ADEA Federal Advocacy Toolkit

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 fields 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. Many Members of Congress know little about oral health care in general or about the connection between good oral health and good systemic health. Furthermore, they probably know very little about cutting-edge dental and craniofacial research, which has enabled the detection of certain cancers through specific biomarkers in saliva. 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 with the Member of Congress and their staff, you improve your access to the policymaker. Keep in mind, as issues that affect you come before Members of Congress, it is much easier to have the ear of a friend than a stranger!

ADEA developed this federal advocacy toolkit to better equip you to become an advocate. The resources assembled here provide you with information to effectively engage with your Members of Congress and their staffers about funding and programs that affect you, your institution and your profession. The toolkit includes basic information about how federal laws are made, key committees in Congress and how to conduct a personal visit with your legislator, as well as other useful information and links for interacting with Members of Congress and their staff. We trust you will make good use of the toolkit, as President John F. Kennedy stated, “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”

For additional information please email:

Tim Leeth, CPA
Chief Advocacy Officer