Jennifer Klepper, M.P.M., CDT,
TE, Clinical Assistant Professor of Dental Laboratory Technology at the Indiana
University Fort Wayne, joined Rebecca Stolberg, RDH, M.S., ADEA Senior Director
of Allied Dental Education and Faculty Development, at the 2019 ADEA Capitol
Hill Day. This annual event affords participants the opportunity to educate
legislators about the dental professions, and Prof. Klepper to share specifics
about the profession of dental laboratory technology.
During the morning session,
several speakers educated the participants about the importance of advocacy.
Members of the ADEA Division of Advocacy and Government Relations shared best
practices and anecdotes of successful lobbing efforts. Capt. Renee W. Joskow.
D.D.S., M.P.H., Chief Dental Officer of the USPHS, discussed many important
issues for Health Resources and Services Administration. The National Institute
of Dental and Craniofacial Research was also represented at the meeting by
Martha J. Somerman, D.D.S., Ph.D., Director, and Niki Moutsopoulos, D.D.S.,
Ph.D., Clinical Investigator.
The afternoon consisted of
meetings with legislators from Indiana, including representatives from the
office of Senator Mike Braun’s (R-IN), Senator Todd Young (R-IN) and
Representative Andre Carson (D-IN). Meetings were very comfortable and without
intimidation. There was strong interest in learning more about the profession
of dental laboratory technology. Legislators were provided information regarding
the decline in dental laboratory technology programs (DLTP) accredited by the
Commission on Dental Accreditation. They were lobbied to help move dental
technicians from Job Zone 2 to Job Zone 3, as they are currently classified in
the same category as a baker, bicycle repairperson and a cashier.
Prof. Klepper was encouraged
by this event and believes others should participate in future Hill day
activities. It could be the start of change that can make a difference.
Published on June 12, 2019