The most common question Council on Advocacy members are asked is how to stay up-to-date with current events and political issues impacting dental students?
The best way to stay current on dental issues is to read ASDA’s e-newsletter, Advocacy Brief. This monthly email is sent to every ASDA member and includes recent state and federal dental news.
Another way to learn about advocacy issues and actually participate in ASDA’s advocacy efforts is through Engage. Engage is ASDA’s online advocacy alert system. The front page features a “What’s New” section that is updated weekly with the latest news about dental bills and court cases. Also included on the page are featured state and federal legislation. When you click on a bill, it will bring you to the bill’s description, ASDA’s position and recent actions. The best part about Engage is our action alerts. In only a few minutes, it allows you to take action on a bill by contacting your legislators with a letter about ASDA’s stance on the issue. Using Engage, ASDA members have sent thousands of letters to their Congressional Representatives and Senators on issues including student debt, access to care, and the medical device tax.
Another way to learn more about the issues is by talking to your chapter’s legislative liaison. Each chapter legislative liaison works closely with a legislative coordinator from the Council on Advocacy to share ideas and update students on important issues. Now that you know more about the issues impacting the dental profession, you can make a difference. Here are some great ways to get involved:
- Hold a lunch & learn
- Learn about ADPAC
- Serve as a legislative liaison at your chapter
- Organize an “Advocacy Academy” with your state dental association
- Participate in or organize a state lobby day (chapter grantsmay be available to help cover expenses)
- Host a lawmaker at your chapter
- Attend National Dental Student Lobby Day
If all of ASDA’s newsletters, alerts and advocacy resources just aren’t enough to satisfy your current events fix, the ADA Morning Huddle is a daily email that takes news stories about dentistry from the general press and compiles them into one place. As all predoctoral ASDA members are also ADA members, this subscription is included in our membership. If you do not currently receive the Morning Huddle, you can contact the ADA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, if you have a question about dental advocacy issues or want to get involved, you can always contact ASDA’s Council on Advocacy.
Did you know that the ADA and AGD also offer their own Engage and action alert sites? If you just can’t get enough advocacy, You can check them out here:
- ADA Engage (ADA’s grassroots advocacy platform)
- AGD Engage (AGD’s grassroots advocacy platform)
~James Wanamaker, Buffalo ’16, chair, Council on Advocacy
About James Wanamaker
James Wanamaker is a 4th year dental student at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. He currently serves as the Chair of the Council on Advocacy. He previously served as the Legislative Coordinator for Districts 1-3 and Legislative Liaison for Buffalo SDM. When he is not busy with school and ASDA he enjoys spending time with his wife, boating, DJing, and ballroom dancing.