On April 8, ADEA hosted its annual Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill, garnering the highest participation to date. More than 50 members from the nation’s academic dental and research community attended the event, for which ADEA collaborated with the American Association for Dental Research (AADR). Notably, ADEA members had more than 75 meetings with both elected officials and their congressional staff to advocate for the training of today’s oral health workforce, as well as investment in dental and craniofacial research.
Dr. Lily Garcia, Chair of the ADEA Board of Directors, opened and concluded the briefing by underscoring the importance of advocacy to augmenting dental education and improving good oral and systemic health in the U.S. Dr. Garcia also pointed out that previous ADEA advocacy efforts resulted in the successful adoption of pediatric dental benefits in the Affordable Care Act. As a result, pediatric oral health coverage is now one of 10 essential health benefits in the Affordable Care Act.
Prior to the Congressional meetings, Reps. Mike Simpson, DMD (R-ID), Paul Gosar, DDS (R-AZ) and G. K. Butterfield (D-NC), all members of the Oral Health Caucus, provided remarks. Erica Solway, a senior advisor to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), provided remarks on behalf of the senator.
ADEA and AADR constituents requested that Congress appropriate $32.4 million in FY15 for primary care training in general, pediatric and public health dentistry under Title VII Health Professions programs, in addition to adequately funding the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) at $425 million.