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IDA introduces Dr. John Roberts as new president


President John Roberts - President's Speech 2012-2013.

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Dental Association honored Dr. John R. Roberts, a dentist from Connersville, Ind., at its 2012 Annual Session in Indianapolis at the Hyatt Regency.

Dr. Roberts, a 1982 graduate of the Indiana University School of Dentistry, is a member of the Eastern District Dental Society and practices in Connersville.

In his presidential address, Dr. Roberts said advocacy on behalf of patients must continue to be a priority in the year ahead.

"Advocacy for both our profession and the health of all Hoosiers will always remain the top priority for the Indiana Dental Association," Dr. Roberts said. "Putting our patients first will always put us on the right side of every issue."

The Indiana Dental Association introduced Dr. Roberts as the new president at its 154th Annual Session, held at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis downtown June 6-9, 2012.

The following is an excerpt from an interview with Dr. John Roberts that appears in the summer 2012 issue of the Journal Indiana Dental Association:

IDA: What will be your primary focus as IDA President for the coming year?

Roberts: In addition to my predecessors’ ongoing efforts to improve communications and promote advocacy, we must also turn our eyes toward membership trends, which pose a growing and grave concern for the Indiana Dental Association. These trends are reflected at the national level, as well. Of course the state and national levels of organized dentistry can only do so much to provide resources strongly perceived by members to be valuable; perhaps the hardest work must be done at the component level.

IDA: How is the face of IDA membership changing?

Roberts: Membership trends are different today than they were when the majority of IDA members joined. Dentists from my generation, the “Baby Boomers,” joined the IDA because it was expected of us. It was the “right thing” to do. Just as important was the fact that someone personally invited us to a local meeting and made us feel welcome.

IDA: What mindset changes are necessary, then, for the Association to adapt to these new membership trends?

Roberts: While I believe belonging to the IDA is still the right thing to do, and that collegial acceptance and inclusion will always be an essential value of membership, there are serious factors at play in how our new generation of dentists approach membership in organized dentistry. These sharp young individuals need to be shown the value of being a member upfront, rather than gradually witnessing across their careers the lifelong benefits of belonging to the IDA. It's our job to do that, so we have to rethink how we "sell" membership, and we have to deliver real, tangible value to members from day one.

IDA: What are the non-negotiable benefits of being an IDA member, despite the changes you hope to bring about?

Roberts: I would hope that when someone joins this incredible community known as organized dentistry, it is to not only “do the right thing,” but to reap the benefits of camaraderie, professional growth in every aspect of dental practice and, then, to help influence the future of our beloved profession for those who follow in our footsteps. 

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Will Sears, Director of Communications

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