News and Events

Assemblywoman Fiona Ma Speaks at ASDA Chapter's Legislative Lunch and Learn

Fiona Ma (third from right) is pictured with ASDA student leaders.

December  10, 2010

The American Student Dental Association (ASDA) chapter at University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry recently hosted a lunchtime event with California State Assemblywoman and Speaker Pro Tempore Fiona Ma. She visited the dental school on Dec. 9 to speak to students, faculty and staff about a variety of issues in legislation affecting the dental and education communities.

During the visit, Ma shared personal insights about her background as a Certified Public Accountant and her path to entering political office, and discussed her leadership role in the Assembly as Speaker Pro Tempore. She also discussed how she gathers input about her legislative agenda each year and answered questions on topics such as the state budget deficit, renewable energy, funding for education and access to healthcare.

Ma has been a San Francisco politician since 2002 when she was elected to the city's Board of Supervisors for District 4. In 2006 she became a member of the California State Assembly representing the 12th District, which encompasses the Bay Area cities of San Francisco, Daly City, Colma and Broadmoor.  In 2010 Ma assumed the role of Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore, in which she presides over the formal sessions of the Assembly.

Ma has specific areas of political interest that have driven her to author or coauthor dozens of assembly bills since 2006. Topics she focuses on include children's health, California's high-speed rail system and hepatitis B awareness. Related to the field of dentistry, Ma authored a bill which seeks to ensure dentists receive prompt payments from dental insurance plans by incrementally increasing the interest penalty for non-payment. In September 2010, Ma also voted in favor of California Assembly Bill 1524, which adopts a portfolio exam for dental licensure in California.

In addition to hosting Ma's visit, ASDA is busy planning for the annual American Dental Political Action Committee (ADPAC) week, which will take place in early February and will feature visits from local politicians and California dental leaders. Guests to the school that week will include California State Senator Leland Yee, Ph.D., on Feb. 3, 2011.

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

Category Type: Special Events

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