Register for virtual ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day

Lobby Day is your opportunity to join dental students and dentists across the country to learn about issues that matter, and take action to advance the profession. This year, due to ongoing pandemic guidelines on the federal, state and local level, Lobby Day will be virtual.

Over the course of two days, you can expect to hear from political analysts and subject matter experts, participate in training and strategy sessions, and network with fellow students and experienced dentists. You will also have the opportunity to attend a meeting with your local member of Congress.

All training will take place on April 25. Meetings with members of Congress will take place on April 28.
While the meeting is virtual, it is still imperative we maintain ASDA and the ADA's strong reputation on Capitol Hill. Therefore, please review the registration guidelines carefully before registering yourself or fellow chapter members. The deadline to register is April 21.
ASDA awards Olivia Kalloo for Excellence in Advocacy Engagement

The Advocacy Certificate Program helps students strengthen and develop their advocacy knowledge. Advocates earn points throughout the year by participating in advocacy activities. The individual that earns the most points for the year is presented with the Excellence in Advocacy Engagement Award.

This year's recipient is Olivia Kalloo, Roseman '22, who earned a total of 35 points. Olivia serves as her chapter's legislative liaison.

Get to know a little bit more about Olivia and her advocacy journey. 

What inspired you to get involved with advocacy?
I was inspired to get involved with advocacy when I started to believe I could make a difference and encourage my peers to understand the intricacies with issues facing the dental student community. My fellow Roseman ASDA members believed in me and inspired me to run for executive council and legislative liaison at my chapter. I was passionate and vocal about matters relating to our school and would often advocate on behalf of our class and our school without ever truly realizing that I was "advocating." I felt like I was just doing "the right thing." 

How do you encourage others to get involved with advocacy?
I would encourage others to get involved in advocacy by first knowing the key issues at hand: licensure reform, dental student debt, barriers to care, and midlevel providers. At least one of these issues should spark a feeling within you as a dental student! When we advocate, we do it to further our great dental profession. Together, we can truly make a difference. This is especially evident in the COVID-19 era and our collective efforts towards licensure reform.
Why is advocacy important to you?
Advocacy is important to me because it provides me with a greater sense of being beyond myself as one dental student and future dental professional. Even though our future careers are promising and amazing already, there are a multitude of issues that still need reform. We can always give ourselves the opportunity to further our profession, if we speak together with one common voice!
ASDA shows support for ELSA

ASDA, along with other healthcare organizations, signed on to a coalition letter thanking lawmakers for introducing the Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act (ELSA) in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

The bill requires private group and individual health insurance plans to cover medically necessary services resulting from congenital anomalies or birth defects that affect one in every 33 children in the United States and often include severe oral and facial defects.
ASDA has lobbied this bill in the past and will continue to advocate for the bill's passage at the 2021 ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day.
FROM Washington
Dental students and dentists among providers that can administer the COVID-19 vaccine

The issue: On March 11, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services amended the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) to allow dental students and dentists to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. While several states already allow dental providers to administer the vaccine, the federal declaration allows dental students and dentists to administer vaccines across the country regardless of state laws.

Why is this important? Allowing dental students and dentists to administer vaccines will help get Americans get vaccinated quicker.

Follow @dentalstudents on Instagram to see ASDA members put policy into action in our series spotlighting dental students administering the vaccine.

During ASDA's Annual Session this year, the House of Delegates adopted a policy that encourages dental schools to incorporate vaccine administration into their curricula and to administer vaccinations in clinical settings when appropriate.
FROM the States
Licensure Legislative Updates

The issue: In our last issue, we discussed bills increasing licensure portability that were moving through legislation in Mississippi and West Virginia.

On March 19, the Mississippi legislature sent the licensure bill to Gov. Tate Reeves.

On March 22, the West Virginia Senate Committee passed the bill onto the judiciary committee.
These bills allow licensed professionals who have held a license for a year in another state to obtain a license in Mississippi or West Virginia.

Why is this important? Licensure portability is an issue always at the forefront for dentists and dental students. As a founding member of the Coalition for Modernizing Dental Licensure, ASDA continues to advocate for the replacement of single encounter, procedure-based patient exams with clinical assessments. ASDA also supports legislation that increases licensure portability.

It is important to monitor states that address licensure portability to assist with reform efforts in the future.
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.