In 1921, 12 women traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on horseback and by train for a dental meeting. This marked the first meeting of the American Association of Women Dentists (AAWD). Although the name has been changed twice over the years the mission, AAWD’s mission has remained the same. The founding mothers never intended to foster separation of women and men, rather to share common interests and enjoy friendships and camaraderie. AAWD’s first president, Dr. M. Evangeline Jordan, an 1898 graduate of the University of California School of Dentistry, was one of the first to limit her practice to children. A founder of pedodontics, Jordan was devoted to organized dentistry and dental education.
Commitment to dentistry and prominence among peers became a tradition with AAWD leaders. Dr. Gillette Hayden, a 1902 graduate of Ohio State, served as AAWD’s third president. Devoted to the advancement of periodontia in dental practice, she founded the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) in 1914, along with AAWD’s sixth president, Dr. Grace R. Spaulding. Both of these women in dentistry were pioneers in their fields.
For more than 97 years, AAWD has supported women in dentistry. Initially social, the organization adapted to changing times and member concerns. After World War II, when women dentists forfeited positions held in men’s absence, AAWD guided members toward new goals; hence, the tradition of mentoring was born. As more women dentists joined, AAWD became a national network for employment opportunities and scientific exchange. The current mission of the AAWD is to be the leading resource for advancing, connecting and enriching the lives of women dentists. Our core values are “Passion, Integrity, Service, Mentoring, Advancement, Teamwork, Inclusiveness, and Collegiality.” AAWD benefits its members from dental school through retirement.
“ Proper Positioning: Align yourself for Success”
This year our annual conference is being held in Savannah, Georgia, at the Westin Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa, October 4-6. Our theme is “Proper Positioning: Align Yourself for Success.” We have an amazing weekend planned for our female dentists and dental students. There will be fabulous exhibitors present, who know YOU are the “boss” and are allowed to make practice decisions, which is very refreshing for our attendees. Each day, outstanding speakers will lead sessions on relevant and important topics, all with CEUs available. However, while the AAWD conference is a time for women dentists to network, it is also a time to relax and have fun. It is great to be able to visit with other female dentists from around the country. I promise you will come away with some wonderful new friendships.
Temperatures in October in Savannah, Georgia, are very comfortable during October. The low temperature is normally in the lower 60s, with highs in the in the upper 70s/lower 80s. Savannah is extremely easy to reach via the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport; Savannah is also conveniently accessible by car, as the downtown area is situated just minutes from Interstate 95. If you plan to come, please try to arrive on Thursday to meet your colleagues for dinner.
On Thursday, October 4, AAWD is hosting a savory “Savannah Supper Club: Dashboard Dining with the Directors.” Please join us as we align ourselves for success! Meet with members of AAWD’s Board of Directors and participate in an open exchange of ideas for the “proper positioning” of AAWD, as we cruise toward the next 100 years—all while enjoying a delicious meal at award-winning Vic’s on the River. Outstanding views of the Savannah River and optimistic views for AAWD’s future merge as we chart our course to success.
For our Friday morning program, we have two different tracks from which to choose. Endodontist Anne Koch, DMD, will present “Safety and Simplicity in Root Canal Instrumentation: Myths, Metal and Motion,” while Leslie Pasco, DMD presents “The Art of Scheduling.” We join together for a combined lunch presentation and dessert with exhibitors. For the afternoon session, we will continue with your choice of Anne Koch, DMD, with a hands-on endodontic session, or Leslie Pasco, DMD, will present “Effective Case Acceptance.” The evening will conclude with an optional “SPArty” and Dinner Event. Every woman dentist deserves to be pampered, from head to toe! Join us in the spa for a relaxing two-hour “SPArty,” which includes mini spa services and a healthy dinner. All attendees will receive a brief soothing chair massage and have a chance to create their own unique fragrance to take home.
On Saturday we have an exciting program given by Bethany Valachi, PT, DPT, MS, CEAS, who will present both our morning and afternoon sessions. The morning’s topic is “Demystifying Pain,” and the afternoon’s is “Fitness 101 for Dental Professions.” We have a lunch presentation over “Understanding Legal Tools: The Keys to Lawsuit Prevention and Tax Reduction.”
Finally, we will all come together on Saturday evening to celebrate our current board members and introduce the 2019 board of directors at the annual Awards Dinner and Installation. Multiple awardees will be presented on a beautiful evening to celebrate the fabulous friendships made over the weekend.
Find out more about this event and other AAWD events on our website at www.AAWD.org.