Letter From the President
In 2020 the Florida Dental Association Foundation was honored to celebrate our Ruby Anniversary marking 40 years of serving Floridians in need. As the philanthropic arm of the Florida Dental Association, the FDA Foundation serves as a catalyst for uniting people and organizations to make a difference through better oral health. I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the past board members for their hard work and dedication to the FDA Foundation. Their vision and guidance have paved the way. Secondly, I want to thank all who have contributed to the FDA Foundation both through financial donations or by donating their time and talents volunteering to treat those in need. Without the help of these dedicated individuals, the FDA Foundation would not have been able to serve those in need throughout the past four decades.
2020 has been a difficult year for most of us personally and professional because of the COVID–19 pandemic. The FDA Foundation also felt impacts from the pandemic. The FDA Foundation's signature program, the Florida Mission of Mercy (FLA–MOM) had to be postponed in order to reduce the spread of COVID–19. Thankfully, FLA–MOM has been rescheduled for April 9–10, 2021 in Jacksonville. I would like to thank the FLA–MOM team for all of their hard work in planning the Mission of Mercy and for reorganizing and rescheduling the event for 2021. FLA–MOM 2021 will bring some changes with social distancing, more PPE and enhanced protocols focusing on the number one goal of safety. I encourage dentists and their staffs to volunteer for FLA–MOM 2021. The sense of accomplishment and camaraderie that one experiences is life changing. Please click here to learn more and to register to volunteer.
An additional FDA Foundation program is Project: Dentists Care (PDC). Our PDC partners provide dental services across the state to increase access to dental care for low income individuals who do not qualify for public services. This year the FDA Foundation was able to support PDC programs through Foundation grants totaling $50,000.
Lastly, many dentists want to help but prefer to donate time and talents from their own offices. We encourage these dentists to register with the Florida Dental Lifeline Network through Donated Dental Services (DDS) to provide donated care in their offices. DDS is supported by the FDA Foundation and provides access to free, comprehensive dental care for those who are disabled, elderly or medically fragile and cannot afford necessary treatment or receive public aid.
As 2020 brought challenges to the dental community, I am proud of the flexibility of the FDA Foundation Board of Directors and the FDA Foundation staff for adapting to changes and providing care for the most fragile in our communities. As the FDA Foundation enters its 41st year, I personally invite you to join us in the effort to improve dentistry in Florida for those in need. Please click the links below to continue to serve those in need:
Dr. Natalie Carr Bustillo
President, Florida Dental Association Foundation