ADEA has developed a State Advocacy
Toolkit, enabling ADEA members to more effectively advocate for dental
education and dental and craniofacial research.
The importance of being an advocate for
academic dentistry and dental and craniofacial research cannot be overstated.
Getting involved is crucial—programs and funding that affect you and your
institution are at stake. As leaders in the field of oral health care and
dental and craniofacial research, you can help shape policy and impact funding
that will affect your institution.
There are numerous points in the legislative
process at which you can provide input. It is a fact that most legislators know
very little about oral health care in general or about the connection of good
oral health to good systemic health. Furthermore, they probably know very
little about cutting-edge dental and craniofacial research, which has enabled
doctors to detect certain cancers. As experts in the field, be it at the
allied, predoctoral, doctoral or advanced dental education level, your input is
invaluable and carries a lot of weight in the legislative process. By
establishing yourself as a resource for information and establishing a
relationship, you are improving your access to the policymaker. Keep in mind,
as issues that affect you come before legislators, it is much easier to have
the ear of a friend than a stranger!
ADEA developed this state advocacy toolkit to
better equip you to become an advocate. Resources have been assembled to
provide you with information so you can effectively interface with your state
legislators about funding and programs that affect you and your institution.
The toolkit contains information such as:
- An overview of state legislatures (composition,
meeting frequency, etc.),
- How a bill becomes law,
- How to identify your state legislator,
- How to effectively communicate with state
- Tips on hosting a site visit at your institution
for a state legislator.
Additionally, users will have valuable local
data at their fingertips as they advocate for dental education and dental and
craniofacial research. The new toolkit provides data such as Title VII funding
organized by grantee and NIDCR grants organized by institution. Additionally,
information on state student loan repayment programs and alternative workforce
models is available.
Finally, there is also a link to the ethics
and lobby laws for each state.
We trust you will make good use of the
advocacy toolkit. As President John F. Kennedy stated, “One person can make a
difference, and everyone should try.”