A Message from SDDS President Dr. Michael J. Donato Jr.
Thank you everyone for your support and confidence to allow me to serve as the Second District Dental Society (SDDS) president for 2022. Unfortunately, our annual Installation of Officers luncheon, originally scheduled to take place on Jan. 9, had to be postponed due to the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in our area. It has been rescheduled for April 3 and I do hope to see everyone for a much needed in-person meeting at the University Club in Manhattan. Visit sddsny.org to RSVP today.
When I was introduced to organized dentistry by Dr. Robert Seminara, he used to say, “You don’t want to bury your head in your office.” He insisted I “get involved and give back.” Initially, he urged me to go to a Richmond County Dental Society (RCDS) meeting and I am glad he did. It was at the RCDS meetings that I met lifelong friends and enjoyed their camaraderie and support. I helped to continue the legacy of the organization by becoming the RCDS borough coordinator for children’s dental health month and eventually, RCDS president. Having a chance to get out of the office, have a glass of wine and a nice dinner while sharing ideas about our practice or commiserating about challenges that only another dentist would understand was very often therapeutic.
Taking the next step and getting involved with SDDS, sitting on state councils, joining the SDDS board of trustees and finally getting on the ladder as an officer allowed me to witness that organized dentistry had an even greater influence and required a dedicated volunteer to institute real policy change. Nothing exemplifies this more than the current COVID-19 pandemic and how the leaders of our profession have encouraged policymakers as it relates to our profession.
As we enter the post-Covid world, organized dentistry will be there to continue to help us navigate through any new challenges that come before us. Being a member of organized dentistry has never been more important. Having a large, diverse and engaged membership will give the countless volunteers on the local, state and national levels the resources to allow the profession to emerge even stronger.
For 2022 I hope to continue the legacy of the many presidents before me by serving our board of trustees to the best of my ability, while carrying out the wishes of our membership. Issues like higher costs, staffing shortages, increased positivity rates for both staff and patients will create even more challenges for our already COVID-19 fatigued constituents. Your board of trustees and dental society staff remain at the ready to help you in any way they can.
I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who does all the heavy lifting for our members, starting with our very own Hulk, Mr. Bernard Hackett, who recently celebrated 30 years with our Society. Thank you, Bernard, for the many years of service, professionalism and guidance. Many thanks to the amazing SDDS staff. With the unfortunate departure of longtime staff members Veronica and Shayo (somehow Mr. Hackett managed to keep them on retainer with us), we now have Christine and Stephanie handling daily operations and they have not let the office miss a beat. I would like to send kudos to the incredible SDDS officers, board of trustees and committee persons on both the local and state level who volunteer their time and do yeoman’s work. Speaking of work, countless thanks go out to the volunteers of the Greater New York Dental Meeting (GNYDM) Organization Committee, as well as to GNYDM executive director Dr. Robert Edwab and his staff who together run the most successful dental meeting in the country. I look forward to working with all these dedicated individuals as well as our friends across the river at New York County Dental Society in the upcoming year.
Michael J. Donato Jr., DMD
2022 Second District Dental Society President