ADEA Legislative Advisory Committee

On behalf of ADEA members and the Board of Directors, the ADEA Legislative Advisory Committee (LAC) provides advice and counsel to ADEA on public policy and legislative priorities. The ADEA LAC recommends policy based upon legislative policy priorities that have been approved by the ADEA Board of Directors, covering four broad categories: dental and biomedical research, education and training, access and disparities in care, and infrastructure and workforce. To that end, the ADEA LAC promotes policies and programs that improve the nation's oral health, advance dental and craniofacial research and education, reduce oral health disparities, and increase access to dental care.

ADEA LAC members serve staggered three-year terms. Position openings on the LAC are advertised through the nominations process established by the ADEA House of Delegates and appointed by the ADEA President as approved by the Board of Directors.

2023-24 Committee Members 

Erin Bumann, D.D.S., Ph.D., M.S.
Assistant Professor
Department of Oral and Craniofacial Sciences
University of Missouri—Kansas City School of Dentistry

Barbara Franklin, M.P.H., D.M.D.
Candidate 2024
Western University Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry

Shirley Lewis, B.D.S., CAGS, M.S.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor
Department of Comprehensive Dentistry
Texas A&M University School of Dentistry

Melanie Mayberry, D.D.S., M.S.-HCM
Division Director
Practice Essentials and Interprofessional Education
University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry

Melanie Simmer-Beck, R.D.H., Ph.D.
Chair and Professor
Department of Dental Public Health and Behavioral Science
Students in Training, in Academia, Health and Research (STAHR) Scholars–Dentistry
University of Missouri—Kansas City School of Dentistry

Scott Tomar, D.M.D., Dr.PH.
Associate Dean for Prevention and Public Health Sciences
Professor, Department of Pediatric Dentistry
Interim Associate Dean for Research
Interim Department Head of Oral Biology Pediatric Dentistry
University of Illinois Chicago College of Dentistry

Orpheus Triplett, D.D.S.
Assistant Dean
Community Oral Health and Outreach
University of Tennessee Health Science Center, College of Dentistry

John A. Valenza, D.D.S.
UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry

Karen P. West, D.M.D., M.P.H. 
President and CEO  
American Dental Education Association
Ex Officio 

ADEA Board of Directors Representatives

Ana N. López-Fuentes, D.M.D., M.P.H.
Chair of the Board

Susan Kass
, M.Ed., Ed.D, RDH
Chair-elect of the Board

Russ Bergman, D.M.D. 
Board Director for Advanced Education Programs


To communicate policy suggestions to ADEA LAC members, please send them to:

ADEA Legislative Advisory Committee
655 K Street, NW
Suite 800
Washington, DC 20001

Or by contacting Tim Leeth, ADEA Chief Advocacy Officer at .