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    President's Message    

Patrick T. Johnson, D.M.D
2018 - 2019 FAP President



I am extremely honored to begin my term as President of the Florida Association of Periodontists just as we come to the close of another banner year for both our state and national organizations. As I have risen through the chairs, I have been fortunate to be able to serve with incredibly talented and hard-working executive council members, not to mention, one of the most capable and effective executive directors on the planet, our very own Marlinda Fulton. Not only that, I have been able to serve alongside my good friend and colleague, Dr. Oscar Morejon. For those who may not know, Oscar and I have been friends since serving together as co-residents at the University of Florida in the early '90s. We were both very fortunate to have been graciously taught and mentored by some you in this room, including the likes of Drs. Alan Fetner, Greg Oxford, and Stu Feldman along with numerous others ~ I could probably go on and on. Since then, Oscar and I have continued many of our educational endeavors together by attending courses and meetings throughout the country. Oscar has been a great example to me when it comes to taking initiative and becoming involved in organized dentistry. He is a social and outgoing person
and he has a remarkable ability to connect and network with people for a common cause. He was responsible for convincing me to accept my appointment to the executive council, despite my lack of political ambition. Most assuredly, he will be a hard act to follow.

I want to assure everyone that the Florida Association of Periodontists will continue its quest to remain actively involved in the ever-changing political landscape of our profession. It is abundantly clear that to protect our patients as well as our own autonomy, we will all need to be present and actively engaged at all levels, local, state, and national, in order to thwart off the continual attacks on our profession. Please don't interpret this to just pertain to periodontal societies. In fact, there is a pending bylaws change at the AAP level to no longer require membership in the ADA to be a member of the AAP. The AAP will, however, continue to recommend membership in the ADA as do I. Let me stress to everyone how import it is to have a seat at the table. I share with you the frustrations that sometimes may arise between our general dental colleagues, dental specialists, or other dental auxiliaries' interests with our own agenda. If you are not there, how can we be part of the solution? We may not win every battle, but we can certainly leave our mark, and who knows, it just may influence the outcome of the next battle.

Recently, there have been several important matters pending before the Florida Board of Dentistry and the state legislature. The Florida Hygiene Association actively lobbied the BOD for a rule change to allow dental hygienists to utilize lasers as part of their regular armamentarium, regardless of the outcomes for the patient. Fortunately, extensive lobbying efforts by diligent FAP members and others helped prevent it from passing. Also, efforts to pass a bill in the state legislature for allowing a dental therapist position to be added to the delivery model here in Florida, with what most of us would consider, very minimal educational requirements, have been unrelenting and will likely continue for some time to come.

Despite the many challenges facing our specialty, I, like many of you, feel that this is one of the most exciting and enjoyable times to be practicing periodontics. It seems with every year that goes by, we see new possibilities in our field. These possibilities create the opportunity to expand our scope of practice by acquiring skills and the knowledge base to meet the changing times. We are fortunate to have fine university periodontal residency programs, NOVA and UF, with stellar residents who graciously share their research findings as part of our annual winter meeting. These programs also provide opportunities to develop relationships with graduate students that can lead to private practice opportunities, for which I have been a personal recipient.

In the coming year, the FAP will continue to strive to provide our membership with excellent continuing educational opportunities at attractive venues, such as this past meeting featuring Dr. Jovanovic, that allows our members to interact and share ideas. Hopefully, those who attended walked away feeling enriched and invigorated by the content of these programs. Our next meeting, on August 10th-11th will feature Dr. Daniel Becker, who will be speaking on "Procedural Sedation in Dental Practice" on Friday and the main program on Saturday will feature Dr. Barry Levin, from Philadelphia, PA, who will be speaking on "Achieving Predictable Stability with Esthetic Dental Implant Therapy".

I am looking forward to seeing you all there! Thank you.

Patrick T. Johnson, D.M.D.