As the first Executive Director of the Minnesota Oral Health Coalition (MOHC) I have been privileged to be a part of beautiful growth and much change. Growth is not always so beautiful, especially when accompanied by much change. The idea of change creates fear in many of us, as we would rather stay with what we know rather than risk things being different. Somewhere inside us we just might worry that different doesn’t mean better.
I don’t know if the MOHC is better today that it was a year and a half ago, but I can tell you that it is different. We now have over 370 members, have hosted two conferences, a Policy Consensus Tool exercise, have a website, a Twitter and Facebook presence, board committees, countless partners and friends, a semi-regular email newsletter, great funding partners in the Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation and Otto Bremer Foundation. Best of all we have great plans for the future; a leadership training program in the works, almost completed and ready for sharing Fluoride Varnish Training video with accompanying parent video, a group working on an oral health directory, and much more.
So what do we get for all of our beautiful growth and much change? Other than the events and accomplishments I have listed?
What we get with is the possibility of a future where oral health is a priority for everyone, where people really get that the mouth is part of the body, where connections we didn’t even dream of today become everyday count-on-it, where working together we can make Minnesota’s mouths healthier and people smile just a little brighter than before.
One of my favorite writer-artist’s Brian Andreas says it well:
“We lay there and looked up at the night sky and she told me about stars called blue squares and red swirls and I told her I’d never heard of them. Of course not, she said, the really important stuff they never tell you.
You have to imagine it on your own.”
― Brian Andreas
As we near the end of 2015 I wish you all a very happy holiday season and a glorious end to the beautiful year,
Nancy Franke Wilson