Networking, Trends and More: See What You Missed at This Year’s Scaling Up Group Dental Symposium

The fifth-annual Scaling Up Group Dental Symposium took place last month at the beautiful Omni Hotel in downtown Louisville. Hosted by Mortenson Dental Partners, the two-day conference brought together over 150 thought leaders from 64 organizations all over the country to explore current trends and best practices in the dental industry. With the rapid growth of group dentistry in recent years, Scaling Up is also a way to help independent practices navigate the many things to consider when deciding whether to join a DSO.

The conference kicked off with a behind-the-scenes tour of the Mortenson Dental Partners Support Center, which was recently expanded to include an additional floor. Tour attendees got an exclusive look at the new space while learning about the services that are instrumental in managing a growing DSO. The tour was followed by a welcome reception at the Omni.

Mortenson Dental Partners Support Center

Photos by Anthony Seitz, Falls City Photography







The main agenda was packed with an assortment of expert speakers. Several presenters came directly from Mortenson Dental Partners, including CEO Bill Becknell, who provided his insights on developing the best strategy for your DSO, and VP of Practice Excellence Cheryl Penava, who guided leaders on how not to be a jerk to their employees. Dr. Will Engilman, President and CIO, and Corby Ewing, Director of Business Intelligence, explored how data science can improve patient care and drive business performance, while Stonehaven Dental’s Dr. Eric Tobler shared what it was like to join a DSO. Responding to feedback from last year’s conference, MDP also developed a panel on leveraging hygiene to drive performance, which was composed of Director of Hygiene Andrea Edelen, Director of Business Operations Melissa Thomas, and Patient Experience Coach Tina Jones.

Industry experts from organizations outside of MDP also shared their knowledge on a variety of relevant topics. Nicholas Partridge of Five Lakes Professional Services presented trends in payer relations, Brian Colao of Dykema discussed how compliance can maximize the value of your DSO and Dan Wicker of Cain Watters & Associates explored dentistry’s tough financial questions. Attendees also took a close look at the latest market trends, with Dr. Kamyar Nasseh of the American Dental Association’s Health Policy Institute providing the latest in the US dental industry, and Cecile Schauer of Patterson Dental diving more specifically into trends from regional DSOs. As part of a special DSO Spotlight held each day, Stephen DeLong of Bluetree Dental and Michael Rowe of Denzinger Family Dentistry both shared their inspiring stories of growing from small practices to successful DSOs.

In addition to the mainstage presentations, the conference included a number of breakout sessions for smaller groups to dive deeply into specialized topics. Some of those topics included developing your executive presence, doctor and talent recruitment, acquisition transactions and managing real estate. There was also an intimate Q&A with Mortenson Dental Partners’ founder Dr. Wayne Mortenson, Executive Vice President Jane Logsdon, and Board Chair Bob Fuchs.

As part of the event, attendees were invited to an evening networking reception at Louisville’s iconic Muhammed Ali Center to build connections with other top industry leaders. The conference concluded with a keynote from Jason Barger, creator of the Step Back from the Baggage Claim movement and author of “Thermostat Cultures.”

Scaling Up Group Dental Symposium was made possible by several generous sponsors, including Patterson Dental, Carr Healthcare, Dykema, Five Lakes Professional Services, Houlihan Lokey and many others. Stay tuned for more information about future events hosted by Mortenson Dental Partners!

Read about the 2018 Scaling Up Group Dental Symposium – HERE.

Read the 2017 recap – HERE.

Read the 2016 recap – HERE.

Read the 2015 recap – HERE.

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