Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dental Educators Meet With Members Of Congress To Advocate For Universal Dental Coverage And Access To Oral Health Care

Advocates for dental education and dental research participated in the 2009 American Association for Dental Research-American Dental Education Association (AADR-ADEA) Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill yesterday. Representatives from dental schools visited 36 Members of Congress to advocate for universal coverage and access to oral health care in U.S. health care system reform. To achieve that goal, AADR-ADEA advocates urged Congress to make needed investments in dental education to ensure a robust, diverse health professions workforce. They also urged congressional leaders to support a 10% increase in the FY 2010 budget for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR).

"Grassroots advocacy by our members is an essential component of ADEA's legislative efforts. Raising the profile on Capitol Hill of dental education and research while health care reform is a priority on the agenda of national lawmakers is key to improving access to oral health care," said ADEA President Ronald J. Hunt, D.D.S.

Participants attended a one-day legislative workshop that included presentations by nationally known columnist and commentator Bill Press; frequent radio and television news guest and digital budget columnist for NationalJournal.com Stanley Collender; NIH Acting Principal Deputy Director Lawrence A. Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D.; and senior policy advisor at the Washington, DC law firm of Alston & Bird, LLP and former Clinton White House staffer Marilyn Yager. Before their legislative visits, participants were briefed by staff from the ADEA Center for Public Policy and Advocacy (ADEA CPPA) and AADR on each of the advocacy messages they would deliver to their elected officials.

AADR-ADEA Advocacy Day is an annual event designed to enhance the legislative leadership skills of dental educators and researchers while advocating for the legislative priorities of both associations. Over the years, participants have educated Congress about issues including the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), the Children's Dental Health Improvement Act, and restoration of funding for student aid programs. Each year, dental school deans, faculty and administrators, allied dental educators and professionals, dental researchers, patient advocate groups, and ADEA Volunteer Advocacy Coordinators from around the country attend the event.

1 comment:

Zachary Colbert said...

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