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Dental students play an active part in advocacy at the Capitol


Future members of the profession were "advocacy rock stars" this past week at the Capitol!

Fifteen dental students from ASDOH and Midwestern worked side by side with our members during AzDA’s Oral Health Day at the Capitol this past week.

It was especially important because they had skin in the game this year, as the Legislature considers Senate Bill 1362 that would address license portability, require BODEX to accept all clinical examinations administered by any state or regional testing agency, and eliminating the $2,000 credentialing fee required for applicants who have taken exams other than WREB. The Bill will also address licensee fees for all dentists and will provide a mechanism for BODEX to further reduce license fees. For both the graduating dental students and for all existing licensees, under the new law BODEX would be required to waive renewal fees in 2017, 2018 and 2019 so that they can reduce their $5 million dental board fund surplus.

On Wednesday evening, dental students Kyle Tuttle (ASDOH) and Desseree Lysne (MW) stuck it out with me during a marathon Senate Health Committee meeting where we were the last Bill to be heard (at 8:45 PM).
Both of them passionately shared their personal stories and testified in favor of SB1362 and the impact of additional fees on their livelihood. (See related story)

In addition, I have had the great privilege of being the MPH preceptor for ASDOH D3 Erik Klintmalm, who has been working with me and the AzDA Council on Government Affairs, and the State Oral Health Coalition, to do the research to support and pass legislation that would create a comprehensive dental benefit for pregnant mothers under AHCCCS.

Like Kyle and Desseree the night before, Erik made us all proud. They all hit it out of the park. Certainly, their experiences here in Arizona sets the stage for a lifelong commitment to organized dentistry.