In April, more than 380 dental students from across the country united in Washington. Students met with legislators and lobbied for the Action for Dental Health Act. H.R. 539 is a bipartisan supported bill introduced to Congress by Representative Robin Kelly from Illinois. If passed, the bill would allow nonprofit organizations to qualify for oral health grants administered by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These grants could be used to support several programs outlined within the ADA Action for Dental Health initiative.
One of the pillars, at all levels of organized dentistry, is advocacy. As members of the American Student Dental Association, advocacy is not something to be viewed as an entity that is merely provided to us. Advocacy is a personal task that should be actively engaged in so that we can serve as a voice to our colleagues, law-makers and the general population.
For today’s dental student, the utilization of social media is at times used to vent about a rigorous week at school, post pictures of your latest sim clinic work-of-art, or even share that infamous “stab lab” photo op. The ‘likes’ and comments these posts generate can be astronomical and are comprised of other dental students, family members and friends. It is easily apparent that through our postings we have the ability to reach a variety of different individuals.
This past April, ASDA members from across the U.S. came together in Washington, D.C. to advocate for improving access to care. ASDA joined with the ADA and a host of other dental organizations to urge our legislators to support The Coordination of Pro Bono Medically Recommended Dental Care Act (S. 466/H.R. 963). These bipartisan bills create a grant program to help meet the medically recommended dental needs of low-income individuals. Specifically, the program would give $2 million to fund health navigators to match patients with needs and dentists willing to perform the treatment at no cost to the patient.
Just one week before Washington D.C.’s cherry blossoms reached peak bloom, 375 members of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) gathered on April 7th and 8th to lobby legislators on Capitol Hill. Every year, National Dental Student Lobby Day focuses on legislation that affects dental students.
April 7-8th, 2014 marks the dates on which delegations of dental students will converge on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. to advocate on behalf of our organization’s 20,000 members as a part of ASDA’s National Dental Student Lobby Day. This two-day legislative event provides dental students with an amazing opportunity to meet face-to-face with our federal legislators tasked with the power to make decisions on our Country’s behalf…
Professional lobbyists are paid influencers. Of course, networking is the cornerstone of lobbying. ASDA asked former ADA lobbyist Michael Brzica to speak at National Leadership Conference this past November. In case you missed the meeting, we had Michael distill some of his networking wisdom into four key points. Watch this video to glean networking tips from a professional lobbyist.