The MDA strives to provide membership value through the provision of programs designed to assist dentists and meet professional and personal needs. The following programs and services are available to all MDA members.
Mississippi Dental Association Relief Fund
The purpose of the MDA Relief Fund and the ADA Foundation Relief Grant Program is to provide financial assistance to dentists and their dependents who, because of accidental injury, a medical condition or advanced age, are not self-supporting.
Individuals applying to the MDA / ADAF Relief Grant Program for the first time, apply for an initial grant, which can be given for a maximum of six months. The grant recipient receives a check each month from the ADAF Relief Grant Program. Subsequent extensions to an initial grant, a renewal grant, may be made for a maximum period of 12 months. Requests to renew either grant involve the same application process as an initial grant. An emergency grant can be made in cases of special emergency and is a single payment. An emergency grant can be given only once to an individual.
Mississippi Association of Recovering Dentists (MARD)
The Mississippi Association of Recovering Dentists (MARD) provides support for the addicted dentist who is in recovery, helps educate the dental community regarding addiction problems, aids in the identification of dentists who are in need of intervention and treatment, and participates in the state program referred to as the Mississippi Professionals Health Program.
MARD is established to help the dentist at the first sign of a problem, with the goal of assisting the dentist toward optimum health while maintaining the ability to continue professional practice or to return to practice. MARD seeks to involve recovering dentists in the activities and educational programs of the MDA.
Reports of possible dentist impairment are evaluated and, if warranted, an intervention is conducted. The impaired dentist is referred for appropriate diagnosis and treatment. The recovering dentist is monitored and supported through a five-year Recovery Contract Agreement. The Mississippi Recovering Dentist Program serves as an active dentist advocate during this aftercare phase. The Dental Examining Board takes no formal action unless there issues on non-compliance or public safety. Throughout the process, public safety is paramount and relapse or non-compliance is immediately reported to the Dental Examining Board, hospitals and appropriate agencies.
MARD accepts referrals from any source including dental peers, Dentist Well-being Committees, hospitals, regulatory agencies, office staff, family members, treatment centers and friends. MARD protects the confidentiality and anonymity of both program participants and referents to the fullest extent of the law.
For additional information or to make a referral, contact:
Mississippi Dental Crisis Action Team (MDCAT)
The Mississippi Dental Crisis Action Team (MDCAT) assists members in coping with personal or professional crises to enable them and/or their family members to continue to lead productive, balanced lives through the provision of quality care for their dental patients.
Information to Form a Dental Coverage Group
The MDA became aware of a successful project conducted by a study club in District II. Members of this study club joined together under the direction of Dr. Brant Kairit and formed a dental coverage group. This group then put their agreement and volunteers to the test when a group member experienced an accident and was unable to work for several weeks. The volunteer group mobilized and kept the dental practice of the injured dentist operational while he recovered.
In Mississippi, we have all experienced first hand the importance of disaster and emergency preparedness. Because of that fact, the MDA wanted to make this information from the coverage group in District II available to other potential groups throughout our six dental districts. The MDA believes that such groups could be beneficial to a number of dentists throughout our state, particularly sole practitioners, and the Association encourages dentists to consider whether this concept would be beneficial in their geographical area of practice.
The linked information we have provided to assist you in considering the formation of a coverage group includes:
- an article written by Dr. Spencer Lee, our Mississippi Dental Crisis Action Team (MDCAT) chairman explaining the coverage group model
- a sample agreement (should be customized to address the needs and preferences of each individual group)
- a sample volunteer sign-up form (contains information needed on the group volunteers)
- a sample worksheet to identify group members, contact numbers and schedule availability (would be for utilized to assist in scheduling volunteers to cover an office)
For several years, the MDA has offered a MDCAT program for our members in an effort to collectively respond and assist a member or member’s family in the aftermath of a tragedy or loss. Through the years, MDCAT has called on and organized MDA volunteers to help out in these situations. While the program has been successful, the reality is that each situation outcome has relied strictly on the volunteer response of MDA colleagues. Even though the coverage groups rely on that same principle, the difference is the actual agreement that group members sign and the fact that the number in the group is limited versus being open-ended.
Please note that the MDA will not actually organize these dental coverage groups. Our goal is to equip local community dentists in each district and study club leaders with the information so they can follow up and organize local coverage groups. It is also important to note that the relationships among dentists participating in a coverage group are contractual in nature, and the terms of these relationships can differ depending on the needs and desires of the participating dentists. Accordingly, the information pieces we have provided are for guidance only, and we encourage dentists considering the formation of a coverage group to pay careful attention to the specific terms of their arrangement. These documents have not been approved by legal counsel, and individual coverage groups may want to consider engaging their own legal counsel in assisting them in documenting the rights and obligations of participants in the coverage group.
We hope you will consider this opportunity for your local community of dentist colleagues. Please be sure to make the MDA office aware of your formed group. That way if a new dentist expresses a desire to join a coverage group, we will be able to refer that individual to a potential resource in their community.
Mississippi Dental Disaster Team
The Mississippi Dental Disaster Team responds to those situations that require application of dental knowledge to the purposes of the law. This includes response to any mass disaster within the state of Mississippi where medical treatment and forensic identification of victims may be necessary. Disasters may be classified as related to weather, industry, accidents, fire, bioterrorism or attacks.
It is human nature to think that bad things happen to other people - not us. But Hurricane Katrina showed Mississippians that theory simply is not true. Thinking ahead to the possible is an important part of managing a crisis.
The Florida Dental Association, another group very familiar with the potential devastation of hurricanes developed a disaster manual for dentists. The MDA has customized the information from this resource for our Mississippi dental community. Please download the MDA Disaster Manual to assist you in planning for any unexpected events you may encounter.
MDA Mediation and Peer Review Program
The MDA provides a mediation and peer review program to help resolve the occasional disagreement about dental treatment in an effort to avoid litigation. This program does not consider issues about the appropriateness of fees, insurance, billing disputes, or office practice policies.
If a patient’s complaint meets the MDA peer review criteria, he or she may call the MDA office at 601-664-9691 for assistance through the peer review process. Steps of the process are as follows:
• The patient receives forms to complete and return to the MDA Central Office in Jackson.
• The forms are reviewed to see if the issue meets the peer review criteria.
• The forms are then sent to a local district dental society for consideration by a panel of dentists.
A mediation trained dentist will contact the involved parties and make every attempt to help the patient and dentist reach a mutually satisfactory resolution. If mediation is not successful, the case proceeds to a committee hearing where a panel of dentists will present findings and recommendations for a resolution. This process is non-binding and voluntary and is provided under Mississippi state law code.