Dental students participate in Grassroots Advocacy Days

Grassroots Advocacy Days kicked off in Sacramento in mid-February with a visit from dental students from the University of California, San Francisco, School of Dentistry and the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry.

CDA hosts the advocacy days to give dental students and component members the opportunity to meet with legislators, tour the Capitol building and gain insights on the legislative process.

Prior to the scheduled meetings, participants receive background on the legislators they will meet with along with education on current policy issues. They also learn how to be a grassroots advocate and continue being an advocate in the future.

The advocacy days continued in early March with participating students from Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of the University of Southern California, Loma Linda University School of Dentistry, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Dentistry and Western University of Health Sciences, College of Dental Medicine and will extend into the spring with component visits.

Pictured in photo, left to right: Ann Wong, UCSF; Brittany Zhang, UCSF; Assembly Member Jim Wood, DDS (D-Healdsburg); Trent Ichiuji, UOP; Ryan Mak, UCSF; Alex Mendoza, UOP.

Watch for the full story in the May issue of the CDA Update.

Topics: Advocacy

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First-time resources available to participating Denti-Cal providers resulted in increased access to care for the nearly 6 million California children enrolled in the Medicaid dental program in the first half of 2016. In 2016, the Department of Health Care Services rolled out the 1115 waiver, known as Medi-Cal 2020, which allocated $740 million to the Dental Transformation Initiative.

The 2017-18 state budget proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown calls for using tobacco tax-generated funds from Proposition 56 to offset the state’s current obligations to Medi-Cal rather than provide additional funding for provider reimbursement rates. This proposal disregards the will of the voters and the ballot measure’s provisions.

To help members have an impact in their local communities and statewide, CDA has launched a revamped grassroots advocacy program. Under the program, CDA organizes “Advocacy Days” designed specifically for individual components. Groups of approximately five dentists are selected from a component to either come to Sacramento or to take part in a regional advocacy day and meet with legislators in their home districts.