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Message from NYSDA Executive Director, Greg Hill

Mar 26, 2024

There are many exciting changes underway here at the New York State Dental Association (NYSDA). I am grateful to the Seventh District Dental Society for giving me this direct platform to share our ongoing efforts and some of the goals we are working to achieve.

NYSDA is showing strong signs of membership growth. For several years, membership has been trending downward, but that curve has been slowing. At the end of 2023, we experienced a minimal market share drop of only 0.5%, marking the smallest decrease in at least five years. Notably, the Seventh District, along with five other areas in the state, saw an increase in market share and the total number of members on a year-over-year basis. Our outlook for this quarter is notably strong, and I am hopeful we will continue this trend to achieve net growth in membership this year.

We are redefining the “membership experience,” a term I use intentionally. By aligning our staff with the core functions of NYSDA, we have merged our membership and marketing departments to form the new Membership Experience team. This restructuring complements an upgrade to our system database, enhancing how we communicate and offer our services and products to you as members. Unlike the previous one-size-fits-all approach, we recognize the diverse needs of our members. The market has shifted towards personalized experiences, and our young and future dentists expect nothing less of their professional association. They want content that is tailored to their needs, available when and how they want it. We will begin to deliver information in that way very soon.

Our integrated marketing and membership strategy aims at growing our member base, increasing revenue, and shaping our Association to be future-ready. This initiative is timely, considering the anticipated wave of retirements over this next decade. We understand that the engagement of baby boomer dentists is different than that of younger generations. Thus, reimagining NYSDA's future starts now. A new membership model is being developed at the American Dental Association (ADA), which will redefine membership for the future.

We are excited to announce the upcoming launch of CE Navigator. This modern platform, accessible via web and app, transforms the CE Registry by providing continuing education history, upcoming courses, and details on required credits, all while maintaining our commitment to course verification standards. Set to launch in June, this tool will be available to members at no additional cost.

Addressing workforce challenges remains a priority, with our Workforce Action Group working diligently to devise strategies aimed at boosting the numbers of dental assistants and hygienists and curtailing the outflow of dentists from New York. This group has already outlined several strategies, and we are in the process of categorizing them into immediate, mid-term, and long-term goals.

On the legislative front, we are tackling insurance reform issues, advocating for a dental loss ratio of 82% for dental plans, mirroring that of medical plans here in New York. Furthermore, we aim to prohibit insurance plans from setting fees for services they do not cover. Achieving these reforms would represent significant victories for our profession. Our recent Advocacy Day in Albany, attended by nearly 70 members, underscores our commitment to these efforts.

We are actively shaping the NYSDA of tomorrow, adapting to ensure that we continue to meet the evolving needs of our members and the profession at large. I am optimistic that these changes will result in a strong and vibrant NYSDA, serving the dental profession for many years to come.

Greg Hill, JD, CAE

Executive Director, New York State Dental Association