Bulletin of Dental Education

ADEA Advocacy – 2011 in Review

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By Jack E. Bresch, M.A.L.S., Associate Executive Director and Director, ADEA Center for Public Policy and Advocacy

Jack E. Bresch, M.A.L.S., Associate Executive Director and Director, ADEA Center for Public Policy and Advocacy (ADEA CPPA)ADEA’s 2011 legislative initiatives and grassroots advocacy efforts, approved by the ADEA Board of Directors and guided by the ADEA Legislative Advisory Committee (ADEA LAC), were promoted in this supercharged political environment—sometimes successfully, sometimes falling short of the mark. Whether in a leadership role or in collaboration with dental, oral health, higher education organizations, and other like-minded strategic partners, ADEA’s advocacy on behalf of dental education, dental research, and the oral health of the nation was substantive. ADEA’s efforts included: 


  • Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 appropriations to fund General, Pediatric, and Public Health Dentistry Training Programs
  • FY 2012 appropriations to fund biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
  • Retention of in-school interest subsidy on Federal Stafford loans for graduate and professional students
  • “Breaking Barriers to Oral Health Care Act of 2011” introduced by Representative Mike Simpson (R-ID)
  • Legislation to include dentists and dental facilities in the federal disaster response framework


  • Inclusion of education related provisions in the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010
  • Legislation to repeal Department of Education regulations with regard to credit hour and state authorization
  • Medicaid EPSDT as standard for the mandated pediatric oral health benefit in state insurance exchanges


  • Elimination of the Division of Oral Health in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Budget cuts to the Medicare Graduate Medical Education (GME) program as part of deficit reduction
  • Proposed budget cuts in critical oral health programs, agencies, and research as contained in a House-passed Continuing Resolution
  • Proposal to block a grant the Medicaid program
  • Regulations issued by the Department of Education creating a federal definition of a credit hour
  • Budget cuts to historically black colleges and universities, predominantly black institutions, Hispanic serving institutions, tribal colleges and universities, and other minority serving institutions


  • Deficit Reduction Committee (Super Committee) not to cut Title VII Health Professions Programs, Medicaid, biomedical research at NIH and NIDCR, and postgraduate medical and dental residency programs (Medicare GME)
  • Congressional Tri-Caucus to advocate for funding for training in diversity programs
  • Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to define the Essential Health Benefits package
  • United States Mission to the United Nations to advance the recommendations of the Oral Health: Action Plan for Promotion and Integrated Disease Prevention report
  • HHS to issue a public statement supporting community water fluoridation


  • Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on Oral Health Initiative with regard to the status of graduates’ training, education, and experience prior to entering oral health workforce
  • IOM Committee on Oral Health Access to Services with regard to building workforce capacity, attracting minority students to oral health careers, improving patient care, rebuilding public health infrastructure, and promoting quality and effectiveness


  • HHS Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Human Subjects Research Protections
  • HHS Final Rule on Investigator Financial Conflicts of Interest


  • Advocacy Workshop at University of Michigan School of Dentistry
  • Advocacy Workshop for the University of Michigan School of Dentistry Scholars Program in Dental Leadership
  • Advocacy Workshop at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine
  • Advocacy Workshop at Louisiana State University School of Dentistry
  • Advocacy Workshop at Marquette University School of Dentistry
  • Advocacy Workshop at Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine

ADEA Advocacy: Work Worth Doing 

Reflecting on the past year’s challenging political climate, the limited progress of legislative proposals, and regulations of importance to academic dentistry, the ADEA CPPA remains motivated by the uplifting words of President Teddy Roosevelt: “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” Advocacy on behalf of dental education, dental research, and the nation’s oral health is undoubtedly worth doing whether the political environment is ripe with opportunity or unreceptive.

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