President’s Message

Kristi Soileau - picDear SWSP Member,

I hope this message, written and current as of 8/16/20, finds you and your loved ones well and tranquil and that your practice is not only thriving but also growing. The future of our profession looks very secure, as the ADA News listed some of its recent key practice data findings, including the facts that 99% of dental practices had reopened as of the week of July 13, and that consumer polling indicates that 80% of adults are very comfortable visiting the dentist.

I personally feel this is because of the diligent efforts by each and every one of us to do our best in infection control, which we dentists learned well in our dental school training, and because the specialty of periodontics has played a most vital role in dentistry’s being considered essential in disaster care management by both the ADA and the CDC. (Please see the SWSP website for recent AAP and ADA responses towards the WHO claim that all “elective” dental procedures should be postponed during the current pandemic.)

Because of both the AAP and the excellent periodontal research generated within our schools, we have been provided with exemplary scientifically-based literature to maximize public awareness that oral care is necessary for overall systemic health. This gives even more reason to continue to donate to AAP projects and to support the AAP Foundation!

To be sure, this has been a very unusual year not only for everyone’s practices, but in totality for our regional organization as well. For example, those individuals involved with planning- and cancelling- our summer meeting met multiple times in an effort to decide what action was best: to forge ahead in our hotel contract with optimistic caution- or to “call it” before we were irrevocably penalized.

Our history of allegiance to the venue enabled us to cancel the meeting without financial penalty, but rather was retooled to use the deposit over the next two years at the same hotel. Additionally, it was decided that a delay in the program until next summer will also allow everyone to enjoy an in-person speaker experience, rather than the lecture’s taking place virtually.

I feel compelled to add that with the very informal, but necessary, “changing of the guard” in officer and committee positions, the outgoing individuals did not get their due recognition for a year’s worth of incessant travail. I want to thank all of the people who have completed their 2019-20 terms, especially SWSP President Dr. Pilar Valderrama. Dr. Valderrama did an exemplary job of leading our Society through these turbulent past months. Her team were there through thick and thin in navigating on our collective behalf.

I also wish to congratulate incoming SWSP officers, board and committee members, all of whom have their work cut out for them in pointing our bow back to normal and charting the course even better than before. These individuals are listed in this issue.

I cannot end my message without saying, as one of your two District V trustees, that Dr. Bill Reeves has unequivocally given us six wonderful years of representation, and his presence in the AAP Board will be sorely missed. Congratulations are thus in order to Dr. Brad Crump, who was elected to fill Dr. Reeves’ vacant post. We are all familiar with Dr. Crump’s commitment to service for and dedication to the specialty of Periodontics, and we thank him for his willingness to serve in this regard. Also of note is that Dr. Steven Bass, also a recent District V Trustee, was appointed to the AAP’s Officer Nominating Committee, an esteemed and coveted position.

I also want to give a shout out to CMP Management, without whom we could not function at the heightened level to which we have arisen under their auspices. Thank you, and keep up the good work!

I want to close by wishing each of you safety and peace of mind during these trying times, and please do not hesitate to reach out with questions or comments, and know that we always can use your volunteerism efforts to keep the South West strong!

Kind regards,

Kristi Soileau
President 2020-2021
AAP District V Trustee


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