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Professional development through local connections.

As a member of your professional association, It is obvious that you take ride in your career development and realize that a strong alliance with other professionals is the key to personal and professional growth. The ADAA offers many opportunities for networking with other dental assistants and dental professionals through national and state conferences, newsletters, journals, and various other exchanges. But did you know that the most valuable tool the ADAA can offer any member is a local connection to other members with your same goals and aspirations?

Cooperative relationships are known to be one of the most effective means by which an individual can achieve highest potential while affecting the success of the group's common goal. This is exactly what ADAA is all about. While the ADAA gives you the opportunity to connect, though distant, with other dental assistants and dental professionals through your state and national association, a highly significant and beneficial cooperative resource exists within your immediate circle of professionals. Are you tapping into this opportunity for professional growth? Are you networking with your immediate circle of fellow dental assistants and other dental professionals in order to share the wealth of knowledge and experience each of you has to offer the other?

Don't miss the boat! The ADAA offers its members a wonderful opportunity through local organizations to tap this valuable resource for professional development. The local organization is the grass roots of the ADAA and represents the dental assisting profession to the local community while providing educational programs that promote the personal and professional growth of its members. ADAA local organizations have the power to stimulate an interest in dental assisting for those people in search of a new, meaningful career. Local organizations have the ability to positively affect their own neighborhoods through community involvement and volunteerism while assisting with the global issue regarding access to dental care. There is so much that can be gained when a motivated group comes together! Isn't that why you joined the ADAA?

You have no ADAA local organization in your area? Then take the initiative and start it yourself. It is so easy and your ADAA Council on Governance and State Association are here to help you do just that. There are several small steps in getting your local organization off and running and then you and your colleagues can begin reaping the rewards of your professional affiliation. The ADAA has a packet with all the forms and documents needed that will help you through the entire process. In a nutshell, here is all you have to do:

* Establish a committee of five to seven interested dental assistants to get the ball rolling and select a temporary chairman. Make sure you all have joined the ADAA. Set a time for your first meeting to establish your goals and objectives for starting this new local organization.

* Contact prospective members and invite them to your first meeting. Call on local dental offices and speak to the clinical assistants and practice management assistants, let them know this organization will exist for them. Also check with your state association secretary and see if there are other ADAA members already living in your area. (Your state secretary will have a roster of all current ADAA members in the state.)

* Contact your State President and ADAA District Trustee and invite them to the organizational meeting. They need to be informed of the efforts to begin this new local society.

At the first meeting discuss your objectives, select a name for your new organization, appoint a bylaws committee, and appoint a nominating committee. (Again, the packet will have all the materials to lead these committees in their tasks.) Announce the time and place for the next meeting.

Prior to the second meeting file IRS form SS-4 (Application for Employer Identification Number), develop the bylaws or rules of governance, and obtain a slate of candidates for the organization's officers. Remember, all candidates must be ADAA members. (A copy of this form will be included in your kit.)

At the second meeting, the bylaws are adopted and officers are elected, then installed. Sample Bylaws and sample Rules of Governance are included in the kit for guidance.

Now the local organization is ready to affiliate with the state association and the ADAA. An officer from the new local forwards to ADAA and the State Association copies of the "Motion to Affiliate" form, a list of charter ADAA members and officers, the bylaws or Rules of Governance of the local organization, and a list of the state's zip codes that the local organization will service.

Once the bylaws or Rules of Governance are approved by the ADAA Council on Governance, the ADAA will send an official letter to the new local organization and state association recognizing the formal affiliation of the group with the ADAA unless objection is received from the state association.

Now, isn't that easy? What are you waiting for? Take advantage of all the resources your professional association has to offer you. Be the best you can be by participating in your local organization while at the same rime advancing the practice of dental assisting toward the highest standards of performance obtainable.

Kimberly Bland, CDA, EFDA, is Chairman of ADAA's Council on Governance and ADAA Secretary. She is program instructor at Manatee Technical Institute, Bradenton, Florida.
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Title Annotation:American Dental Association
Author:Bland, Kimberly
Publication:The Dental Assistant
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2004
Previous Article:Fellowship in the ADAA.
Next Article:The many forms of life, special memberships.

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