AADR and Friends of NIDCR on Capitol Hill: Advocacy Day Recap

On February 23, 2016 deans, researchers, students and patients from throughout the country participated in the 2016 AADR and Friends of NIDCR Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill. The purpose of the advocacy day was to persuade Congress to increase funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). Central to this advocacy day was the inclusion of the voice of patient advocates, combined with a robust participation of students, researchers, professors and deans from dental schools.IMG_8908

Prior to advocating on behalf of oral health research our members attended a morning briefing session in the Russell Senate Office Building where they were provided with the tools and information necessary to conduct successful meetings with Congress. Participants were encouraged to continue the conversation with their members of Congress after leaving Capitol Hill and invite policymakers to tour their lab and university facilities.  Dr. Martha Somerman, director of NIDCR also provided an update about initiatives and priorities at her agency.  During the briefing, Steven Feldman, a dental student at the University of Maryland was presented with the student advocate of the year award, by the AADR president, Paul Krebsbach.IMG_8868

Our members conducted nearly 70 meetings with members of Congress. During these meetings they urged Congress to provide $34.5 billion for NIH and $452 million for NIDCR. Also to amplify our message on Capitol Hill, AADR issued an action alert, which enabled individuals to participate virtually in our Advocacy Day. To date, advocates sent 168 emails to members of Congress. Reports from Advocacy Day participants indicated that Congress is generally supportive of increasing funding for NIH and in fact one Congressional staffer stated that she was, “Impressed by the range of research in areas with which she had limited familiarity.”

The AADR and Friends of NIDCR Government Affairs team invites all members of the dental research, education and patient community to engage their elected officials regularly, but at least on an annual basis through the Advocacy Day program to communicate the importance of dental, oral and craniofacial research. If you would like to become more involved with AADR and Friends of NIDCR advocacy efforts please contact Carolyn Mullen, director of government affairs and contact your elected representatives through the online Legislative Action Center.

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Gert Quigley Government Affairs Fellowship Application Period Open

AADR is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the 2016-2017 Gert Quigley Government Affairs Fellowship. The Gert Quigley Public Policy Fellowship provides a unique and exciting learning experience both in Washington, DC and through grassroots efforts at the participants local university or institution. This fellowship is designed to familiarize dental school, Ph.D., or dual degree students with the federal legislative process as it relates to basic and translational dental and craniofacial research, as well as research on the oral health care delivery system.

The applicant must be a member of the AADR National Student Research Group and a DMD/DDS, Ph.D. or a dual degree student.

 Click here for more information about the program and the application process.

Applications are due by April 1, 2016!

President Obama’s FY17 Budget Request

Yesterday, President Obama presented his fiscal year (FY)17 budget request to Congress. The President’s budget adheres to the budget caps established by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, while at the same time utilizing mandatory funding as novel approach to plus up or level fund some programs without going above the budget caps. AADR issued a statement indicating our disappointment in the budget request which proposes to cut discretionary funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by $1 billion and back fill those cuts utilizing an unauthorized mandatory funding stream.

Below is a summary of AADR priorities included in the President’s FY17 Budget. Please note the overall funding levels for NIH, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and the National Science Foundation include the mandatory funding as part of the baseline budget:

  • National Institutes of Health NIH, $33.1 billion an $825 million or 2.6% increase above FY16 levels (without new mandatory funding $31.2 billion, a $1 billion or 3.1%  decrease from FY16)
  • National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), $413.4 million which is level with FY16. (without new mandatory funding $404.5 million, an $8.8 million or 2.1% decrease from FY16)
  • National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), $280.6 million which is level with FY16. (without new mandatory funding $279.6 million, a $1 million or 0.3% decrease from FY16)
  • National Science Foundation, $7.96 billion, a $500 million or 6.7% increase over FY16. (without new mandatory funding $7.5 billion, a $100 million or 1.3% increase from FY16)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Oral Health, $18 million which is level with FY16.
  • Health Resources and Services Administration Title VII oral health training programs $35.8 million which is level with FY16.
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, $469.7 million an increase of $14.2 million or 3.1% increase from FY16.
  • National Center for Health Statistics, $160.4 million which is level with FY16.

Additionally, with mandatory funding the President proposes targeted increases including $680 million for the National Cancer Moonshot initiative, $100 million for the precision medicine cohort and $45 million for the BRAIN initiative.

The President’s budget is a document that outlines the administration’s funding priorities for the upcoming fiscal year and Congress has the authority to approve, reject or modify the recommendations included in the budget.

What’s Next? AADR will continue to advocate the Congress provide predictable, sustained and increased funding for NIH, NIDCR and other important oral health programs in the upcoming year and during our February 23, 2016 Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill.

For More Information About the Budget:

Click here to view the NIH Director’s presentation about the NIH FY17 Budget Request

Questions? Contact the AADR director of government affairs Carolyn Mullen cmullen@aadr.org

 

NIH Institutes Issue Notice Expressing Interest to Prioritize Zika Virus Research Areas

Today, NICHD, NINDS, NIDCR and NIAID issued a notice to highlight interest in research on Zika virus as it relates to the mother-infant dyad and sequelae of infection. Areas of priority that may be of interest to dental, oral and craniofacial researchers include the following:

  • Research to develop lab-based or point-of-care diagnosis for ZIKV using saliva as a biofluid
  • Studies to characterize the outcome of viral infection on craniofacial skeletal and dental phenotype with or without microcephaly

For additional information click here to read the entire announcement along with links to possible funding opportunities that can be used to pursue research activities.

AADR Student Advocate of the Year Winners Announced

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Steven Feldman

AADR is pleased to announce that Steven Feldman, a student at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and Matthew Moore, a student from East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine are the recipients of the 2016 Student Advocate of the Year Award. In a letter of congratulations, Dr. David Johnsen, Chair of the AADR Government Affairs Committee indicated his appreciation for their tenacity in the continued challenging budget climate and their ability to urge Congress to increase federal funding for dental, oral and craniofacial research.

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Matthew Moore

Both students actively engaged in advocacy efforts throughout the year and articulated a strong commitment to enhancing student participation in advocacy efforts via meetings with members of Congress, collaborating with other associations and continue serving as advocates urging policymakers to make investments leading to the improvement of the oral health for all Americans.

As recipients of this award, Steven and Matthew will receive travel and accommodations to attend the February 23, 2016 Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill.

To learn more about the Student Advocate of the Year Award and other opportunities to become more involved with advocacy please contact the AADR Director of Government Affairs Carolyn Mullen at cmullen@aadr.org.