Yeehhaaaawwww! That was the cowboy’s yell that opened our November conference, Identifying & Managing At-Risk Populations, on November 5th & 6th at the Carefree Resort and Conference Center in Carefree, Arizona. I’ll admit it; yours truly got a bit carried away. And it didn’t stop with the yell! After that opener, our conference attendees were introduced to “Grizzly,” “007,” “Fuzzy,” “Super Deepak,” and “Mountie.” To get the “cowboy lore” on whose names those are, you will need to attend our April 2011 conference.
I am proud and pleased to announce that November’s conference was a successful and valuable experience from all the comments and feedback we received. From your responses, we also learned a great deal about how and what we can do better for both our conference attendees and our exhibitor partners. You will see a number of improvements at our April 8 & 9, 2011 conference, Multi-Disciplinary Treatment of Sleep-Disordered Breathing, which will be held out here in Scottsdale, AZ. Our exact location will be forthcoming.

Dr. Gilles Lavigne and Dr. David Gozal, two of our distinguished speakers at our November conference, resonated powerfully with the attendees. Our other speakers covered many topics that kept the audience interested and engaged. Our own Dr. Deepak Shrivastava engaged the group with a presentation about the future of sleep medicine.

Dr. Nick Gidwani gave a brief presentation on maintaining personal balance in our busy lives. Nick’s comments gave me cause to reflect on staying focused on what’s really important in life. I know others were impacted positively as I was. After hearing Nick’s message, I realized that the Academy needs a voice to help all of us maintain personal balance in the oftentimes pressure-filled and demanding world we live in. As a result, I’ve appointed Nick as our Academy Philosopher and therefore a faculty member in Academy. We are honored to have Nick with us. We will hear from Nick going forward to remind us of personal balance.

Additionally, the Academy chairs were announced and welcomed: Dr. David Shirazi, Conference Chair; Dr. Dan Winter, Membership Chair; Dr. Kimberly Hardin, Medical Liaison Chair. Kim has taken on the leadership of our continued efforts to bridge dentists with physicians. She will be working closely with Ron, Deepak, and me in her endeavors. Dr. Ron Dean has accepted the position of Portfolio Review Chair. Ron has also been appointed our Dental Director and Academy Architect.

It is with great pride and thanks that I re-announce here our Academy Awards for Service to the ACSDD. Drs. Deepak Shrivastava and Ron Dean received this year’s awards.

After the afternoon session of the second day, our attendees spontaneously began to ask questions and earnestly sought answers to many pressing issues they are facing in their practices. As a result of that open dialogue, I’ve decided that we will set aside one hour at all conferences to hold a members-only breakfast “conversation” where we will listen to what’s on your mind, what’s important to you, and how the Academy can assist.

At the conference, I announced that we would be dropping the word Dentistry from our name to more clearly reflect our focus on a multi-disciplinary approach to sleep-disordered breathing. Our goal is to invite all relevant health-care practitioners to come to the table to help treat the sleep-breathing-disordered patient. I have not finalized our new name, and I am getting tremendous input from everyone. If you wish to share your thoughts with a name change please email me directly at mjkrahe@acsdd.org. I will communicate our revised name soon.

During one of my visits to the podium, I described what is happening at the Academy as MAGIC. The vision of the Academy is becoming a reality before our very eyes. Members are expressing their desire to come together, to tear down the old walls, and to focus all relevant practitioners for the treatment of the patient. We are growing rapidly and will pass 100 members by year-end. Remember, we opened our doors December 17, 2009. We currently have 22 Diplomates who were introduced at the conference and we expect to graduate another 15-20 in December. We have members from Canada, Guam, Australia, and the lower 48, as well. I have also been contacted to partner with other groups outside the USA. What a problem to have, eh?

At the conference, I spoke of our mission, our focus, and our commitment to you, our members, and your needs. No politics, no agendas, just scholarly yet usable information for you, the member…you, the customer. As I have said before, and I will reiterate here: I will always answer my phone when you call.

Before I close, here are some reminders:

If you are interested in applying for Diplomate status, please register soon! Our next testing cycle is May & July, 2011. Details regarding our application process can be found on our website’s Conferences and Testing tab.

Mark your calendars! Our next conference is April 8 & 9, 2011. Our line-up of speakers is better than hitting that vein of gold out on the North Forty. Plus, the first twenty registrants will save 100 dollars off the registration cost. So, giddyap to our registration page!

And I’ve got some wonderful news!

Dr. Steve Olmos has accepted a position on the Academy faculty and a seat on the Advisory Council as the Academy’s Dental Advisor. Additionally, he has agreed to serve as our keynote speaker at our April conference. Steve’s credentials, scholarship, experience, and expertise as well as his personal charisma place him at the top of the field. We are honored and delighted to have him with us.

Steve leads many other great speakers for our event. The agenda will be posted on the website soon. So saddle up, get online, and get registered right quick! Yeehhaaawww, fellow trail riders!

As my final note, let me tell you about Dr. Ron Dean’s challenge to our November conference attendees. He had challenged them to bring in to the Academy two new members and one April 2011 conference attendee. I am personally asking each of you to assist us in that challenge, as well. Help us grow by spreading the word of the Academy.

Thank you! And Happy Trails ’til we meet again!

–Dr. Mike