Letter From the President
These are exciting times at the Florida Dental Association Foundation (FDAF), the philanthropic arm of the FDA! It is my desire to move the Foundation from an organization that dentists know little about to an energetic, vital, conspicuous and indispensable part of the FDA. At our last strategic planning meeting, the Foundation came away re-energized and refocused, and decided that our signature event would be the Florida Mission of Mercy (FLA-MOM). In the last four years, we’ve had a FLA-MOM event in Tampa, Jacksonville and Pensacola. All three were tremendously successful — from the fundraising for the events to the number of people treated to the value of donated care to the fellowship of the volunteer dentists, staff and all who helped with the events. Thank you all.
The Foundation has other programs that are under its purview. The Florida Donated Dental Services program is part of the Dental Lifeline Network, a multistate initiative of volunteer dentists and dental labs. A patient is matched to a volunteer dentist who restores the patient’s dental health, while a network of volunteer dental labs provides the prosthetic services. During the 2017 Legislative Session, the FDA secured $100,000 in the state’s budget, which was approved by the governor, to cover funding for staff and operating expenses.
Project: Dentists Care (PDC) is the other program the Foundation supports. PDC is a network of volunteer clinics throughout the state that provides free or reduced-cost treatment to those in need. We offer $50k in grants to these clinics to help and encourage them.
The Foundation also encourages our members to participate in volunteer activities at local, state and national levels — from local charities to Give Kids a Smile events, and even foreign mission trips. The Foundation also provides disaster relief for dentists in need throughout our state. This is an organization committed to improving access to care and improving the oral health of all Floridians.
I am excited about the future of the Foundation. My wish is that all the dentists in Florida will embrace and take ownership of our Foundation, and experience the joy of giving back. I hope every dentist will participate in some capacity — serving and giving to help others less fortunate. We encourage you to share your volunteer experience with us and to inspire others to support our Foundation and become an Emerald Club member.
Together, let’s make our Foundation a force for good in Florida.
All the Best,
Robert Payne, DDS