It was a cold November weekend in Chicago when more than 200 general dentists gathered together for the Academy of General Dentistry Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting focuses on the governance-related aspects of AGD, including elections and the house of delegates (HOD). The HOD is AGD’s legislative body. It consisted of 202 delegates, including active, retired and emeritus members from each constituent; constituents allow at least one voting delegate.

During this meeting, the participants can amend the AGD Constitution and Bylaws, and create policies that govern the organization.  I was fortunate enough to attend this year’s HOD Conference as an Alternate Delegate along with Victoria Revich. Myself, along with the other members of NJAGD, participated in reference committees on advocacy, administration, image, membership, and continuing education. Conversing with such distinguished general dentists opened my eyes about the importance of organized dentistry. All of our combined efforts will work together to positively impact and contribute to our dental profession. By becoming an AGD member, we can advance the dental profession and better serve our communities. It is important for all student doctors to understand the importance of organized dentistry and advocacy and in the future to become active members of the AGD.

Every year at the AGD Annual Meeting, awards are given to recipients in recognition of excellence in certain areas.  This year, the AGD 2019 Distinguished Service Award recipient was our very own Joseph Battaglia, DMD, MS, FAGD.  Dr. Battaglia is an associate clinical professor in the department of restorative dentistry at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine. He currently serves as the chair of the AGD Dental Practice Coucil; commissioner of the American Dental Association (ADA) National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards. He is past chair of AGD Legislative & Governmental Affairs Council and past president of of the NJAGD chapter (2002-2003). Thank you for all your hard work and dedication Dr. Battaglia. No one is as deserving as you!!