all TRS retirees, dependents, and surviving spouses and dependent children. 

VI. Medicaid Funding

Despite TDA’s efforts, the legislature declined to support the initiative for a Medicaid dental fee budget increase. However, TDA successfully safeguarded Medicaid and CHIP dental funding from budget cuts.

The TDA legislative agenda was very successful during the 88th legislative session.  Our volunteers and lobbyists achieved significant accomplishments, benefitting all Texas dentists.  These accomplishments further underscore the importance of continued involvement and membership in organized dentistry. The key legislative matters are outlined as follows: 

I. Insurance

TDA-backed HB 1527 (1) restricts state-regulated insurance plans from recovering over payments made to dentists; (2) prohibits denying dental benefits and restricting fee collection; and (3) mandates fair network leasing for state-regulated insurance carriers, granting dentists the right to review contracts before opting out of an insurance network. 

Further, HB 290 expands MEWA eligibility to sole proprietors and professional organizations within the same state. TDA’s insurance vendor is researching potential MEWA healthcare options for TDA members, their families, and staff.  This is a big win as members will soon have access to lower-cost medical insurance plans.

II. Hygienist Administration of Local Anesthetic

TDA’s efforts led to the passage of HB 3824, allowing Texas dentists to delegate the administration of local infiltration anesthetic to Texas-licensed dental hygienists under direct supervision.  

III. Guarded Dentists from Onerous Patient Billing Requirements

SB 490 was amended to exempt dentists from itemized patient billing requirements. The legislation now focuses only on requiring hospitals to provide itemized bills to patients upon request.  Without getting this exemption, dentist would have been required to give itemized bills for all materials used, like anesthetic, cotton rolls, impression materials, etc.

IV. Licensure Compact Study

At TDA’s recommendation, the legislature will continue to study dental workforce distribution in Texas and the implications of participating in the Dentist and Dental Hygienist Interstate Licensure Compact before making a decision. 

V. Access to Dental Care

SB 1854 mandates the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) to offer an optional insurance plan for dental care to all TRS retirees, dependents, and surviving spouses and dependent children. 

VI. Medicaid Funding

Despite TDA’s efforts, the legislature declined to support the initiative for a Medicaid dental fee budget increase. However, TDA successfully safeguarded Medicaid and CHIP dental funding from budget cuts.

SEPTEMBER SPEAKER SPOTLIGHT:

KAREN DAW

MBA, CECM, CDIPC

Karen Daw, is committed to helping professionals and teams create a culture of safety throughout the world.

As a speaker, consultant, and OSHA authorized trainer, Karen infuses hands-on activities, exercises, insightful stories, and dental and medical-specific examples into her work. From the two-person practice to 1,000-person audiences, Karen helps healthcare organizations enhance their safety and compliance.

Karen is the esteemed author of countless safety and compliance articles in dentistry and medicine. Even more, she is a contributor to the Center for Disease Control’s dental infection control app.

She has led international audiences through continuing education courses while consulting on various compliance and safety projects. Karen completed her education and worked at the Ohio State University, serving as the Assistant Director for the Sterilization Monitoring Service and Director of Clinic Health and Safety within the College of Dentistry. She completed an MBA program focused on management and healthcare administration.

She’s engaged in the Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention (OSAP), a range of speakers bureaus, and professional societies.

As a result of Karen’s work, professionals across the globe have gained the confidence to meet regulatory standards, implement lean processes, create safer work environments, provide excellent care, and maintain the bottom line.

Comply with Me: Take OSHA and Infection Control to New Heights

Discover the ultimate safety training that ticks all the boxes! Meet your annual OSHA training requirement and earn CE credit for Infection Control – all while keeping your team super safe. With a dash of fresh mountain breeze vibes, we’ll breathe new life into your compliance program. Get ready to rev up your safety program like a finely tuned sports car!

Join “The OSHA Lady” Karen Daw for a fun and efficient workshop tailored exclusively for dental healthcare professionals. Prepare for an entertaining, interactive, and potentially life-saving experience as we tackle essential topics like hand hygiene, instrument sterilization, and PPE. Leave those OSHA and CDC binders on the shelf and let Karen guide your team toward safety success!

Learning Objectives
  1. Discuss key standards and recommendations from OSHA and the CDC that will keep your dental office up to date on the latest guidelines and requirements.
  2. List simple tweaks to save time and money each year in instrument reprocessing and give the dental practice hours back in productivity.
  3. Review checklists and resources to streamline procedures, reduce liability, and enhance safety for the well-being of team members, patients, and the practice.

JOIN US FOR OUR 4TH ANNUAL MEMBER DENTIST CHRISTMAS PARTY

UPCOMING EVENTS:

April 19, 2024

Speaker: J. William Robbins, D.D.S., M.A
Topic: A 50 Year Retrospective - My Failures and Lessons Learned
Location: The Summit Club
3700 Judson Rd., Longview, TX 75605
GOOGLE MAPS | APPLE MAPS
Interactive Zoom Available
Registration: 8-8:30
Class: 8:30-3:30
CE Credits: 6
Lunch provided for Doctors and Staff

Cost:
See Sidebar for info

September 20, 2024

Speaker: Dr. Kitrina G. Cordell, DDS
Topic: Pathology
Location: Green Acres Baptist Church - Crosswalk Center
Interactive Zoom Available
Registration: 8-8:30
Class: 8:30-3:30
CE Credits: 6

Cost:
See Sidebar for info

CE Requirements
for Dentists

Click Here for Details

CE Requirements
for Hygienists

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CE Requirements
for Assistants

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