You Shop. Amazon Gives to the FDA Foundation.

By Heather Gioia, FDA Foundation, Director of Foundation Affairs

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The holidays are approaching, and many people will take advantage of “Cyber Monday” shopping offers. You can help the Florida Dental Association (FDA) Foundation raise much-needed funding by using AmazonSmile for your online purchases. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know — same products, same prices, same service. So, what’s the difference? The shopping experience is identical to Amazon.com — the only difference is the added benefit to support a charitable organization from almost one million eligible organizations. AmazonSmile will donate 0.5 percent of the price of eligible purchases to a charitable organization selected by customers.

That’s where you come in! When you first visit AmazonSmile, and are prompted to select a charitable organization, please select the FDA Foundation. When you shop at AmazonSmile, 0.5 percent of the purchase price will be donated to the FDA Foundation! There are no additional fees, and AmazonSmile offers the same great options and pricing as on traditional Amazon — plus you will help provide funds to the FDA Foundation!

Thank you and happy shopping!

Please take a moment to bookmark this link so all of your eligible shopping on Amazon will benefit the FDA Foundation: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/59-2019148.

Top 5 Reasons to Volunteer

5. Volunteering makes you healthier.

Positive emotions, like optimism and joy, strengthen the immune system and reduce stress. Experts report that focusing on others interrupts usual tension-producing patterns. In fact, volunteering also has been shown to lessen chronic pain or heart disease symptoms.

In my mind, an important factor regarding volunteerism is you need to do it for yourself. Do it to benefit yourself and you won’t regret it.” ~ Dr. David Russell, FDA Foundation President

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4. Volunteers learn about our government and social programs.

A solid understanding of these resources strengthens professional advocacy efforts and helps to solve community problems.

“I never knew there were so many community agencies and service groups that are interested in their clients’ oral health until Karen and I formed the Hillsborough County Oral Health Coalition. The agencies’ representatives met with us to discuss common problems and determine steps that eventually will cause an improvement in the oral health of everyone their organizations touch. Together, we approached the legislators within our county and were able to advocate for changes that will raise awareness of the importance of oral health. It was a rewarding experience!” ~ Dr. Terry Buckenheimer, ADA Trustee

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3. Volunteering promotes diversity, fosters empathy and encourages civic responsibility.

It stimulates personal growth by improving social skills, builds new friendships and broadens your support network.

“I have been on more than 35 foreign mission trips — six were with the University of Florida dental students. I enjoy them. The reason I do them is a feeling of responsibility to use what God has blessed me with to serve others. What always happens is I get blessed more than the people I am caring for.” ~ Dr. Bob Payne, FDA Foundation Vice President

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2. Volunteering can advance your career.

You meet new business contacts and gain professional experience you otherwise might not have. It also can expose you to professional organizations or fellowships that could be beneficial.

“It is natural to want to give back to this wonderful profession that has given me so much. Volunteering has allowed me to meet amazing people all over the country and especially in Florida. From children I have met while participating in career days at local schools to dentists and corporate leaders throughout the country, giving back has actually ended up giving me more. The friendships I’ve developed are a lasting treasure.” ~ Dr. Idalia Lastra, FDA Foundation Treasurer

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1. You make a difference.

Volunteering provides a way to have a real and lasting impact on the world.

“Churchill once said, ‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.’ Volunteering for the FDA Foundation has given me — and so many others — a life of purpose. You can make a difference, too. Give your time.”  ~ Dr. Bill D’Aiuto, FDA President-elect

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Celebrating Our Diversity

By Yolanda Marrero, SFDDA Executive Director

The South Florida District Dental Association (SFDDA) boasts one of the most diverse communities in Florida — and we love it! One needs only to travel US 1 from the Southernmost Point in Key West to South Broward to experience the various foods, music and entertainment that make up our district. The cuisine includes an amazing mix of Floribbean and Latin fusion from the islands of the Caribbean, including: Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Trinidad and Haiti, to name a few; and foods ranging from South and Central American to French, Italian, Asian, Middle Eastern Greek and Jewish fare. And our languages, religions and pastimes are as varied as the foods above.

Consequentially, the SFDDA membership is comprised of several cultures, ethnicities and religions, and almost is equally divided in gender and age. It is rich and wonderful, and has provided us with opportunities to become aware of each other — giving us a sense of pride for the diversity in which we thrive and an understanding of how important it is in our personal and professional growth.

The SFDDA leadership reflects this diversity, and that is “powerful stuff.” To have a great understanding of the community and to be able to forge a strong bond between the public and the association is a benefit of embracing our diversity. Each day, we are eager to welcome dentists who have not yet experienced the value of this wonderful organization and know we can learn a thing or two from each other.

We have many events and dinner lectures where you and your colleagues can experience the diversity of our district. We invite you to attend and experience what membership in the American Dental Association and Florida Dental Association through the South Florida district is like. There truly are many benefits for everyone.

Visit our website for a complete listing of events and meetings at www.sfdda.org.

Scary Good Web Design Tips from Officite

By Kevin Rach

Beware, dear reader, and steel your nerves before continuing further in this article. The stories contained herein are the unfortunate tales of dentists and patients attempting to connect with each other through mismanaged and long-neglected practice websites. Let this be a cautionary tale, and take heed, lest a similar gruesome fate befall your own practice …

“It Came From 2005!”
It took almost half a minute, but when the dentist’s website finally shambled out from the darkness of the loading screen, the patient gasped. It was … hideous.

The unsightly configuration of mismatched and outdated design elements shuffled forward on two poorly constructed footers like an HTML Frankenstein’s monster. “Welcome to my website,” it croaked, its cobwebbed mouth opened wide, revealing teeth in much need of a good dentist.

The patient nearly gagged as the unresponsive mass lurched forward, oversized images dragging behind its lopsided gait. It was almost enough to make her pity the aberration, but there was no time. She had to escape, to find a dentist with a modern Web presence. After all, if this is what the website looked like, there was no telling what outdated horrors lay within the practice itself.

“In Cyberspace, No One Can Hear You Tweet.”
Dr. Igor had nothing but good intentions when he set out on his new experiment. The goal? Using social media to promote his practice and start generating referrals. He set up a Facebook page and a Twitter handle, and started regularly posting. All might have gone well had he not made two crucial mistakes — failing to integrate social media buttons on the main website, and never encouraging a patient to “like” his practice in person.

Dr. Igor has not been seen by a patient online since 2011.

Legend has it that on some clear nights, if you turn up your speakers and listen very hard, you can just barely hear the whimper of his social media posts mumbling about the importance of semiannual exams.

There is still time, dear reader. The horrors described here need never haunt your own practice. With the help of a company like the FDA’s official Web presence provider, Officite, your practice will be safe and sound with cutting-edge responsive mobile design, integrated social media and search engine optimization — the tools your practice needs to survive.

Visit www.officite.com/dental, or call 855.208.9124.