2018 President's Message


 Dr. Sari Rosenwein

Dear Colleagues,


I would like to extend my best wishes to you and your families as we look forward to a wonderful and exciting New Year! It is an honor and privilege to serve as your newly installed president of the Second District Dental Society (SDDS) for 2018. This year marks the sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary of the formal organization of SDDS and the New York State Dental Association (NYSDA). Over the last 150 years, we have seen how the dental profession and the faces of dentistry have evolved. Women now make up a large percentage of the profession, which at one time was male-dominated. I would be remiss if I did not give honorable mention and gratitude to Dr. Reneida Reyes for opening the door to female leadership in our component by becoming the first female president of SDDS in 1993. Today it is not unusual to see women in top leadership positions, representing our profession at the component, state and national levels. Thank you, Dr. Reyes, for paving the way for us and for your wonderful mentorship!


I have been a dues-paying member of the tripartite since 1982, but was not always an active member. I don’t recall if I was even aware of the voluntary positions available on the many committees that help the Society run, thanks to the exemplary staff at SDDS — Bernard Hackett (executive director), Veronica Molina (membership coordinator) and Shayo Farinre (continuing education coordinator) — and their continued support and commitment to our organization. I was busy running a private dental practice with my husband, Dr. Andrew Warshaw, raising two young children and meeting rent and payroll obligations. With additional office construction and dental school loans to repay, just like many of my colleagues I thought, “Who has time to volunteer?” I surely didn’t. What could Second District do for me, anyway?


Looking back, I realize that SDDS did a lot and continues to “have our backs!” Through its voluntary leadership, SDDS brings an exciting schedule of cutting edge CE courses each year encompassing all phases of dentistry, as well as current information on healthcare policy, practice management and so much more. This is in addition to its strong partnership and advocacy campaign with NYSDA and the ADA. We, as practitioners, cannot stand alone. I am sorry I waited so long to become an active member — I didn’t know what I didn’t know, nor did I understand what I was missing. How could I? You need to be involved with the organization to appreciate its value. Volunteering is vital to our personal and professional growth, as well as to the success of our organization. 


While an attending at New York-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital (a position I have held since 1999), Dr. Robert Seminara, then chair and program director, invited me to an SDDS Board of Trustees meeting as a guest. I began attending these meetings regularly and noticed my professional world changing quickly. At SDDS, I experienced sincere mentorship, friendship and genuine concern for me and my husband, practice and family by its many members. SDDS became my second family. It was my “go to” place where I could share my thoughts and concerns without judgement and where colleagues listened, cared and shared their expertise. There, I became close with several senior members — the pillars of SDDS — who encouraged me to consider volunteering on several committees and stimulated my interest in future leadership positions, better known as “climbing the ladder.” By that time, I had already been a mediator for the SDDS Peer Review and Quality Assurance Committee for several years. I will always be extremely grateful to Drs. Robert and Gloria Seminara, Mrs. Kay Halikias and the late Dr. Robert Halikias, Dr. James Spencer and Mrs. Joyce Spencer, and Dr. Anthony DiMango and Mrs. Muffy DiMango, for embracing and encouraging me to become an SDDS “insider.” We have all benefitted from their many years of experience and professional wisdom. They, like so many before them, are the true cornerstones of our 150-year-old organization. 


As your 2018 president, I encourage you all to become active members within SDDS without delay, so that you can also realize the many member benefits. We need volunteers for all the different committees, as well as for the Greater New York Dental Meeting. SDDS will mentor any member with an interest in service. We applaud the many SDDS volunteers as they continue to develop and present an exciting “new dentist” mentorship program, the Loan Forgiveness Program, new dentist conferences, exciting CE courses, membership meetings, leadership opportunities and special event invitations. I firmly believe that mentorship brings lasting membership! 


One of the greatest member benefits is the process of the SDDS Peer Review and Quality Assurance Committee. After many years as a peer review mediator on the committee, I was appointed the committee chair in June 2012 and have served as chair ever since. We live in a litigious society where many patients have unrealistic expectations, leading to the breakdown of the doctor-patient relationship. Peer review is an alternative dispute resolution process and provides a protective measure for both the dentist and patient. It is an impartial, confidential and timely way to resolve complaints about the appropriateness of treatment and quality of care provided by SDDS member dentists. Remember, you must be a member of organized dentistry to participate. The benefits of peer review include:

  • Liability is limited to the fee paid by the patient

  • There is no liability for future treatment or for pain and suffering

  • Peer review has been upheld by the courts in New York

  • Patient agrees to not subsequently file a lawsuit

  • No record ever appears in the National Data Bank

  • The process is completely confidential

  • Peer review is free for the dentist and patient


I’m looking forward to seeing new faces at our meetings and exploring new ideas on how to make our great organization even greater. I invite all of you to step away from your busy practices, residency programs or daily routines and join us for a wonderful night at our next general membership meeting. There you can enjoy a great lecture for which you’ll receive CE credit, schmooze with your colleagues and enjoy the camaraderie that permeates throughout the organization. Best of all, it’s free to SDDS members. Become an active SDDS member and help make a difference — for yourself, your colleagues and your profession.


Thank you for the privilege to serve as your president for 2018. I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year! 


Sari R. Rosenwein, DMD

2018 President of Second District Dental Society