During the KDA Annual Meeting on Saturday, April 8, 2017, Dr. Nick Rogers (Arkansas City) began his role as the 140th President of the Kansas Dental Association.
Dr. Nick Rogers is a well-respected and admired member of the community in Arkansas City. He has had a dental practice for many years that is dedicated not only to serving people in the office, but also doing community outreach.
Recently, Nick was heavily involved in keeping community water fluoridation in place in Arkansas City.
“Scott and I don’t want to lose fluoride under our watch!” It was with these words that Dr. Nick Rogers launched a brief, but very successful battle to preserve fluoride in Arkansas City in the Spring of 2016. Nick and his son, Dr. Scott Rogers, learned about an anti-fluoridationist who wanted to turn an issue about a new water treatment plant into a referendum on community water fluoridation.
In the span of 15 days, they met with each member of the City Commission at least twice, held ongoing conversations with the City Manager, urged the Chamber of Commerce to educate members about the value of fluoridation, and organized all the dentists in town to advocate to keep fluoride. City Commissioners, at first, were swayed by the anti-fluoride messages they heard, and considered putting the issue before the voters; but, in the end, the dental community under Dr. Nick Rogers’ leadership persuaded them to continue the city’s practice of providing residents with optimally fluoridated water.
On April 5, 2016, after the City Commission met, Nick jubilantly proclaimed, “Fluoride PASSED! I even got a hug afterwards from the lady who was leading the anti-fluoride movement! All of the dentists pulled together for this one.” It takes a pretty special person to win over the opposing party in a battle the way Nick did.
It is one thing to support water fluoridation as a dental professional, but it is another to decide to exercise leadership by organizing both the dentists and business community to advocate for fluoridation as quickly and effectively as Nick did. He had been through previous battles, and he understood why it is important to take even a minor threat seriously and to organize and advocate with everything you’ve got. He took nothing for granted, and he used all the resources available to him from the local, state, and national levels to prove to the City Commission why they should continue their long-standing practice of community water fluoridation.
Nick has been active in the Kansas dental community for many years, including serving as the Southern District Dental Society President. In addition to serving as KDA President in 2017-2018, Nick has been a part of many KDA Councils and Committees. He also is one of the most well-known advocates of dental care in early childhood among general dentists in the state. When he sees an issue that needs to be addressed, he gets involved. He has never been someone who sits on the sidelines and waits to see if someone else will do something. This fluoridation success is one in a long string of advocacy successes under Nick’s belt, and there is no reason to believe they will not continue for a long time to come.
Congratulations, Nick! We look forward to working with you as KDA President.
Information courtesy of Oral Health Kansas: fluoridekansas.org.