It’s been over ten years since Washington AGD was challenged to create a self-sustaining continuing education program for its members. The first order of business was to understand why past attempts to provide financially successful courses had failed. Once causes were determined, WA AGD tried to determine if it could be corrected
Individual courses were a hit-and-miss proposition, dependent on tuition, speaker and subject matter. Attendance was unpredictable, making each venture’s profit a risk.
Thus, the concept of a five-year continuum designed to accomplish AGD Mastership was born. Having a dedicated core of brilliant Fellowship dentists seeking Mastership would guarantee attendance and hopefully draw others with similar interests. Working with, not against, component dental societies to avoid conflicts with CE offerings would lessen risk. The concept worked!
A decade later, WA AGD has solid programs to assist in obtaining AGD’s Fellowship, Mastership and Lifelong Learning Recognition awards. Next on the horizon was the push to get away from the ever-increasing hotel costs and the inconvenience of transporting, setup and teardown of equipment.
This resulted in a stand-alone educational facility — the Angle Lake WA AGD Conference Center is now an investment in the future of quality dental education.
Coming soon is a five-chair (expanding to 10 chairs within three years) dental clinic addition complete with a CBCT for teaching the general dentist orthodontics, periodontic procedures, implant surgeries and other clinical skills. Dental hygienists and assistants will soon have CE courses incorporated.
WA AGD Executive Director Valerie Bartoli is the single most critical factor for the success the organization has enjoyed over the last 10 years. Her organizational skills, personal sacrifices, long unpaid hours, dogged determination and optimistic personality has carried WA AGD through tough times, culminating in a beautiful educational center.
Having clinical space available will allow volunteers an opportunity to perform dental services for veterans and/or those less fortunate.
Until this happens, WA AGD can’t claim this concept truly works.