Start another association?

Thank you for such an interesting and timely magazine. I have been enjoying it for several years. Recently, your magazine did an article about "managed care" and the hygienists who work with these programs. I was thrilled to discover that I was not the only hygienist who does not support the ADHA`s stand on this issue. I have not yet had to work with "managed care," but I know several of the doctors in my area are very against it. I can not become a member of ADHA when they support issues that I

Dear RDH:

Thank you for such an interesting and timely magazine. I have been enjoying it for several years. Recently, your magazine did an article about "managed care" and the hygienists who work with these programs. I was thrilled to discover that I was not the only hygienist who does not support the ADHA`s stand on this issue. I have not yet had to work with "managed care," but I know several of the doctors in my area are very against it. I can not become a member of ADHA when they support issues that I do not agree with. I wish we had another choice of associations. Wouldn`t it be great to have two different associations to join or at least a choice. I wonder if I am the only person who has thought of such a thing?

The dentist has the ADA and the Academy of General Dentistry, not to mention the specialty groups. Why has hygiene never had another association which we could join? I would like a group that offer retirement group benefits, group malpractice insurance, lower fees for membership that might just be national and not all this breakdown into state and local. And, most importantly, it would support issues which were the choice of its entire membership.

Let`s face it, you don`t have to join ADHA. But it would be nice to see a second group that the doctors could recognize and see that some hygienists are supportive of their doctors or other dental issues. Maybe the group could be extra supportive of providing quality care for patients and stress quality education for hygiene students. Think of the increase in money that would be available to help lobby for those issues that the ADHA and this group might agree upon.

I guess my point is that I would like to be an association member and be involved, but I want to be sure that this group supports how I feel or think on issues, and I just don`t think the ADHA does that for me. What does your magazine think, or have you been hearing from others who also are a little "put off" with the ADHA?

Gayla Lee S. Moore, RDH

Slater, Iowa

Editor`s Note: Most of the responses to the Dialogue on managed care expressed disappointment with the ADHA position. Obviously, it`s unlikely that any professional trade association will render policy statements that makes every member happy. Critics of managed care are quick to point out that a dental practice`s incorporation of managed-care patients does require an orchestrated effort to ensure quality care is maintained along with desired productivity goals. The ADHA`s position did alarm many dental professionals. Some dental hygiene professionals expressed disenchantment with the ADHA as a result.

Another obvious point to observe about trade associations is that an association will only be as strong as its membership. If members can constructively rally around areas of disagreement, and avoid splintering into smaller groups, then the profession will emerge even stronger.

So RDH, an independent magazine, supports the ADHA in its overall efforts. We would hope that readers, who are ADHA members, will become involved in the association and offer their input on a broad range of issues.

Don`t be disillusioned if the association`s bureaucracy appears unmovable. Instead, be encouraged by the democratic process that its bylaws permit.

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