A group of UNC pediatric residents recently met with North Carolina congressional representatives while attending the 2013 American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) Public Policy Advocacy Conference (PPAC) in Washington, DC. PPAC formerly was known as Lobby Days.
“This is a unique opportunity for our residents to meet with congressional leaders and discuss their opinions about legislation that may impact dentistry,” explained Dr. Jessica Lee, graduate pediatric program director. “Our residents always enjoy getting to speak with their representatives about oral care, and we all appreciate AAPD facilitating this opportunity.”
Like in years before, the conference allowed dentists and residents to personally speak with members of Congress and voice their opinions about critical issues and legislation in dentistry. Issues at hand this year included Title VII pediatric dentistry training funds and implementation of essential pediatric oral health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Attendees also spoke to representatives about the Dental Insurance Fairness Act of 2013, which would help dental patients receive full value of their dental coverage.
Participating residents included first-year graduate students Alexandra Boudreau, Jacqueline Hom and Kevin Ricker; second-year graduate student Shijia Hu; and recent program graduates Jordan Olsen, Lauren Sanzone and Chien Joo Sim. Faculty member Lee and school alumni Dr. Scott Cashion (D.D.S. ’94, M.S. ’97), Dr. Kerry Dove (M.S. ’12) also attended with the residents. During their visit, they met with North Carolina congressional leaders Senator Kay Hagan, Senator Richard Burr and Congressman David Price.
During PPAC, the AAPD hosted more than 140 participants which represented 35 states and the District of Columbia. The AAPD organizes the PPAC annually for residents of schools across the country to meet with legislators in Washington, D.C. and discuss legislative matters important to the dental profession.