Dentists brighten smiles on Capitol Hill

April 20, 2005
Academy of General Dentistry travels to Washington D.C., to lobby on behalf of general dentists.

The Legislative and Government Affairs Council (LGA) of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) visited Capitol Hill on March 22 to actively lobby on behalf of general dentists and to present awards to those in Congress who are also dedicated to the AGD's mission of promoting oral health.

Mark Donald, DDS, FAGD, LGA Chair, Joe Hagenburch, DMD, FAGD and Gavin Harrell, DDS, FAGD, accompanied by AGD President Tom Howley, Jr., DDS, MAGD and AGD President-Elect Bruce Burton, DMD, MAGD, ABGD, led three teams each working directly with a lobbyist to tackle issues important to the general dentist. Medicaid, Title VII and OSHA were specific topics lobbied by the visitation teams.

"I believe these Hill visits were well worth the effort," said Dr. Donald.
"We were passionate about our issues and gave real-life, real-world stories
about how these issues affect oral health care in America."

Council member Dr. Hagenbruch said, "I believe we accomplished our mission to inform the members of Congress of our major concerns and the reasons for our positions on the issues."

The council also presented the first annual AGD Legislative Achievement
Awards to Senator Susan M. Collins (R-ME), Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL). These three senators received the award due to their honorable work, dedication and contributions to dentistry. Dr. Burton and Dr. Donald handed out the plaques during a luncheon at Monocle.

Also present at the lunch was Senate Finance Committee staff member and
friend of AGD, Rodney Whitlock. Formerly the Legislative Director for
Congressman Charlie Norwood, a former dentist committed to proactive
legislation to benefit dentists, Whitlock's insight on the inner workings of
Washington was once again received with open arms by the council.

The annual LGA Council Capitol Hill visit succeeded not only in addressing
issues that face the general dentist but recognizing those who actively work
with the AGD in representing general dentists and promoting oral health to
the public.

The Academy of General Dentistry is a non-profit organization of more than
37,000 general dentists dedicated to staying up-to-date in the profession
through continuing education. A general dentist is the primary care provider
for patients of all ages and is responsible for the diagnosis, treatment,
management and overall coordination of services related to patient's oral
health needs.