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Council on Advocacy

The Council on Advocacy represents the interests of dental students on legislative and regulatory issues that impact the dental profession. The council launches grassroots initiatives in support of dental students and the profession and works to establish a legacy of action-oriented advocacy on behalf of our members' patients and the practice of dentistry.

Name  Position  Chapter 
Andrew Welles  Chair Marquette
Jordan Janis   ADPAC Student Director Arizona
James Wanamaker  Legislative Coordinator (Districts 1-3)
Monitors Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington D.C. 
Salvator La Mastra  Legislative Coordinator (Districts 4-5)
Monitors Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.  
Amy Lesch  Legislative Coordinator (Districts 6-7)
Monitors Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and West Virginia. 
Matthew Bridges  Legislative Coordinator (Districts 8-9)
Monitors Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas 
Quinn Yost  Legislative Coordinator (Districts 10-11)
Monitors Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. 
Los Angeles
Ricardo Fontoura  District 3 Trustee Temple
Helen Yang  District 1 Trustee Harvard

2014-15 advocacy

Past accomplishments of this council:

  • Responded to Stafford Loan legislation in 2013 by sending an action alert asking members to write their congressperson urging them to support the bill. This generated nearly 900 letters to Congress from dental students.
  • Submitted written comments to Massachusetts Board of Dental Registry and the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Health, demonstrating support for legislation that would create a PGY-1 alternative pathway to state dental licensure and advocating for ASDA’s L-1 policy.
  • Provided oral testimony and comments to the Joint Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development of the Maine State Legislature opposing legislation that would allow midlevel providers to perform invasive surgical procedures. Legislation was ultimately defeated in the Senate.
  • Provided written comments in response to the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging Hearing, Dental Crisis in America: The Need to Address Cost. Comments applauded the Senate’s attention on the issue but cautioned that the use of dental therapists is not in the best interest of dental patients. ASDA continues to monitor the Comprehensive Dental Care Reform Act in 2014.
  • Partnered with external organizations with mutual advocacy interests. ASDA is currently participating in a workgroup with ADA and ADEA, with the goal of influencing the development and reauthorization of the Higher Education Act with dentistry-focused provisions. ASDA participated in the AGD Student Debt Task Force.
  • Developed resources to help facilitate advocacy at chapter levels, such as the “How to Promote Chapter Advocacy” guide, “How to Hold an ADPAC Drive” video, and a legislative pamphlet.
  • Executing a licensure strategy that will work to reform state licensure regulations and policies to eliminate the use of human subjects in initial clinical exams.
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