from ASDA
Advocacy Event Spotlight

Stop reinventing the advocacy wheel. Rather than plan an event from scratch, learn from the leaders that have planned successful advocacy events at other chapters.  

East Carolina's Advocake helps students take bites out of the issues

East Carolina began using the Advocake as a way to entice fellow dental students to come and learn more about advocacy. The Advocake is exactly as it sounds: a big cake with the words "ASDA Advocake" written in frosting.  This is something that can easily be made at home or purchased in a store. Instead of traditional lunch and learns, the chapter held events featuring the cake. East Carolina held their first Advocake event last year after the Mid-Atlantic Advocacy Academy and then again after the ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day.  

The Advocake events featured students who attended those national meetings in Washington, D.C. They provided an overview of what they learned and were able to update their colleagues on current legislation. The Advocake showcased what our ASDA members accomplish when they attend these national trips. In comparison to funding a lunch and learn, the cake was a cheaper option that still allowed the chapter to spread advocacy knowledge.  

Wesley Shaw, East Carolina '22, has become more involved in ASDA this year and shared the Advocake information. He is East Carolina's Legislative Liaison and ADPAC coordinator.  

Have additional questions about this event? Contact the Council on Advocacy.  
Attend ASDA's Advocacy 101 webinar tonight
There's still time to register for tonight's webinar taking place at 7:30 p.m. CDT.   ASDA's Council on Advocacy will help you learn more about ASDA's key legislative issues and the simple steps you can take to advocate on behalf of current and future dental students.
ASDA Advocacy Molar Bear is coming to town 
Advocacy Month is in November. Sign up by Oct. 4 for your chapter to host ASDA's mascot, the Advocacy Molar Bear. Chapters who sign up will start receiving bears in late October. Once your chapter receives the bear, film a short video or take photos to share your passion for action-oriented advocacy. Post to Instagram using #AdvocacyBear, #ASDAadvocacy and tag @dentalstudents.
from the States
Adult Medicaid Dental Benefit approved in Delaware

What's the issue?

In August, Delaware became the newest state to expand Medicaid to include adult dental benefits.  
Governor John Carney (D) signed the Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 92 . 

The bill supports the notion that dental care is vital to overall health. The legislation further asserted that "...studies have shown that poor dental health care can result in serious infections and abscess in the face, neck, and jaw areas requiring some individuals to go to the emergency room where they may spend days in intensive care or even die. This ultimately costs states more money through their Medicaid program that could be saved if dental care were covered."

Why is it important?

ASDA members adopted new policy in 2018 that advocates for evidence-based measures reduce barriers to care, which includes Medicaid expansion. Delaware's legislation aligns with this policy.  

Next Step

Read more about the medicaid expansion bill and other healthcare-related legislation that was adopted by Delaware.  
Colorado offers alternative to opioids  

What's the issue?

Opioids, including prescription opioids, heroin and fentanyl, killed nearly 50,000 people in 2017 according to the  Centers for Disease Control . The medical field has been taking steps to alleviate the crisis. Many professionals are looking to alternatives. 

Colorado became the third state to adopt legislation allowing patients to select medical marijuana instead of opioids for pain treatment. According to a cosponsor of the bill, Democrat Rep. Edie Hooton, the law will "...give physicians a legal, open option to discuss [medical marijuana use] with patient and...normalizes the conversation around the issue."

Why is it important?

Questions regarding the unregulated nature of cannabis and the infancy of the research on medical marijuana persist as states move to introduce and pass legislation. It is important for dental students to be aware of the utilization of this treatment option in their states.    

Next Step

In 2018, dental students voted to create ASDA policy in response to the opioid crisis.  As future dentists, dental students need to be prepared to effectively discuss opioids and potential alternatives with their patients.  Read more about ASDA has done to combat the issue on Capitol Hill.  
from Washington
POST GRAD Act Introduced

What's the issue?

In June, the Protecting Our Students by Terminating Graduate Rates that Add to Debt Act (H.R. 3418), was introduced by Representative Judy Chu (D-CA).  

The POST GRAD Act will help dental students and other graduate students by reinstating their eligibility for Federal Direct Subsidized Loans. This means that graduate and professional students' interest that is accrued on federal loans while in school would be covered by the federal government. Before 2011, graduate and professional students had this benefit, but it was eliminated by the Budget Control Act.  

As of Aug. 30, the bill has 19 democratic cosponsors.  

Why is it important?

ASDA's F-4 Student Debt Policy supports initiatives that reduce the burden of debt for dental students. The F-4 policy includes measures that reduce student loan interest rates, like the POST GRAD Act. The association has supported this bill at past national lobby days and will continue to monitor its progress.  

Next Steps 

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.