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Alumnus Runs for ADA Vice President

Written by Adam Zewe

Morris Antonelli, DDS '61, would like to play a larger role in shaping the future of dentistry. He is running for vice president of the American Dental Association (ADA).

Dr. Antonelli, who has served in the ADA House of Delegates for more than 25 years, decided to enter the race after receiving encouragement and support from colleagues at last year's annual meeting. He has contributed to important decisions on dental licensure and now seeks to take his leadership skills to a new level. He has served on the ADA Council of Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations.

If he is elected vice president in October, Dr. Antonelli will be a voting member of the Board of Trustees, which oversees day-to-day operations. He expects the trustees to deal with many pressing concerns, such as improving access to care and workforce issues, and expanding ADA membership. "Dental education is also a major issue. There is a shortage of faculty and a shortage of funds. We are in tough economic times," he states. Dr. Antonelli plans to use his experience as a member of the Dean's Faculty to help the board address education.

He welcomes the opportunity to have more influence at the ADA, which is involved in lobbying and representing dentists and patients in the public arena. The organization, which was founded in 1859, has more than 157,000 member dentists. "The ADA is very important, not only for advocacy, but for maintaining American dentistry at the highest level," explains Dr. Antonelli.

Public service has always been fulfilling for Dr. Antonelli, who recently retired after 43 years of private practice in Beltsville, Md. Due to his experience encountering access to care issues, Dr. Antonelli believes he brings a valuable perspective to ADA leadership. "I feel that I'm doing something constructive and helping my profession. I want to continue to be involved in dentistry," he concludes.

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