Dental Innovator: What's in store for next year's CDS Midwinter Meeting

Dental Products ReportDental Products Report-2013-07-01
Issue 7

We talk with Randall B. Grove, executive director of the Chicago Dental Society about recent achievements and what's to come for the 2014 Midwinter Meeting.

We talk with Randall B. Grove, executive director of the Chicago Dental Society about recent achievements and what's to come for the 2014 Midwinter Meeting.

Q: When CDS is discussed it is usually in reference to the Midwinter Meeting, but there is a lot of other great work you do.

What are recent achievements that CDS is especially proud of?

A: Being recognized as “the respected leader in scientific dental meetings” for annually hosting the Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting is very important to us. As suggested, however, CDS does more than present a dental meeting.

We have recently called attention to the “dental desert” that many unemployed and underserved members of greater Chicagoland find with respect to obtaining necessary dental treatment. CDS released its white paper “Broken Smiles: Restoring Access to Oral Health Care in Chicago and Cook County.”

The bleak findings noted that public health clinics are underfunded and stretched thin. There is just one dental clinic in Cook County for every 15,700 school children. Chicago appointed its first dental director in five years in 2011, and dental schools, specifically the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, are overwhelmed with deserving patients. Greater investment in oral health care is a must for Chicagoland and our Government Affairs Committee and CDS Foundation are leading the way.

Q: What can you tell us about the new clinic opened by the CDS Foundation?

A: In February, the Chicago Dental Society Foundation, the charitable arm of the Chicago Dental Society, opened the first foundation-owned dental clinic in the area. Located in Wheaton, the three chair facility provides care to qualified patients from Cook, Lake and DuPage counties.

[ Read The top 12 things I learned at the Chicago Midwinter Meeting ]

Volunteer dentists see patients in a dental office environment second to none. Chicago Dental Society provided significant support for this endeavor and sees the clinic as one way to address the growing demand for care by the underserved.

Q: How does that kind of work reflect the broader goals of the CDS?

A: Part of the CDS core values per our strategic plan is to enhance professionalism, integrity, excellence, leadership education and service. Certainly establishing a CDS Foundation, and then working to establish a dental clinic speaks to our members’ leadership and service to the community.

The Foundation also engaged members of the corporate side of dentistry to obtain the services of leaders in the dental manufacturing and distribution industry. Jointly they have worked to advocate for access to care for the underserved population in the Chicago area.

Q: You have your Virtual Reality Meeting coming up on Sept. 25. With a reputation for such a respected live event, how do you take that esteem and translate it into a virtual environment?

A: Our third Virtual Reality Meeting, like the Midwinter Meeting, presents outstanding clinicians offering programs and continuing education credit for the entire dental team. Maintaining continuing dental education excellence is what we strive for.

Our members expect nothing less than quality programming and we intend to deliver with programs from Dr. Richard Sullivan, Dr. Anthony Cardoza, Mary Govoni, Kirk Behrendt and Doreen Johnson. This caliber of clinician builds interest leading up to the Midwinter Meeting. Certainly offering the VRM without charge, just like entry to the Midwinter Meeting for member dentists, is a plus.

Q: Not that it’s about besting the 2013 Midwinter Meeting, but what do you have in store for 2014?

A: We are continuing our Member Rebate Program, which can provide up to $75 to each member dentist simply by purchasing products or services from a 2014 exhibitor during the Midwinter Meeting. All they have to do is register online at and the earlier they do, the greater the rebate.

Getting dentists on the exhibit floor is very important and their purchases create a win-win for the exhibiting company and the participating dentist. To make the rebate program easier and more timely, a special center will be established on the exhibit floor where dentists can take their online rebate coupon and purchase order to have it entered into the CDS system, so their individual rebate check can be generated shortly after the Midwinter Meeting. No more mailing rebate coupons and invoices, as all will be handled onsite.

As communication is the key to a successful Midwinter Meeting, in addition to our blog and other social media outlets, we will continue with our online Digital Floorplan and refine our mobile app to ensure that Android, Blackberry, iPhone and iPad and other mobile device users have greater functionality. Our goal is to make sure navigating the app is as seamless and effective as possible. One enhancement will be the ability to create your own meeting schedule and map out your desired exhibit visits.


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