Shenkin Elected ADA 2nd VP

Shenkin Defeats Oettmeier for ADA 2nd VP … Oettmeier Thanks Supporters


Following his election to ADA 2nd Vice President, Dr. Jonathan Shenkin thanked and recognized his opponent, Dr. Bert Oettmeier.

“I want to thank Bert for running a really  professional campaign,” Shenkin said.  “Bert is a formidable candidate with tremendous experience and a lot to offer our profession.”

Oettmeier congratulated  Shenkin and thanked him for both his past and future service .

“I’d  like to thank my campaign committee, all my buds from the Council on Dental Benefits,” Oettmeier began.  “I’d also like to give a special thanks to former ADA Trustee Dr. R. Wayne Thompson who twenty years  ago said ‘Bert you are a leader and it’s time you started participating.’  He was right and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it since.”

Oettmeier went on to thank the 12th District and the ADA for the many opportunities to serve over the years.

“True to our vision, the American Dental Association has long been ‘the recognized leader in oral health,'” Shenkin said.  “We serve as the nation’s voice on dental issues, guiding the discussion on oral care and representing the interests of our diverse base of members.”



While our leadership position remains strong, we are facing challenges to our organization and profession as others seek to undermine the basic understanding of disease prevention and management.

Shenkin__2VP_CandidateI believe these challenges provide us with new opportunities to further enhance the organization and our profession. We have established the communications and advocacy programs necessary to undertake critical outreach and education projects, such as those focused on prevention or impacts of oral care on overall health, that will improve the lives of Americans and strengthen the perception of dentists everywhere.

With our recent public policy efforts in states such as Maine, we are in a far stronger, more unified position as an organization and have a better understanding of the strategies to move our agenda forward.

I wish to work collaboratively as one of the leaders of the American Dental Association to continue our leadership in the field of dentistry and ask for your support in this endeavor.


Current residence: Freeport, Maine
Dental school attended: Columbia University
Year received dental degree: 1996
Postgraduate education/specialty: Pediatric Dentistry
Years of ADA membership: 21

Other professional memberships:

  • American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
  • American Academy of Pediatrics
  • American College of Dentists
  • International College of
  • Academy of General Dentistry

Volunteer posts/elective offices held in organized dentistry:

  • Current chair, ADA Council on Communications
  • Expert media spokesperson (pediatric dentistry) for the ADA
  • Consultant on nutrition and community issues, ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations
  • President, Maine Dental Association
  • Board member, Maine Dental Political Action Committee

What are the three most critical issues facing dentistry today?

1. Increased pressure from outside entities to change the dental delivery system; many states continue to be deluged with outside funding that has misinformed policymakers and legislators about how to achieve optimal oral health. Implementation of the Action for Dental Health campaign is critical in offsetting this misinformation.

2. Declining membership; the ADA is faced with a slow but significant decrease in market share. Changing demographics, practice patterns and member engagement preferences of new dentists require us to be a more nimble organization.

3. Affordable Care Act; many facets of health care reform will impact dentistry and change the profession more than any other piece of legislation. The ADA can help members become more familiar with the components of the law that will impact the dental field.

What are your three main goals if elected?

1. Improve member benefits—Continue efforts to adapt ADA programs to meet members’ needs and preferences.

2. Enhance the ADA’s reputation as the voice of dentistry—Strengthening the effectiveness of the State Public Affairs (SPA) program to better assist states in warding off untoward public policy.

3. Strengthen ADA’s advocacy—Continue to roll out the Action for Dental Health plan in order to improve oral health for all Americans.

What are your main qualifications for the office you seek?

1. Track record on enhancing the reputation of the ADA as an ADA spokesperson

2. Strong understanding of the public health arguments regarding oral health and the workforce

3. Hands-on role in disputing erroneous claims about oral health facts by outside entities in Maine

4. Developed the concept of ADA’s national public affairs program and implemented it as chair of Council on Communications

5. Faculty member in health policy, health services research and pediatric dentistry at Boston University School of Dental Medicine for 10 years.

Why do you want to be an ADA officer?

The dental profession is facing a number of challenges that will have profound impacts on our profession in the years to come. My experience will help the Board, the organization and, in turn, the profession, navigate through these many issues and turn challenges into opportunities.