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Executive director of Mississippi Dental Association named honorary member
The ADA Board of Trustees has named Connie Lane, retired executive director for the Mississippi Dental Association, as an ADA honorary member for her contributions to the advancement of the art and science of dentistry.
Ms. Lane is the fourth person this year to be rewarded with honorary membership. The Board in April approved as recipients Dr. Patrick Hescot, immediate past president of the FDI World Dental Federation; David Hemion, retired executive director of the Montana Dental Association; and Joe Martin, a retired ADA employee who worked with the ADA Institute for Diversity in Leadership.
Ms. Lane was executive director of the Mississippi Dental Association for nearly two decades, retiring on Aug. 31.
It was a "total shock" to Ms. Lane when she received a call from ADA President Joseph Crowley notifying her of the honor. She said she had no idea she was even nominated.
While Ms. Lane wore many hats throughout her career, a signature achievement was literally and figuratively keeping the Mississippi Dental Association afloat during a devastating natural disaster.
"In 2005 Hurricane Katrina decimated our Gulf Coast and continued inland affecting dentists statewide," said Dr. Sherry Gwin, Mississippi Dental Association president, in her nominating letter. "Mrs. Lane left her tree-littered home to man the phones at the MDA. Calls flooded in from dentists about the MDA Relief Fund, insurance contacts and for a much-needed comforting voice of support. Mrs. Lane contacted other dental associations and organizations for relief with money, equipment and manpower to aid our dentists."
Ms. Lane recalled the time as a challenging one but also a rewarding time when she saw dentists banding together to help one another. She and her husband slept on air mattresses at the MDA headquarters to deal with the calls she was receiving and making.
"As a small association, we don't have things to pass off to anyone," she said.
Other nominating dentists praised her leadership and advocacy. "No one has done more for the profession of dentistry in Mississippi than Connie Lane," said Dr. Jimmy Hollingsworth.
Dr. Alvin W. Stevens, former 5th district trustee, said in his nominating letter that "she took special interest in membership and was relentless in promoting the benefits and professional importance of ADA membership to not only the dentists of Mississippi but also their patients."
Now, she is a member herself.