FDA Foundation Disaster Relief

The Florida Dental Association Foundation has resources available for Florida dentists who have been impacted by Hurricane Michael. Emergency disaster grants for immediate personal needs such as food, water, clothing, emergency shelter, medications, etc. are available through the FDA Foundation’s Disaster Fund.

To apply: Grant amounts are determined based on completion of an application and available funds. You may access the FDA Foundation Emergency Disaster Grant Application at form.jotform.com/82874559662170

Grant Awards: FDA Foundation grants up to $1,500 per dentist are available.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact R. Jai Gillum at rjaigillum@floridadental.org or 800.877.9922.

Additional Resources
In addition to the Emergency Disaster Assistance Grants provided by the FDA Foundation, here are additional resources that you may find helpful.

  • Claims phone numbers: fdaservices.com/billings-and-claims
  • The American Dental Association (ADA) offers support to dentists who may be affected by the approaching storm. This includes:
  • Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) resources and information is available at fema.gov/hurricane-michael.
  • Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program can provide short-term, interest-free loans up to $50,000 to small business owners located in designated disaster areas that experienced physical and/or economic damage as a result of Hurricane Michael. Please visit floridadisasterloan.org for more information on eligibility requirements and application instructions. Deadline to apply is Dec. 7, 2018.
  • U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides disaster loans and business counseling for people and business affected by Hurricane Michael. Learn more about what you can use an SBA disaster loan, which Florida counties are eligible and how to apply at sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance.
  • For information on federal disaster unemployment assistance for workers and the self-employed affected by Hurricane Michael, please visit floridajobs.org or call 800.385.3920.
  • File for D-SNAP (Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) to receive short-term food assistance benefits from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. ANYONE in the affected areas is eligible, and you can use the money you save on food to replace clothes and other necessities. Visit disasterassistance.gov/get-assistance/forms-of-assistance/5769 or call 866.762.2237 for more information.
  • Helpful tip: Call your bill collectors and notify them that you are in the affected disaster area. Most will delay your bill due dates for a month or two. This includes your personal and business creditors (mortgage company, cable, electricity, water, phone, credit card companies, etc.).

Hurricane Michael

As Hurricane Michael is quickly approaching Florida, the FDA will be closed tomorrow to allow staff and their families time to prepare. Once the storm has passed, the FDA will reopen as soon as possible. Please find the following available resources:

We hope everyone remains safe!

What is “Plan B?” The New Normal in a Post-Irma World

By a Fellow FDA Member

Call it intuition, but I had the feeling we —and the entire east coast of Florida — dodged a bullet last year with Hurricane Matthew. It just seemed like a matter of time before our 13-year dry spell was going to end.

I desperately wanted to be wrong, as I watched CNN every evening for the latest update on Hurricane Irma, and the National Hurricane Center for the more elaborate interpretation.

The memories of spending another post-Labor Day weekend away from home (Hurricane Frances, 2004) sadly is still too vivid in our memories. I worked as a dentist a total of four days that month, and two of those were without air conditioning — which is a testament to the determination of my staff and my patients to create a sense of “normalcy” in the aftermath, despite the obvious disruption to our personal lives.

Doctors, it is time for “Plan B.”

Depending on where you are in your practice career, it may not make economic sense to “build over” before or after your insurance adjuster has given you the final assessment. For dentists with more than 25 years of practice, the return on investment may not be in your favor at such a late period, as the current tax laws for business owners after 50 provide decent “catch-up” provisions in a defined benefit (like a government pension) and defined contribution (401K-type) plans that would be more beneficial.

For a mid-career solo practitioner, you have been faced with rising overhead costs since 2007, and along with diminished income (ADA Health Policy Institute has the data), the time is ripe for a multi-doctor practice formation, which should always be created with expert legal and financial advice.

Look “around the neighborhood” and reach out to other dentists who may share the same dilemma you do. If you have damage to your office, and someone nearby does not, now would be the time to construct a well-defined contract that outlines the term and time limit for this new arrangement. And if the relationship works on a limited basis, you may find the new arrangement something you want to solidify.

Likewise, if your office came out unscathed, reach out to your colleagues in this period and strategize. This is not a DIY project, so retain the professional advice you need to make this happen. Involve your bankers and financial advisors for expert advice.

In closing, I want you to know that I understand what you have gone through, and I look at 2004 as a defining year in my professional career. The decisions I made after these disasters guided me to where I am today, and my family is better for it.

Make the right choice for your loved ones and your staff members, and don’t be afraid to execute “Plan B!”

 

 

Post-Irma Disaster Recovery Resources

Last week, the Florida Dental Association Foundation teamed up with the American Dental Association Foundation to prepare and assist FDA member dentists in need. Below is information we provided members last week, but want to share with you again, as we know that those who might be in need may forget these resources. If you know of fellow members who need assistance, please share this information.

The ADA Foundation offers support that may be helpful to dentists affected by the storm. This includes:

  • ADA Foundation emergency grants
    • Emergency Disaster Grants — Any dentist who is a victim of a disaster may apply to the ADA Foundation for a grant up to $2,000 to help cover the costs of their personal emergency needs, such as food, clothing and shelter. (ADA membership is not required.)
    • Emergency Disaster Grants for 501(c)(3) organizations providing dental care following a disaster — Grants of up to $10,000 are available for this purpose.

More information can be found at ADA and ADAF Disaster Support.

Please click here to access the ADA/FDA relief application. ADA Foundation grants are up to $2,000 and FDA Foundation grants are up to $1,500. This information also can be found on the FDA website at floridadental.org.

Additional information/resources from Volunteer Florida Emergency Management can be found here.

Please know the FDA, its officers and trustees are here for you, and haven’t stopped working to make sure members’ needs are first.