Advocacy event spotlight
Rather than reinvent the advocacy wheel, learn from the leaders that have planned successful advocacy events at other chapters.

Midwestern-Illinois Bite Night Debate 
After hearing about other ASDA chapters holding debate events during ASDA's National Leadership Conference, it was MWU IL's turn to host a debate. It was an evening fit for tension and turbulence as six Midwestern IL faculty members faced off in the octagon of dental advocacy at MWU ASDA's inaugural Bite Night on Dec. 12, 2019. Drs. Behnam Darvishan, Daniel Sula and Lillian Obucina weighed in for team pros, while Drs. Kaveh Adel, Carolina Garcia and Philip Schefke represented team cons.

Each team was allowed two minutes to open a topic, and two minutes for a rebuttal period. The teams passionately traded blows over the pros and cons of mid-level providers, corporate dentistry, and use of live patients in licensure exams. More than 40 students in attendance voted on the results of  each round, judging team pros by unanimous decision, as the winners of the event. 

At the end of Bite Night, each faculty member was allowed to share their personal views on each topic after being made to play devil's advocate. Surprisingly, the faculty were not in agreement on all three topics and many perspectives and personal stories were shared. Though team pros was crowned as victor, the true winners of the event were the students who were able to walk away from the event with a greater understanding of the topics affecting dentistry, and with a greater appreciation for those who advocate for dentistry.

Have additional questions about this event? Contact the Council on Advocacy.  
ASDA celebrates 2019 advocacy accomplishments
2019 was a good year for  #ASDAadvocacy. Check out this
infographic to learn more about  how ASDA advocates for you.

Get your ASDA Advocacy Certificate before it's too late
If you participated in advocacy efforts this past year, you may qualify for the ASDA Advocacy Certificate.

The Certificate Program helps students become lifelong advocates. ASDA members earn points by taking part in advocacy initiatives and then  submitting the final score sheet by Jan. 31, 2020. Students that meet the criteria will receive a certificate and an ASDA advocacy lapel pin. 

Learn more about the certificate programContact Robin Lieberman, executive assistant, with questions. 

ADA Passes Interim Policy on Vaping 
On Dec. 16, American Dental Association President Chad P. Gehani announced their new interim policy on vaping. The policy encourages a total ban on vaping products that are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). According to the policy, the ADA will:  
  • Urgently advocate for regulatory, legislative, and/or legal action at the federal and/or state levels to ban the sale and distribution of all e-cigarette and vaping products, with the exception of those approved by the FDA for tobacco cessation purposes and made available by prescription only; and
  • Advocate for research funding to study the safety and effectiveness of e-cigarettes and vaping products for tobacco cessation purposes and their effects on the oral cavity.
The ADA joins other organizations, like the American Medical Association, in advocating for a ban on vaping products not approved by the FDA.

FROM Washington
Trump signs spending bills 
The issue:  On Dec. 20, President Trump signed two spending packages totaling $1.4 trillion. The packages include funding for the 12 annual appropriation bills for the fiscal year that will end on Sept. 30.  

The package includes a 7 percent increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It also raised the national legal smoking age from 18 to 21. This applies to electronic cigarettes and vaping products that contain nicotine as well. That change went into effect immediately. 

Why it is important:  Appropriate funding for NIH is critical to ensure health care providers have access to leading research. Raising the smoking age from 18 to 21 is an important step in curbing addictive behaviors that may start as a teen.  

FROM the states
Two licensure portability bills in the legislature in Ohio
The issue:  Two bills in the Ohio legislature may increase licensure portability. 

SB7 increases the licensure portability for members of the military and their spouses. The bill would allow them to obtain temporary licensures if licensed in another state while they are on duty in Ohio. The bill passed the House and Senate and now moves to Governor Mike Devine's desk.

The other bill, HB 432 would implement licensure reciprocity for certain licensed professionals, including dentists and dental hygienists. The bill includes several directives for the Ohio Dental Board, one including a requirement to grant a license to any applicant that holds a license to practice dentistry or dental hygiene in another state. The bill also addresses out of state practitioners who wish to practice teledentistry in the state of Ohio by requiring applicants to obtain a teledentistry permit but not an Ohio license.

Why it is important:  In May, Arizona became the first state to adopt wide-sweeping licensure legislation. These two bills could indicate a trend in licensure portability legislation.  

These bills help further the efforts of the Coalition to Modernize Dental Licensure, which ASDA is a founding member. The coalition, formed in October 2018 addresses two overarching issues with the licensure process: 1) eliminating the use of single encounter, procedure-based examinations on patients as part of the licensure examination and 2) removing restrictions on portability of dental licensure.

Advocacy Brief shares news about ongoing issues and legislation that are of interest to dental students and organized dentistry. Inclusion of items does not imply their adherence to ASDA policy.