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Letter to the ADA 2017 House of Delegates

Dear ADA Delegates and Alternate Delegates,

Thank you for serving as representatives in our 150+ year ADA Tripartite system at the ADA House of Delegates.

In our September 18, 2017 ADA News on page 11, an article entitled, “Revised ADA Bylaws Ready for HOD” discusses upcoming bylaws changes.  The article states, “In the end the task force identified for removal about 64 pages – nearly 80% of the existing Bylaws.” And then, “….it allows for the goal of making the ADA more nimble.”   And, …because placing the items (e.g.., former bylaws) in a newly created Governance Manual, they are amendable by a simple majority rather than a 2/3 vote required to amend the Bylaws.” (See article for exact language) Please note that these changes are major structural changes that erode the authority and power of the House of Delegates thereby fundamentally changing our organization!

Historically, our ADA HOD has been THE supreme decision-making body of our organization on ALL matters importantly including the budget, giving guidance to the ADA Board of Directors and Executive Director. Our own, Dr. Robert Anderton, past ADA President and attorney previously helped ensure the bylaws were well and thoughtfully written for authority and power to be by the House of Delegates. A checks and balance system is essential to protect our association from legal and financial harm. The House of Delegates has rejected many Board of Directors resolutions and proposals because the House of Delegates felt the ideas were not in the best interest of the Association.

Do we really want the authority of the House diluted at a time when dentistry is being challenged by dental insurance companies, dental Medicaid fraud, a push for non-clinical licensure, EEOC settlements by our own ADA at the cost of $1.95 million, hedge and equity funded dental practices that are illegal in many states, mid-level providers, etc.?  I believe these are important topics to be debated in the House of Delegates with healthy outcomes from worthwhile discussions. Aren’t these discussions more critical than ever before?

Placing decisions in a larger body protects the association from the politics of a smaller group, a self-serving individual seeking future political office, and individual operating outside the bylaws, or an executive director that acts without House of Delegate or Board of Director authority. In the past, in my opinion, we have had Executive Directors that have abused their power and hurt the Association financially. We need more introspection, not less. More information to the House and Delegations, not less. Have you read the details of the most recent EEOC settlement by our own ADA on the EEOC website?  Or any of the following articles: the Chicago Tribune article by Ally Marotti on April 21, 2017; HRE Daily article entitled “EEOC says CHRO, Lawyer were fired for Doing Their Jobs on April 24, 2017 by Jack Robinson; Reuters Westlaw News on Fri April 21, 2017 by Daniel Wiessner, “American Dental Association will pay $2 mill over firing of top lawyer, HR Director. Are you aware of Washington State and Massachusetts efforts in standing up against Delta Dental? Are you aware that insurance companies are owning dental practices?

The logical conclusion to enacting these changes is that the House is giving away its powers, allowing fewer individuals and/or the Executive Director to act in its name, and making our Association less representative of the grassroots members. Please vote to keep transparency, accountability, and the authority and supreme power in our House of Delegates.

Sincerely,

Concerned Dentists of Texas

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