FEBRUARY/MARCH 2020 PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE:
by Glenda G. Owen, DDS
Ahhh…. Spring has sprung. Although, as usual in Houston, spring has been popping up periodically all winter. Funny how we never really put away our shorts and flip flops. You never know when you will need them, even in January.
This is also the busy time for the Greater Houston Dental Society. As I write this message, we are just days away from our biggest event of the year – the Star of the South Dental Meeting at the George R Brown Convention Center. The Star of the South is two days of excellent continuing education for dentists and their teams and an opportunity to visit vendors who have the latest equipment and products. Add in few social gatherings and you have a recipe for a fun and professionally
valuable event. This meeting requires a huge team effort by the Star Council and Chairs under the leadership of Dr. Brian Machart. They are Dr. Karen Walters, Dr. Shelley Seidel, Dr. Stephen Laman, Dr. Ed Sauer, Dr. Gary Frey, Dr. David Fray, Dr. Glennis Katzmark and Dr. Carol Price. But the real stars behind the scenes are Ms. Charlotte Bolls and the rest of the GHDS staff - Ms. Jayne Fuller, Ms. Jennifer Smith and Ms. Della Goodson. They work tirelessly and seemingly around the clock getting all the details finalized for a great event.
This year’s Give Kids a Smile (GKAS) was scheduled for Friday, March 6, soon after the Star of the South. February is Children’s Dental Health month but since we have the Star of the South in February, we opted to hold GKAS in March. However, due to concerns regarding the novel coronavirus/COVID-19, the Give Kids A Smile event had been cancelled. The Pediatric and Endodontic Clinics and Radiology
Department at UTSD, along with the aid of several providers from the community, were still able to treat 33 patients who showed up onsite that morning. This is a true community effort. Each year, UTSD Houston hosts the event and other organizations like GHDS, through our Dental Health Committee, share in organizational guidance and recruiting volunteers. Special thanks to the GHDS Dental Health Committee chaired by Dr. Victoria Vo and Dr. Heston Young and the UTSD team led by Dr. Margo Melchor and Dr. Kimberly Ruona. Other partners are HISD and Community In Schools, San Jose Clinic, PIMA Medical Institute of Houston, Yellowstone Academy, Houston Asian American Dental Society and the Association of Vietnamese American Dentists. Supplies were provided by the American Dental Association and a grant from the Delta Dental Community Cares Foundation helped to support
many operational expenses from the event. What a great service to kids in need and a great opportunity for our volunteers to care for children whose dental decay may be impacting their focus in school and their daily lives.
March is the beginning of new leadership for the GHDS staff. We welcome Ms. Deanna Menneses as our new Executive Director. Deanna moved to Houston from Louisiana in early March. She is a Certified
Association Executive who began her career in 1992 with the Louisiana Academy of Family Physicians and LAFP Foundation. Her career has taken her as far north as Vancouver, Washington and as far south as Tallahassee, Florida and included a stint in Austin. The common denominator has been health care. She has been the executive director for associations representing physicians, nurses, pharmacists among others. She brings a wealth of knowledge to the job, and we were delighted to hear glowing recommendations from her former employers. She will be introduced in person at the April general meeting. Thank you to the members of the Search Committee for their contributions in the search for an Executive Director. The members are Dr. Rihl Buckley, Dr. Joe Piazza, Dr. Rita Cammarata, Dr. Adam Shisler and Mrs.Lana Armstrong.
A word of high praise goes to Ms. Charlotte Bolls who stepped in as acting Executive Director for 10 months during the search process. Charlotte’s regular job as meeting planner is challenging enough especially considering the Star of the South, but she handled the additional ED duties with grace and professionalism. Thank you, Charlotte. We are so lucky to have you on our team!