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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.

 15 Council of Advocacy 

Name  Position  Chapter 
James Wanamaker  Chair Buffalo
Adam Patenaude  ADPAC Student Director Harvard
David Lane  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. 
Abby Halpern  Legislative Coordinator (Districts 4-5)
Monitors Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.  
Nathaniel Cook  Legislative Coordinator (Districts 6-7)
Monitors Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and West Virginia. 
Christopher Klekamp  Legislative Coordinator (Districts 8-9)
Monitors Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas 
Matthew Stephens  Legislative Coordinator (Districts 10-11)
Monitors Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. 
Los Angeles
Rebekkah Merrell  District 3 Trustee Pennsylvania
Jennifer Quist  District 5 Trustee LECOM
Stephanie Follett      Staff Liaison ASDA Central Office

Past accomplishments:

  • The Council approved the implementation of the Advocate for ASDA program. Advocate for ASDA will provide members with the opportunity to reach out to their local legislators to garner support for ASDA’s legislative initiatives.
  • The Council signed on to the following letters to inquire about the oversight of leaving dental residencies out of the proposed Targeted Support Graduate Medical Education Program (TS-GME), which replaced the Children’s Hospital GME and Teaching Center GME programs. 
    • Letter to Dr. Wakefield from the Health Resources and Service Administration
    • Letter to Secretary Burwell of the Health and Human Services Department
    • Letter to Director Donovan of the Office of Management and Budget
  • An email was sent to all ASDA members in California urging them to vote no on ballot Proposition 46. California voters defeated Prop. 46 which attempted to increase the $250,000 pain/suffering cap in medical negligence lawsuits to adjust for inflation. 
  • The Council proposed a resolution to the Board of Trustees to update the responsibilities of the district legislative liaison. District legislative liaisons would contact state dental associations within their districts on a monthly basis to gather information on state legislation and pass that information on to the ASDA central office. The Board of Trustees adopted this resolution. 
  • The Council changed the State Lobby Day Grant to the LGN Special Event Grant. The LGN Special Event Grant allows chapters to use the funding for any local advocacy initiative including participation in state lobby days. 
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