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Council on Advocacy

016-17 AdvocacyBack row, L-R: Stephanie Follett, Nancy Ly, Abby Halpern, Sara Golkari, Ava Lindert; Front row, L-R: Eddie Lee, Aaron Henderson, Shaun O'Neill, Spence Tepe, Jonathan Vogel 

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 
Abby Halpern  Chair Georgia
Sara Golkari  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. 
Nancy Ly  Legislative Coordinator (Districts 4-5)
Monitors Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.  
Spencer Tepe  Legislative Coordinator (Districts 6-7)
Monitors Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and West Virginia. 
Jonathan Vogel  Legislative Coordinator (Districts 8-9)
Monitors Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas 
Eddie Lee  Legislative Coordinator (Districts 10-11)
Monitors Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. 
Ava Lindert  District 1 Trustee New England
Shaun O'Neill  District 8 Trustee Iowa
Aaron Henderson  Vice President Minnesota
Stephanie Follett  Staff Liaison ASDA Central Office

Past accomplishments:

  • The council hosted the following webinars: "Advocacy in Action" and "Make Lobby(ing) Your Hobby."
  • The Council created the Contacting Your Legislator video to guide members through the process of reaching out to congressmen to discuss issues important to dental students.
  • The Council created a Congressional Appointment Google Spreadsheet in order to streamline the appointment process for 2016 National Dental Student Lobby Day.
  • The Council added ASDA’s name to a coalition letter that urged members of the House of Representatives to cosponsor H.Res.416. This resolution commemorates the 70th anniversary of community water fluoridation. ASDA was one of 21 dental organizations to sign on to this letter.
  • The Council created action alerts using ASDA’s advocacy alert system, Engage on the following legislative issues:
    • Student Debt: 2,100 letters were sent to legislators requesting that they cosponsor H.R. 649, the Student Loan Refinancing Act. This bill allows borrowers to refinance their federal student loans multiple times throughout the life of their loans.
    • Barriers to Care: 1,069 letters were sent to legislators requesting that they cosponsor H.R. 539, the Action for Dental Health Act. This bill supports dental volunteer projects like Give Kids a Smile and Missions of Mercy.
    • Medical Device Tax: 3,839 letters were sent to legislators urging them to vote in favor of H.R. 160, the Protect Medical Innovation Act. This bill would repeal the 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices established in the Affordable Care Act.
    • Midlevel Providers: Dental students in Massachusetts received an action alert on Jan. 28 urging them to tell their legislators to oppose S. 2076. This bill would establish a dental hygiene practitioner level of practice in Massachusetts.
  • In response to referred resolution 300-2015 Action for Adult Medicaid Benefits, the Council submitted resolution 200-2016 Medicaid patients. The resolution encourages all U.S. CODA-accredited dental schools to accept Medicaid patients at their respective clinics.
  • The Council created a Legislative Liaison tip sheet to help legislative liaisons locate important advocacy resources and information.

2015-16 Council on Advocacy Annual Report 

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