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Welcome to Pierce County Dental Society!
Pierce County Dental Society is a component society for current members of the American Dental Association and Washington State Dental Association.
November President's Message - Dr. Guillermo Chacon
And just like that the holidays are just around the corner. I don’t know about you, but in the Chacon household at 12:01 AM on November 1st the pumpkins are put away and the elves start working their magic decorating for the upcoming festivities.
As many of you know, I was born and raised in Costa Rica and came to this country for graduate training back in 1993. Everything I owned at the time fit neatly into two suitcases and I had some room for some extra stuff. I just didn’t have enough to fill them up completely! So, when November got closer and people started talking about their Thanksgiving plans, I had no idea what the big fuzz was all about, since this was a completely foreign concept to me, and as such I had no plans or anywhere to go. Finally, the week before a very kind neighbor asked me what I was doing the following Thursday and I told him that I was just going to stay in my split-level studio apartment watching TV or maybe go hang out at the beach for a while (I was attending the University of Miami at this point in time). To this day I remember the sad expression on his face, and I couldn’t understand why he felt so bad for me. So, to make a long story short, he invited me to spend Thanksgiving with him and his family. Having attended an American school from pre-K through high school, I knew about the historical base for this occasion, but since I had never celebrated it, it really didn’t mean much of anything to me. However, I was very appreciative and since I was a poor graduate student with a frequent flyer card to the frozen meal section at the supermarket, I was excited about a home cooked meal. Real food for a change!!!
If you have never experienced a large get-together of a Cuban family, let me tell you, it is truly something. I assumed it would be my neighbor’s immediate family and I sharing a meal, but to my surprise there were at least 30 people in this house that was not particularly big. Everyone was dressed up from top to bottom and the amount of food was unbelievable. And the energy and happiness of the guests, some of whom had traveled very long distances to be there, was truly infectious.
We were all seated for dinner in what had become a makeshift ballroom between the living room, dining room, and kitchen areas. All set up with folding tables and chairs to accommodate the large crowd and we were all anxiously waiting to start the feast. My neighbor, the patriarch of the family who was in his mid-sixties, stood up and asked us for some silence so he could say grace. This is to date one of the most beautiful prayers I have ever heard. He recounted his departure from his beloved land as a young man, leaving behind a home, a career, and his family to escape a regime of terror and persecution. He gave thanks for the new home he had found in this country and to the people who helped him bring his family here seven years later. Now, a small business owner, a father, a grandfather, and a friend to many, he was infinitely grateful for everything he had and, interestingly, everything he had to go through to get there. And that’s when it hit me, the magic of this holiday. Who cares if the story of the pilgrims and the natives breaking bread on this day is historically factual or not? All I could see was a group of people gathered together to share each other’s company. No gift exchanges, no forced interactions with people you normally would not hang out with, no commercial poisoning of the reason to be there. Just people enjoying their time together, giving thanks to God or whoever they believed in, for the opportunities life had given them.
That experience completely changed the meaning of Thanksgiving for me, and it has become a big deal for our family. We enjoy the opportunity to get together and spend a few days with one another. Preparing the meal is a crazy symphony orchestrated by my wife, who directs traffic in the kitchen and does most of the heavy lifting. She goes as far as preparing a completely separate multicourse meal for my oldest daughter and her husband, who became vegan a few years ago. It’s a four-day celebration with our own version of the modern family with a mix of Costa Rican and American dishes, good wine, and lots of football!
I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for all the blessings that I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy every day. First and foremost, for my wife, the love of my life and the life of my love, my children, and grandson. They are my reason to live and the light of my day. My job, which is the best in the world, and has given me the chance to provide for my family. My referring colleagues, who continue to believe in me and trust me with the care of their patients and their own family members. My extended family and friends, and really to life itself. What a wonderful ride we get to experience just by waking up every morning and doing what we love in a profession that enjoys high reputation and respect. And to all the members of our Pierce County Dental Society, thank you for the honor of allowing me to be your president this year. I hope to put my mark in our organization, leaving it a little better when it is my time to step down.
I wish you all every sort of blessing and good fortune this Holiday Season. May the Lord continue to bless our profession and this wonderful country of ours. Let’s put any differences that we may have aside and let’s get together to enjoy what really matters.
As Morgan L. Allison, former chairman of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the Ohio State University, always said: “It’s a wonderful life!”.
All the best,
There will not be a January 2023 GMM.
We are dedicated to furthering education, mutual support and better communication with the general public for the purpose of their better dental health. The Society has a Central Office to provide information on current dental issues, act as a liaison to the outside community, and serve as a support to its member dentists. Our goal is to provide this website as a resource for dentists, patients, and the community. If there is information that you feel would be helpful to other patients or dentists, please email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We provide free referrals to our Pierce County dentists for those patients who are looking for a new dental home, and we also have a download-able list of multi-lingual dental offices located in Pierce County
The Society has a Central Office to provide information on current dental issues, act as a liaison to the outside community, and serve as a support to its member dentists. We have one full-time staff person. The Central Office provides no-cost referral and mediation services for the public. Mediation is done for member dentists only.
The Pierce County Dental Society is proud to honor the many dentists who have participated in volunteer activities over the years. Together dentists in Pierce County donated $1,000,000 in care to low-income individuals in dental need, and participated in several oral health educational activities throughout the County.
100% Of the proceeds stay in Pierce County to help those in dental need.
All proceeds for the “A Day for Smiles” goes to the Pierce County Dental Foundation Endowment fund. The fund has a goal of $1,000,000. Once the fund reaches $500,000 it will start disbursing the proceeds for oral health care for those in need, oral health education, and to support education for dental professionals. Currently the fund has over $380,000 in donations.
The Foundation has supported several community events to support improved oral health such as: Pierce County Dentists Care Program, Bates Free Dental Day, Tacoma Rescue Mission Free Dental Day, Pierce County Veteran’s Resource Fair, Pierce County Dental Society Children’s Dental Health Day, and oral hygiene supplies for schools in Pierce County.