Everything’s bigger in Texas, and the scale of the 2018 Global Oral Health Summit, which took place Nov. 9-10, in Grapevine, Texas, confirmed that old adage. From the venue to the courses to even the big-name performer at the closing session, the Summit met expectations in a big way.
First, the hotel—the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center. It was conveniently located near the airport but it was far from your typical “airport hotel.” When not attending the Summit, attendees explored the acres of indoor gardens and waterways, enjoying Tex-Mex, grabbing a glass of wine and marveling at thousands of twinkling holiday lights. Just beyond the gardens and restaurants was ICE, a special holiday exhibit featuring larger-than-life ice sculptures. A few lucky Summit attendees even won tickets to ICE, courtesy of Carestream Dental.
While the hotel was a destination in and of itself, it was the Summit that had everyone hollerin’, “Yeehaw!” Things kicked off bright and early at the Summit Service Project. How appropriate that on Veterans Day weekend attendees were able to stuff goodie bags to be distributed to service members and their families at the local USO. Bob Wehrmann, the USO volunteer, and Navy retiree let us know that out of all the things in the kit—candies, hand sanitizer, snacks, etc.—it was the toothpaste and toothbrush that was most appreciated. “When you’re stuck in the airport overnight, or your luggage is lost, nothing helps people feel refreshed more than a chance to brush their teeth,” he said. It made the work of all oral healthcare professionals feel even more important.
Next, attendees heard from Ed Shellard, D.M.D., Carestream Dental’s chief dental officer, and Satish Hemachandran, the general manager of the DPMS business. Dr. Shellard welcomed attendees during the opening session while Hemachandran made several exciting product announcements for CS OrthoTrac, CS PracticeWorks, CS SoftDent and CS WinOMS, the Cloud and eServices. Hemachandran also welcomed Roy Spence CEO and founder of the Purpose Institute, the keynote speaker for the opening session. His inspirational stories and mantra to “find our purpose” change the way we look at how our work impacts patients’ lives. Aristotle once said the purpose of life is to do good and be happy. Spence explained that if you’re doing good and you’re not happy, then you’re just tricking yourself. He encouraged attendees to find their purpose in life—and their practices—to change the world around them.
After the keynote address, attendees were really ready to get things started. It was tough to choose between all the courses; they had their pick between hands-on software training to learn tips, tricks and shortcuts or sessions led by industry consultants covering everything from working with insurance providers to building better team culture in the practice. Fortunately, several of the courses were recorded, so if there were ever a conflict, they could access the recordings of the sessions after the Summit.
In between sessions, attendees visited the Carestream Dental booth to see its latest equipment, like the CS 9600 cone beam computed tomography system or the CS 3600 intraoral scanner. There were even live demos of proper sensor and scanner placement in the booth offerings tips attendees could use in their practice. A whole team of Carestream Dental support staff was also onsite to answer some questions about the software. What was especially nice about the Summit was that other technology partners that covered all the needs of a practice were also present. Exhibitors included TSYS, CareCredit, Citrix, TIAA Bank, Weave, Benco Dental, Legally Mine and many others. These vendors are tailored to the oral health industry and can meet practices needs alongside Carestream Dental.
Alongside the Carestream Dental Exhibitor Partner Pavilion was Exchange Central, where attendees could meet face-to-face with software developers and designers and learn more about future releases of their software during “Future Views” sessions. The Carestream Dental Practice Management Pit Crew was eager to meet with attendees and hear what was most important to their software workflow—attendees’ suggestions might even be included in future versions of the software!
At lunch on the first day, attendees met with other practices from across the country during the networking lunch to learn what was working for them. Even while lunching, attendees picked up a few useful tips from their colleagues.
When sessions ended for the day, there was more fun planned. The Summit Showdown put attendees in the real world, what-would-you-do scenarios that made them think fast to come up with solutions, like late patients, onboarding new staff and clerical mistakes that could throw off the whole workday. When they had their answers, attendees were able to share with the whole room how their practice would handle the situation presented.
Finally, the opening reception that night was beyond what anyone could have imagined! The main entertainment was a lip sync battle that blew people away with the hidden talent of some of the attendees. Teams donned fake beards and mustaches, wigs, rhinestones, hats and all kinds of fun costumes to “sing” their hearts out on stage. One team even managed to turn a hotel hanger into a fiddle. Attendees were carried along with the passion and excitement of the attendees up on stage as they danced and mouthed the words to the music. By the end of the lip sync battle, everyone was on the dance floor.
Day Two at the Summit started bright and early with a second keynote address from noted industry consultant, Rosemary Bray. Her topic, “Turn Your Place of Employment into Your Place of Enjoyment” really underlined the reason attendees were all at the Summit: Because they love their jobs, their practices, and their patients, and want to find ways to be even more efficient at what they do.
During lunch that day, the learning continued with a special session for team members focusing on how technology can make communicating between the front and back office more streamlined. The doctors’ lunch focused on legal concepts that protect oral healthcare providers. It was another example of how Carestream Dental made sure that every opportunity could be turned into a chance to learn pertinent information attendees could take back to their practices and put into place right away.
After another day of learning, attendees were ready to explore Grapevine that evening, but not before Carestream Dental treated them to one final surprise. Country singer/songwriter, James Dean Hicks, had come all the way from Nashville to perform a song he had written just for the Summit! Everyone was singing along by the end—“We’re going to Nashville”—which is appropriate since Nashville just so happens to be the next location of the 2019 Global Oral Health Summit.
Carestream Dental is sure to have more in store for Summit attendees there. Learn more at www.carestreamdental.com/globalsummit