A Return to Normal

Ray Johnson, DMD, MAGD

This spring has been a wild ride full of ups, downs, and everything in between. The one constant seems to be the notion of a return to normal. However, before we look forward, we must look back. Our organization struggled to maintain its identity throughout the last year. Not enough credit can be given to our past president, Leigh Jacopetti-Kondraski, for keeping our organization running. Countless Zoom meetings, phone calls, and emails flooded from behind the scenes. It was a term like no other. Kudos should also be given to our Executive Director, Steve Neidlinger, and the Board of Directors for their roles.

As we move forward, we see a return to form, with our first live meetings in over a year, a welcomed site for an organization built on continuing education. Attendance was plentiful, but more importantly camaraderie was renewed. Our membership is our strongest asset, and live meetings allow us to learn and mentor. Learning and mentoring are the backbone of the PAGD and it is a relief to see it happening again.

The future of our organization looks bright once again, but this is not the time to pat ourselves on the back. We are once again under pressure from legislators, governing organizations, and insurance companies. As our profession struggled through the pandemic, insurance companies and their PPO stronghold have dug in deeper. The financial influence on our ability to provide patient care is at an all-time high. Not allowing our professional care and reasoning to be dictated by an insurance company is at the forefront of our organization’s agenda.

As President, I will not project my thoughts on the organization, rather I will be the membership’s voice. I am here to represent all of you collectively. I have had many leaders and mentors to help drive my morals, and I could not be more excited to help the PAGD. Please reach out to me with concerns or opinions on all matters that face our profession and organization. I want to thank everyone for the warm welcome, and to our membership, I say, “Welcome back!”