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‘You’re advocating for profession, patients’ Association president tells WLC

April 28, 2015

By Craig Palmer

Opening day: ADA President Maxine Feinberg April 27 welcomes dentists from across the county to the 2015 ADA Washington Leadership Conference. Photos by Bill Geiger
Washington – Make it personal, ADA President Maxine Feinberg told grassroots dental leaders attending the annual Washington Leadership Conference.

More than 500 dentists, state dental association staff and other dental leaders registered from all 50 states “are gathered here to carry our message to the people we’ve elected to represent us,” Dr. Feinberg said in welcoming the April 27-29 springtime dental lobby to the nation’s capital.

“You’re advocating for issues that affect our profession and patients across America,” she said at the JW Marriott meeting site, “just two blocks from the White House and in the other direction on Pennsylvania Ave. is the Capitol. We’re going right to the top.”

Dr. Feinberg welcomed student leaders to their Capitol Hill lobby day April 13. “I was here with those student members, and I’m going to say to you what I said to them: Make it personal. You’re advocating for issues that affect our profession and patients across America. But when you sit down with a member of Congress, you’re talking about your future, your patients. That’s who you’re advocating for.”

ADPAC: Dr. Charles McGinty, chair of the American Dental Political Action Committee, tells attendees that legislators “want to hear from us."
“The real reason we come here is because we’re making friends,” Dr. Charles McGinty, chair of the American Dental Political Action Committee, said in opening remarks. “They want to hear from us. We are important to them.”

Dental students and dental leaders are on the same page on two of the key legislative issues that WLC attendees lobbied on Capitol Hill in meetings with members of Congress and congressional staff, urging support for student loan refinancing legislation and the Action for Dental Health Act. See related “issues” story for more on this.

Chuck Todd, host for Meet the Press, political director for NBC News and author, was the keynote speaker.

The Association sponsored digital ads during the WLC, which invited viewers to learn more:

  • “Each year, dentists donate millions of dollars of free or discounted dental care.”
  • “All Americans deserve good oral health. Support the Action for Dental Health Act of 2015.”
  • ”We’re taking action to improve the oral health of all Americans.”

The Association also invited greater use of social media during the 2015 WLC:

  • ”We encourage you to take pictures of your visits with legislators, on the steps of Capitol Hill or at other historic DC monuments that we can share with our active social media community. Send us your legislative meeting photographs at socialmedia@ada.org and please follow the ADA on Twitter and Facebook.”

Question: Dr. Cathy Cook of Columbus, Ga., seeks advice at the 2015 ADA Washington Leadership Conference on how to answer her congressman’s questions about ADA-backed legislation.