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Thinking strategically

Dentists give input at Strategic Plan Open Forum


Strategizing for the future: Dr. James Stephens asks a question during the Strategic Plan Open Forum Nov. 1 at the ADA Annual Session in New Orleans. Members were asked to sound off on the Association's strategic plan for 2015-20, titled Members First 2020. Photo by EZ Event Photography
New Orleans—Helping all members succeed.

The new draft mission statement for the ADA, developed by the ADA Board of Trustees Strategic Plan Steering Committee, is simple and to the point.

"You say it twice, you'll never forget it," Dr. Hilton Israelson, chair of the planning committee, said Nov. 1 at the Strategic Plan Open Forum.

Nearly 150 people crowded a ballroom at the Hilton Riverside to hear about Members First 2020, the ADA's strategic plan for 2015-20. Dr. Israelson outlined a draft version of the core precepts, goals and objectives of the plan and audience members asked questions about the development of the plan going forward.

The planning committee opted to retain the current vision statement for the Association: "The ADA: To be the recognized leader in oral health." The new core values are commitment to members; integrity; excellence; commitment to the improvement of oral health; and science/evidence-based.

The new goals are:

• Membership: The ADA will increase member ownership and investment.

• Finance: The ADA will maintain financial sustainability.

• Organizational capacity: The ADA will have sufficient organizational capacity necessary to meet member needs. 

The new objectives include:

• Increasing member market share to at least 70 percent of active licensed dentists;

• A 10 percent increase in assessment of member value from membership;

• Increasing the public's perception of ADA members;

• Unrestricted liquid reserves will equal no less than 50 percent of operating expenses;

• Nondues revenue will be at least 65 percent of the total revenue;

• The roles and responsibilities of each element of the tripartite will be clearly defined and agreed upon.

Dr. Ted Sherwin, of Virginia, wanted to explore the objective on the tripartite and asked committee members how the ADA plans to involve all levels of the tripartite in the strategic plan so that it's not just focused at ADA Headquarters.

"The tripartite is an integral part of the new program," Dr. Israelson said.

Dr. Allen Hindin, of Danbury, Conn., encouraged the planning committee to develop a plan that the House of Delegates will be on board with.

"I've seen a lot of planes crash and burn at the House of Delegates over the years," Dr. Hindin said. "You have to get the delegates to believe in the value and importance of change. It won't work otherwise."

A focus group was held Nov. 1 with members to discuss the plan and committee members will meet with ADA staff and hold a webinar with state executives this month. The Board of Trustees will review and vote on the initial plan in April, which will then be used as a working document to develop the budget. The Board will grant final approval in July, Dr. Israelson said.