A Jacksonville dentist recently accepted the American Dental Association (ADA) National Golden Apple Award for Outstanding New Dentist Committee on behalf of the Arkansas State Dental Association.

Dr. Jordan Cooper is the Chair of the Arkansas State Dental Association’s New Dentist Committee.

Cooper said he was pleased that the Arkansas chapter earned the 2012 Outstanding New Dentist Committee Award.

"We were very proud to receive the award from the American Dental Association," Cooper said.

Recently, members of ASDA were invited to dinner with reporter Joe Klein. Klein has a long-standing, recognized career in political writing. Klein may be best known for writing the book Primary Colors which was later made into a feature film starring John Travolta.

In the fall of 2011, Klein embarked on a South to North road trip through the heartland of American. During this trip, Klein stopped at a handful of locations, including an intimate dinner hosted by ASDA President Jim Phillips in Jonesboro.

Of the five guests Phillips invited, one was a new dentist, Dr. Beth Bowen, and another was the staff liaison to the New Dentist Committee, Drew Ramey. The discussions that took place were not dental exclusive and the opinions of each attendee were not necessarily of the Arkansas State Dental Association. Phillips ensured that the New Dentist Committee had a seat at the table for a rare opportunity to be interviewed by a world renowned reporter.

In the Oct. 24th issue of Time, Klein’s extensive article "The Return of the Silent Majority: Yes, you can hear it above the noise on the left and the right," featured comments from that dinner. Under the leadership of Phillips, the ASDA made certain the New Dentist was at the political table.

In 2011, Cooper, New Dentist Committee Chair, developed contents for a booklet dubbed, "Everything You Need to Succeed "for new dentists. Cooper’s goal was to create one resource that contained basic information a new dentist typically has to find on his/her own.

The contents of the publication include the organizational structure of ASDA, loan forgiveness, basic business tips, a checklist including all necessary permits, contacts for various important agencies and more

To date, the new dentist committee has distributed 50 copies to new dentists who are recently licensed by the board and to others through New Dentist Committee contact, Cooper said.

Additional copies will be sent to all Arkansas students attending dental school. The Arkansas New Dentist Committee would like to make an editable version of Everything You Need to Succeed available to all constituent societies.

Cooper also created the Arkansas New Dentist Committee Facebook Page. Found at www.facebook.com/pages/Arkansas-State-Dental-Association-New-Dentist Committee/133293796736862. It currently has 75 Likes and growing.

"Social Media is used to improve and increase communication, especially among our New Dentists," Cooper said.

In Spring 2011, Cooper presented his plans to attend the 2011 ADA New Dentist Conference to the ASDA Executive Council. Based on the Cooper’s excitement and future vision for the New Dentist Committee, the Future Focus for Dental Leadership group offered $750 for reimbursement to all Arkansans attending the conference. Eight members and one staff were afforded the incentive. 2011 was the highest participation rate for Arkansas dentists at the ADA New Dentist Conference, Jordan said.

Cooper also organized the first annual Professional Development Workshop for new dentists at the ASDA headquarters. Most of the attendees had not visited the ASDA headquarters and were glad to see their building. The Workshop provided 4.5 free CE credit hours in: oral surgery, endodontic, lab techniques, dental practice management, and organized dentistry. In addition, a presentation on the basics of financial investments was provided. 20 new dentists participated and all costs were incurred by the New Dentist Committee. Following the workshop, participants were invited to watch college football with pizza and drinks provided by the New Dentist Committee.

Phillips and Cooper organized the first annual Leadership Academy. The workshop was held in conjunction with the 2011 Fall Seminar. There was no charge for participation and all costs were incurred by Future Focus for Dental Leadership and the Arkansas State Dental Association. 15 individuals representing all districts in Arkansas attended a half-day leadership seminar administered by Ashleigh Rosette, Ph D. from Duke University, The Fuqua School of Business.

Participants were placed in group decision scenarios, presented with effective leadership techniques, and were allowed open exchange for questions. At the conclusion, Phillips challenged all New Dentist attendees to become active with the New Dentist Committee and seek leadership positions within the ASDA.

Jordan said the New Dentists Committee is also working on projects for community outreach. For six years, the Annual Arkansas Mission of Mercy (ArMOM) has been held in Jonesboro. Since ArMOM was started in 2007, over 8,084 patients have been seen in only ten total clinic days. The number of procedures performed has been phenomenal: 15,967 extractions and 7,738 fillings.