February 10, 2011
The Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry's chapter of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) recently hosted a week-long series of events to highlight the ADA's American Dental Political Action Committee (ADPAC) and give public policy experts a chance to meet face to face with the school community. Throughout the week of Jan. 31, students, faculty and staff participated in educational discussions focused on public policy, dental politics and the legislative process.
Three widely attended sessions were hosted with a goal of raising political awareness on campus and encouraging dental students to join ADPAC. On Jan. 31, Dr. Rhett Murray, chairman of the ADPAC Board of Directors and Dugoni School of Dentistry alumnus, spoke about dental politics on a national scale and explained the inner workings of ADPAC as the political action committee. Murray also explained where student membership dollars are spent and emphasized the importance of joining ADPAC.
On Feb. 2, Dr. Matt Campbell, member of the 13th District ADPAC Board of Directors, provided an overview of California dental politics and issues. He offered suggestions for students looking to get involved with the political process - from joining local dental societies to becoming ADPAC members. He also explained the importance of staying involved with politics after graduation from dental school.
On Feb. 3, State Senator Leland Yee spoke about issues affecting California and the city of San Francisco, including state funding challenges impacting public health. Yee explained that practicing dentists should strive to maintain good relationships with legislators in an effort to properly educate law-makers about dentistry.
"We're really happy we were able to bring these distinguished speakers to the dental school to help educate students about ADPAC and dental politics in general," said Veena Vaidyanathan, Class of 2012 and ASDA Chapter legislative liaison. "It's important that students not forget about the political realm of dentistry."
The ASDA Chapter also hosted a lunchtime table exhibit to further inform students about ADPAC membership, which costs $5 for students.
The bipartisan arm of the American Dental Association (ADA), ADPAC is comprised of ADA members who support the association's participation in the political process. ADPAC supports political candidates - regardless of party affiliation - who are strong advocates for dentists and the patients they serve. Additional details are available at http://adpac.ada.org.
ASDA is a national student-run organization whose mission is to protect and advance the rights, interests and welfare of students pursuing careers in dentistry. More than 87% of all dental students nationwide join the association. At the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, 100% of DDS and IDS students are members of ASDA. For more information, visit http://www.asdanet.org.
Category Type: Dental Issues and Research, Special Events
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