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Georgia Section Welcomes 10 New Fellows!

Posted February 15, 2014

The Georgia Section of PFA celebrated its 12th the Annual Conference and Convocation at Chateau Elan in Braselton, GA from January 31st to February 1st, 2014. It was an event full of energy and excitement. Conference Chair Dr. Annette Rainge organized an event full of activities filled with humor, excitement, and a dose of intellectual CE.

Ten Georgia nominees were recognized for their service to dentistry and their communities by being inducted into the Fellowship by International President, Dr. Dan Castagna, our very own first woman President-Elect of PFA, Dr. Karyn Stockwell, and Georgia Section Chair, Dr. Lou Ann Best, during a dinner at the Winery.

The Georgia Class of 2014 included Dr. James “Bo” Broadfoot, Valdosta, Dr. Mark Brunner, Atlanta, Dr. Cara DeLeon, Savannah, Dr. John W. Harden, Jr., Atlanta, Dr. Nathan Lund, Savannah, Dr. Harry McCool, Lilburn, Dr. Donald B. Nelson, Springfield, Dr. Paul “PJ” Schaner, Marietta, Dr. Ched Smaha, Macon, and Dr. Michael M. Wright, Macon.

The event kicked off with our own Give Kids a Smile effort on Friday for the local counties.  Dr. Shirley Fisher and many volunteer dentists treated 37 kids and donated dental treatment worth $14,000.  Inclement weather hampered our efforts. PFA is grateful to Dr. Mark Shurett for volunteering his mobile clinics for the event. More volunteers are needed for this next year, so please consider donating some time for this event at the next meeting.

A casual Prime Rib and seafood buffet dinner Friday evening allowed all the Fellows and their guests to meet and greet each other, and the new Fellows. The evening was capped off with formal introductions of the new Fellows and the officers, a slide show, and presentation of appreciation to the meeting committee chairs, not to mention numerous door prizes! 

Saturday was an eventful day. We spent the morning learning about “Sleep Apnea” from Dr. Scott DeRossi.  Dr. Katharine Ciarrocca spoke about care for the elderly, a cause that needs lots of attention. These clinicians gave excellent presentations and updates of current thinking and literature. We extend our warmest thanks to our conference Sponsors; Dentsply, Affinity Bank, Glaxo SmithKline, and Proctor & Gamble who were present with product displays and giveaways during the CE portion of our conference as well as UBS and the Law Office of Stuart J. Oberman.  Many attendees enjoyed a cooking demonstration after lunch or took advantage of the beautiful spa before getting ready for the evenings festivities.

Saturday evening was the highlight of the event. Ten new fellows were inducted into the academy. PFA President Dr. Dan Castagna was present to address the new and current fellows. His message included a brief history and the good work the academy continues to do. Dr. Karyn Stockwell, our first lady president-elect of PFA, also addressed the gathering. She remains an inspiration to all of us. Her zest and hard work seems to be everlasting. We wish her well in her upcoming presidency. I hope many of you can join us next year to celebrate her presidency. After the induction of the new fellows, the Georgia Excellence in Education Award was presented to Dr. Alan Furness of Georgia Regents University. The two Mark Ritz Scholarship recipients, Mr. Ryan Bloomquist and Ms. Karolina Grochowska, were introduced, as was the recipient of the Foundation of the PFA Scholarship, Mr. Jess Belyeu. The Shotgun Raffle drawing took place. Dr. Donnie Brown is the happy winner of the shotgun this year. The Raffle supports the Georgia Section Mark Ritz Research Scholarship Fund.

The rest of the evening was full of entertainment. You only have to look at the pictures to see the dance floor full of fellows dancing to a very entertaining band. It was an entertaining display of dancing abilities (or lack of it) by some of our fellows. I’ll keep you posted with a YouTube link to see it in real time, however it may upset a few people. For many the evening continued in the hotel lounge until the cleaning crew asked them leave politely.

Sunday morning involved excellent presentations by the two GRU students who were presented the Mark Ritz Scholarship for their exciting research. Dr. Carole Hanes introduced these students and took a special pride in their work.  Mr. Ryan Bloomquist and Ms. Karolina Grochowska received these scholarships.  Mr. Bloomquist travelled to King’s College in London (UK) with the proceeds, the place I graduated from some 18 years ago, small world.  A short presentation was made by Dr. Evis Babo, introducing the next meeting to be held at the Ritz Carlton at Lake Oconee on Jan. 30- Feb. 1, 2015.  We will be communicating with you via e-mail about this event. So please do check on an e-mail from us. You may contact me on any time for information.

Hope to see you all there!

Kumar Patel, DMD MS

Editor, Georgia Section PFA



2014 Georgia Fellowship Class