Happy New Year! Below are 10 ways that ASDA made a difference in the lives of dental students this past year. Read on and tell us what you’d like from ASDA in 2014.
- Welcomed three new ASDA chapters at the University of Utah, Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health in Kirksville, and University of New England. With 100 new students at these chapters, ASDA members represent nearly 90% of dental students nationwide.
- Launched Engage, ASDA’s advocacy alert system. Engage informs dental students on critical issues and helps them rally in response to legislative activities that impact their profession. To take action, connect with lawmakers, track legislation and follow current events, visit ASDAnet.org/Engage.
- Developed new member resources, including webpages for the Affordable Care Act, Tips for International Dental Students, Predental Club Resources and Getting Involved with Your State Dental Association.
- Created national leadership positions for predentals. The predental consultant and the predental advisory committee provide feedback on predental student focused initiatives. They work closely with ASDA’s council on membership to ensure that new programs properly address the needs of predental members.
- Introduced a new membership database to make it easier to manage your chapter and individual profile. Event registration and member remittance is more efficient and chapter leaders have access to complete member rosters whenever they need it. Individual members can also benefit from the new features:
- Access your ASDA and ADA membership number
- Print a proof of membership letter
- Purchase NBDE reprints and download resources in the online store
- Update contact information and change user name and password
- Protected access to affordable student loans. After the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act (H.R. 1911/S. 1334) passed the Senate in July, ASDA members responded by sending nearly 900 letters to their legislators, urging them to protect access to affordable loans. This was ASDA’s first letter-writing campaign using ASDA Engage. Shortly after, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 392-31 to approve legislation that would lower the interest rate on federally-backed Stafford Loans.
- Supported PGY-1 legislation in Massachusetts. On August 14, ASDA members from Massachusetts’ three dental schools (Boston, Harvard and Tufts) provided written comments in support of a PGY-1 option at the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry (BORID) workgroup meeting. The workgroup is tasked with determining how to respond to the potential passage of legislation aimed at creating a PGY-1 option in lieu of a practical examination.
- Awarded chapter grants to help fund member outreach events and state lobby days to 12 chapters. ASDA also introduced a new Chapter Website Grant in the fall of 2013 that will award $600 to up to three chapters this March to help create and/or maintain a chapter website. Applications are due Jan. 6.
- Expanded student representation in organized dentistry. In addition to the 5 votes in the ADA’s House of Delegates, ASDA now has 2 votes in the Academy of General Dentistry House. This expands dental students’ voices within organized dentistry.
- Focused on your individual development as leaders. In addition to hosting the second annual National Leadership Conference in November, the following resources were created to help you become a successful dentist:
How will ASDA make a difference in your life this year? Let us know what we can do for you in the New Year in the comments below.
~Nancy R. Honeycutt, CAE, ASDA executive director