Legislative updates from the American Student Dental Association

June 2014


Council on Advocacy Update   

ASDA, along with 13 other dental organizations, signed a letter to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) regarding its support of Graduate Medical Education (GME) in the President's FY 2015 proposed budget. The budget proposes combining Children's Hospital GME (CH-GME) and Teaching Health Centers GME (THC-GME) programs into a larger Targeted Support GME initiative (TS-GME).


The TS-GME program would fund residencies for physicians only. There is no mention of dental residencies in the Administration's proposal.


The letter is meant to start a dialogue with HRSA to ensure that dental residencies are included in GME funding in the future.


Download a copy of the letter.


Read more about the TS-GME proposal.

Letters Written
District 1
District 2
District 3
District 4
District 5
District 6
District 7
District 8
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District 11
Engage update

ASDA recently distributed an action alert on student loan refinancing using the Engage advocacy alert system.



students wrote U.S. Representatives urging them to co-sponsor H.R. 4622 Federal Student Loan Refinancing Act. See how many letters each district has written. 


H.R. 4622 is a sister bill of the Federal Loan Refinancing Act, S. 1066. In April 2014 ASDA advocated for S.1066 at National Dental Student Lobby Day.   


Urge lawmakers to co-sponsor both of these bills.

From Washington   

Primary Care Bill Would Expand Access to Dental Services

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced a bill that would expand access to dental services.

Provisions of the bill that would benefit community health centers, encompassing those that offer dental services, include:

  • Creation of a mandatory appropriation of $4.9 billion through FY20 for the National Health Service Corps.
  • Creation of a mandatory appropriation of $25 billion for Federally Qualified Health Centers during FY16-FY20.
  • Expansion of the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program, which funds both medical and dental residencies in community-based ambulatory care settings, at $800 million through FY20.

From the May 2014 ADEA Washington Update  

ADA releases dental report to Congress   

The ADA released their Action for Dental Health Report to Congress during its annual Washington Leadership Conference. The report highlights the efforts of dentists and other dedicated collaborators to enact the Action for Dental Health plan.  


The Action for Dental Health is a nationwide, grassroots movement dedicated to solve the dental health crisis in America.  


Action for Dental Health is organized around three goals.

  1. Provide care now to people who are suffering from untreated dental disease.
  2. Strengthen and expand the public/private safety net.
  3. Bring disease prevention and education into communities.
Read more about Action for Dental Health. 
From the States  

Rhode Island Debates Public Health Dental Hygienists

Reps. Joseph M. McNamara (D-RI) and K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-RI) introduced H7984, an act relating to businesses and professions- dentists and dental hygienists.  


The bill states that a public health dental hygienist may practice in a public health setting without the supervision or direction of a dentist. A written agreement is required between the hygienist and a state/local government agency, institution or dentist outlining the appropriate level of communication and consultation between the parties.  


The bill defines public health setting to include the following (this list is not exhaustive): schools, nursing homes, hospitals, community health centers and mobile and portable dental health programs.  


On April 16, the bill was heard by the House Committee on Health, Education, and Welfare. The committee has recommended that the measure be held for further study.  


From the May 2014 ADEA State Update   

Indiana signs dental hygiene practice bill into law 

On March 24, 2014 Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN) signed H.B. 1061 into law. Under the new law, dental hygienists may practice under the prescriptive supervision of a licensed dentist in the following locations: dental offices, clinical settings, health facilities or other locations approved by the State Board of Dentistry.  


Under the definition of prescriptive supervision, a licensed dentist is not required to be physically present in the facility when patient care is provided by the dental hygienist if the following conditions are met:

  • The dental hygienist completed at least two years of active practice as a dental hygienist under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist.
  • A licensed dentist has:
    • in a dental office setting, provided the patient with a comprehensive oral examination and any appropriate care in the previous seven months, issued written authority for the care to be provided in a dental office and notified the patient and the licensed dentist will not be present when the dental hygienist is providing the patient care; or
    • in a setting other than a dental office, provided the patient with a comprehensive oral examination and issued to the patient, on the same day, a written prescription that is valid for 45 days.
  • The patient provided a current medial history.

From the May 2014 ADEA State Update   

State licensure spotlight: Connecticut    

Dr.Laura Huling, Connecticut '12, 2011-12 District 1 trustee


I recently obtained my Connecticut state dental license. The process is fairly straightforward, but there are some nuances that I learned about that I'd like to share with you.  


All of the requirements to apply for a dental license in Connecticut are listed on the Connecticut Department of Public Health's website. Many of the requirements for Connecticut are the same for any other states and include:

  1. Graduation from a CODA-accredited U.S. dental school
  2. Completion of the National Board Dental Exams Part I and Part II
  3. Completion of a PGY-1 program OR completion of one of the following regional board exams*:
    1. North East Regional Board of Dental Examiners (NERB)
    2. Southern Regional Testing Agency (SRTA)
    3. Central Regional Dental Testing Service (CRDTS)
    4. Western Regional Examining Board (WREB)

*If you complete the Southern, Central or Western Regional Exams, then you must complete the didactic portion of the North East Regional Board Exam to obtain your license in Connecticut.


Connecticut accepts PGY-1 as an alternate path to licensure, rather than taking the board exam. I chose to take the NERB exam, as it opened up the opportunity to apply for a license during residency so I could moonlight at a private office. If you choose to take the PGY-1 path, you must complete an accredited residency program of no less than one year in length, with certification by the residency director that you are competent in all areas covered by the clinical portion of the NERB. If you are looking to start work directly after completing your program, you will have to postpone starting until your license is granted. You must wait until your residency is completed to be eligible, and then wait for your application to be processed (average of six weeks). If you complete a regional board exam, you can apply for your license before completing your residency, so you can start working right away.  


Read more about the nuances of licensure in Connecticut.
Stephanie Follett, senior coordinator. governance & advocacy
Stephanie@ASDAnet.org | 312-440-2490
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