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ASDA Student Leaders Visit Capitol Hill, Lobby for Oral Health Issues during Dental Student Lobby Day

Dugoni School students gathered in Washington D.C. for National Dental Student Lobby Day. Source: ASDA and Max Taylor Photography.

April  13, 2011

Students from the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry recently participated in National Dental Student Lobby Day, an annual event hosted by the American Student Dental Association (ASDA), in Washington, D.C. The March 29 event brought more than 340 dental students from around the country to the nation's capital to lobby on issues affecting dental students and education.

This year's Lobby Day focused on two areas. The first was advocacy on behalf of the Dental Emergency Responder Act, which seeks to include dentists and dental facilities in the federal disaster response framework. The second was a call for more funding for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, which is the only government agency focused exclusively on oral, dental, and craniofacial research and oral health research training.  Lobby Day issues are selected by ASDA in partnership with the American Dental Education Association (ADEA).

Throughout Lobby Day, eight students representing the Dugoni School met with aides from the offices of Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard, Representative Loretta Sanchez, Representative Tom McClintock and Representative John Garamendi. The students were also able to meet with Garamendi in person.

All students also attended sessions about ways to influence the legislative process. Speakers included the director of congressional affairs for the American Dental Education Association, a lobbyist for the American Dental Association, a representative from the American Dental Political Action Committee and others involved in advocacy for the dental profession and oral health issues.

"It is important for students to get involved with politics and issues affecting our profession," said Veena Vaidyanathan, Class of 2012 and ASDA Chair of the Legislative Grassroots Network, a national student leadership position. "Lobby Day is a great opportunity to meet with legislators and discuss current issues of importance to dental students."

ASDA is a national student-run organization whose mission is to protect and advance the rights, interests and welfare of students pursuing careers in dentistry. More than 87% of all dental students nationwide join the association. At the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, 100% of DDS and IDS students are members of ASDA. For more information, visit http://www.asdanet.org.

Category Type: Dental Issues and Research, Special Events

Contact:  Office of Public Relations, 415.929.6434, pr@pacific.edu