There’s no other way to say it – ICD-USA had a fantastic year.  Our Foundation awarded over $140,000 in grants in 2019.  These ranged from Mission of Mercy projects to clinics in Haiti.  Distributions totaling $140,000 will be awarded for grants this year. The list of 2020 grant recipients will be posted on the Foundation website soon.  A new program was instituted by the Foundation a couple of months ago, where you can create a named fund in honor of a mentor or loved one.  If there’s someone you wish to honor, consider memorializing them with a Foundation gift which will literally keep on giving.  We also have small grants of $500 available as seed money to start a project.  This money was donated to us from the Henry Schein Cares Foundation.  If you’re looking to start a project, think about applying for one of these grants.  Information about the many activities of our Foundation may be found at www.usa-icd.org/Foundation/

Our lectures on volunteerism continue to be popular.  We had 8 presented this year, including ones at the Canadian Dental Association and even one on a cruise in the Adriatic.  At this point, all the large dental meetings, along with most state meetings, have had us visit to present this information.  We are continually examining how to best present these lectures and are evaluating if there is a way to bring it to the next level for those who have already volunteered.  On a related note, the worldwide ICD created an online interactive map of those volunteer projects ICD is involved with.  So, if you participate in such a project, either as an individual Fellow or as an ICD chapter, please let your Regent know about it.  We would love to put your efforts on that map to share with the world. It doesn’t matter if it’s a day you spend in your office working on the less fortunate or you fly to Cambodia to donate a couple weeks of your talent as a dentist – in aggregate, all are important.

Another area where the Section is making an impact involves students.  After many years of groundwork, our student programs have blossomed.  For this year, our International Student Experience program gave grants to 17 schools, 3 of them new participants.  This translates into overseas trips or exchanges to 33 countries.  We also sponsor Global Health Student Associations in numerous dental schools.  We are currently looking into reformatting these associations to allow better communication between participants at the various chapters.

There is a lecture program we’re encouraging to be presented around the country on the topic of antibiotic awareness.  This program started internationally, and we put one together for presentation in the US. Any of you interested in giving this lecture, whether to your local dental society, your state meeting, or even at a large regional meeting are encouraged to do so.  Just contact our office in Gaithersburg and we will put you in contact with the organizers, who will get the relevant materials to you. A version of this course is available online at http://www.icd.org/get-smart-about-antibiotics/.

After many years of consideration, the Section has migrated to a new website that replaces both the old website and a database system that we’ve had since the ’90’s.  It promises seamless integration of our records.  Our staff in Gaithersburg has put in countless hours to make it a reality, but now that it’s complete, many of our procedures and office staff hours will be streamlined.

Many of you are aware that in NYC last year during the International Council meeting, the governing body of ICD worldwide, Bettie McKaig from North Carolina became the first woman elected president of our organization.  Bettie is now Immediate Past President, but Richard Smith of Texas is President-elect and Keith Suchy from Illinois is Treasurer.  That means half the worldwide elected officers are Americans – we take our leadership role in The College very seriously.

Our big annual meeting was of course in San Francisco this past September.  In addition to the business of the organization, we held our annual Convocation ceremony.  It is notable that while we have been around for 99 years and have a presence in 122 countries, this was the largest class of new Fellows in the history of the organization.  Welcome to all of our new Fellows!

We have started the nominating process for candidates at next year’s meeting in Orlando.  If you haven’t nominated someone recently, it’s all online and easy to do.  We also now allow the candidates to upload their CVs instead of requiring them to fill out a Candidate Information Form.  We like to invite our Fellows to Share the Honor, and I encourage you to do so. Please visit https://www.usa-icd.org/ICDUSA/Candidate/New_Fellow_Process.aspx for more information.

Speaking of 2020, we will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of our conception at the international meeting in Nagoya, Japan.  We will also have a Centennial theme at our next annual meeting in Orlando, which will be a fun event.  A golf tournament, private event at Disney and a Centennial theme will be but a few of the featured events.  We encourage you to attend.

We think it important that you are current with the activities of the Section.  If you’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even YouTube, I urge you to follow the International College of Dentists USA Section.  We post a lot of events on these platforms which don’t make it into hard copy.  One interesting way we have incorporated social media into our outreach is that for the past two years have live-streamed the Convocation ceremonies on Facebook for those who are unable to attend. Part of our current social media outreach is to have a contest to “Fly the Flag” – take a picture of you holding the ICD Centennial Flag in an interesting place, post it on Facebook with the hashtag #flyICDFlag100, and you may win a prize.  Should you not have one of these flags, contact our office and we’ll get one to you straight away.

Finally, I ask all of you, if you don’t already, to wear your ICD pin regularly.  Too many people still haven’t heard of us, who we are, and what we do.  Wearing your pin to dental meetings, Rotary Club, or even your church is an easy way to show your support for the College while giving others a chance to ask about us.  By the way, if you’ve lost or misplaced your pin, we just ordered a batch of replacements, which will be available for $5, including the cost of shipping.  These are available now.  Just call the Section office to get one.

ICD-USA adopted a motto last year - “Serving Others”. These two words distill what our College is all about.  As we reflect on the past year, it is obvious that our achievements were the result of many people putting time and effort into fulfilling this motto.  I leave you with best wishes for the future and this quote from Chapter 3 of the Bhadavad Gita, for it clearly describes what it means to be a Fellow of the International College of Dentists: Strive constantly to serve the welfare of the world; by devotion to selfless work one attains the supreme goal of life. Do your work with the welfare of others always in mind.

In Fellowship,
Peter P. Korch III
USA Section 2019 President
International College of Dentists