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From sea to shining sea. (President's Page).

It occurs to me as I near the end of my term as ADAA President, that I've covered a lot of ground--literally and figuratively. The inauguration took place last August in New York City and ends in the tropical paradise of Hawaii. Truly, from sea to shining sea. With a great deal of activity and--I hope -accomplishment--in between.

We helped to strengthen our international ties through work with People-to-People's China program where we traveled with other dental assisting professionals to view the facilities and understand the challenges of dental assisting in the Chinese mainland. We aligned more closely with the Canadian Dental Assistants Association through the establishment of exchange memberships and we began plans for the next Internationale which will be held in 2003 in Nashville. We hosted a foreign delegation, this time from Germany at other times from Denmark, South Africa, Great Britain and Lithuania.

ADAA certainly broadened its global recognition this year with the signing of a contract to supply education to military and civilian dental assistants in the U.S. Army throughout the world. Over 2000 strong, they will be receiving our homestudy education and professional journals in this exciting new liaison. We truly believe that we are going global and extending the reach of our educational efforts to benefit patients everywhere.

And what of our own benefit? ADAA's mission includes developing self esteem and recognition for those in the dental assisting profession, and for that we enlist the help of every member, everywhere.

After the national tragedy of September 11, I wrote in the Journal that we were impressed by the response of our members who helped and offered to help at the New York and Washington sites. Typical dental assistants, doing their best to see that the team succeeds. I said it then and I'll say it now. You are not "just" dental assistants. There is no "just" in a professional job, well done. You don't have to be the leader of the team to be its most valuable member. Just be the best you can be!

During Dental Assistant Recognition Week I urged you to demand that the recognition be more than cake and coffee. Rather that it be a year round experience where the respect and remuneration you deserve is always present. Worth repeating: There are more and more alternatives developing for men and women seeking employment, and dental assisting becomes less attractive at lower pay levels. When the supply really dries up dentists will be doing more work alone or with untrained assistants and those dentists will be earning less money. This is not negativity, this is reality.

But let me end my term on a positive note. The year has sped by and given me an opportunity to get to know so many of you and to learn so much. But what I feel I have accomplished is to draw your attention to your own professional worth and contribution and to help the world share in this recognition. Thank you for affording me this opportunity.
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Title Annotation:Reoert of the outgoing president of ADAA
Author:Bradley, Cynthia K.
Publication:The Dental Assistant
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2002
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