Message from President

Dear Members, Friends and Partners of Mississippi Dental Society,

I pray all is well with your families, friends, and co-workers. We are in challenging times starting with the wave of the COVID-19 pandemic to another wave of COVID variants, to natural disasters such as hurricanes and as well as personal losses of loved ones. However, some how, some way, we have made it this far. This is because God has given us the gift of relying on Him as well as each other to wade through this kaleidoscope of events. Therefore, it is a state of cohesiveness or standing together that has allowed us not only to survive, but also thrive underneath the most intricate of circumstances.

Here at MDS, we have also stood up by strengthening our cohesiveness and being on a mission to improve our organization. This cohesiveness has enabled us to improve our website by expanding exposure for our partners, sharing of vital information, enabling payment of membership dues online, and other exciting website improvements that are on the way. Our MDS committees have been working tirelessly to making our winter meeting a success. It is my sincerest intent to work with all of you to accomplish our goals.

Our founding forefathers who resided in various parts of the state came together to meet in one room, with one focus, with one purpose just like we do today. During that time, their purpose was to “Stand Up” together and promote the art and science of dentistry and to raise the standard for the community of color. Now, in our day, not only are we to do that, but we are also responsible for raising the oral health consciousness for all Mississippians, especially the community of color. Dr. J.C. Overton, Dr. C.L. Barnes, Dr. J.T. Fullilove, Dr. W.S. Atwood, Dr. W.H. Black, and Dr. D.H. Dilworth, were those aforementioned forefathers that “Stood Up” for the underserved African American communities. Even then, they knew they were more effective standing together and not alone to lead their community. Now, that our forefathers have set the standard, I am absolutely convinced that we could do the same and even more. So, let us “Stand Up” as a unified community so we can shine together.

Before I conclude this message, I want to leave you with these two words…“Stand Up”. That’s right… “Stand Up”. “Stand Up” for ourselves. “Stand Up” for our family, “Stand Up” for our community. “Stand Up” for our businesses that support our community. “Stand Up” for our future dentist. “Stand Up” for dentistry so that we can stand together to force change. When our organization embodies these two words, our like minds will do great and exciting things together. I also want to openly give special thanks to Ms. Denita Wells, Dr. Carl Boykin, Dr. Preston Cobbins, Dr. Kenneth Nash, Dr. Leon Anderson, Dr. Melissa Bradley, and Johnathan Jones from Patterson Dental, who made all of this happen by tirelessly devoting their evenings and weekends to our wonderful organization. Finally yet importantly, please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters who have been affected by hurricane Ida as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Respectfully yours,

Gary Williams,

President Mississippi Dental Society