International and American Associations for Dental Research Joint Statement on Executive Order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States”

The International and American Associations for Dental Research (IADR/AADR) strongly oppose the executive order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” and specifically the provision that suspends entry into the United States for immigrants and nonimmigrants from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya for 90 days.

Although we do not know the full impact of this policy yet, the executive order could have a chilling effect on the global scientific community and will impair IADR and AADR’s ability to achieve its mission of advancing research and increasing knowledge for the improvement of oral health worldwide. Science is, and must be, an international collaborative endeavor. Suspending entry into the United States prevents faculty and students with visas from these countries to study, teach, research, or attend international scientific conferences and this is a disservice to the advancement of science. The executive order will also prevent faculty and students from these countries currently in the United States on valid visas from traveling to international scientific conferences outside of the United States for fear of not being able to return.

IADR has members and student members based in the countries included in the executive order and members and student members with passports from those countries with faculty appointments or who are students in other countries. The direct and immediate impact on these members (even if they already obtained visas and went through a rigorous visa interview process) is they will be unable to attend the IADR General Session in San Francisco, California scheduled for March 2017. The IADR General Session is the largest scientific conference in the world for dental, oral and craniofacial researchers to share, connect and learn more about the latest dental and craniofacial research findings.

We strongly urge Congress to rescind the executive order immediately through the legislative process. We look forward to working with policymakers in the near future so they can better understand the detrimental impact policies such as this have on the exchange of information and the scientific enterprise at large.

As we strive towards our mission, IADR and AADR are committed to our diverse membership and will always be an inclusive community of dental, oral and craniofacial researchers for membership, meetings and our publications.

FDA releases final draft of cigar warning labels guidance

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released the final version of “Submission of Warning Plans for Cigars: Guidance for Industry”. AADR commented on an earlier draft of the guidance. AADR urged FDA officials to modify the definition of “cigar”, to include a warning about tobacco use and tooth loss and gum disease, and to  explore the use of graphic warning labels. Although AADR’s recommendations were not incorporated into the final draft, we are hopeful that the warning plan outlined in this guidance will serve to promote public oral health and reduce cigar use. We will update the blog on any changes or developments to the guidance and with additional opportunities to provide input on this and other regulatory matters.

Please click here for the final version of the FDA’s guidance.

Student Advocate of the Year Winner Announced

AADR is pleased to announce that Adam Parikh, a student at Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine-Illinois is the recipient of the 2017 AADR 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 Adam’s tireless advocacy on behalf of dental, oral, and craniofacial research especially in during this challenging budget climate. During the summer Adam participated in the AADR August Advocacy Challenge with the hopes of promoting the AADR’s federal policy agenda. He, along with another student, conducted a successful meeting with Senator Durbin’s (D-Ill.) staff to discuss the value and importance of increasing funding for the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Elizabeth Guirado, Tran Nguyen, aide for Sen. Durbin (D-IL) and Adam Parikh

As a recipient of this award, Adam will receive travel and a one night accommodation to attend the February 28, 2017 AADR and FNIDCR Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill.

Dr. Francis Collins Staying on as NIH Director–For Now & Other Updates

According to multiple news outlets including STATNews Dr. Francis Collins’s letter of resignation was returned and he is being held over as NIH director. According to STATNews, “It is not yet known whether (President) Trump will permanently reappoint Collins to be his NIH director for his full term.”

In other updates, Dr. Tom Frieden stepped down as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director last week and deputy director Dr. Anne Schuchat will serve as acting director. It is not yet clear who President Trump will nominate to become the director of CDC.

AADR will be monitoring these developments closely and update the blog accordingly.

 

AADR Supports the Prevention and Public Health Fund

Last week, AADR voiced strong support for the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) by joining 333 organization in a letter warning Congress of the dire consequences of repealing PPHF. Currently, more than 12 percent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) budget is supplied through the Prevention Fund investments.  This includes funding for the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant which provides nearly $4 million for state oral health programs. In Wisconsin, for example, 7 agencies implemented evidenced based interventions including oral health risk assessments, fluoride sealants, dental hygienist services for exams, dental cleanings and fluoride varnishes and targeting children with no dental insurance or dental providers. Additionally, the Prevention Fund is also utilized for tobacco prevention programs including the successful Tips From Former Smokers educational campaign. With the return of sequestration next year and without a corresponding increase in the allocation for the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriation bill repeal of PPHF would leave an enormous funding gap, creating catastrophic consequences for research, data, public health and other programs designed to improve the health of our nation. AADR looks forward to working with Congress in the upcoming months to protect and promote the Prevention and Public Health Fund because it continues to be a vital investment for many initiatives at CDC.

AADR submits comments on AHRQ key questions for chronic pain treatment

AADR submitted comments to the Effective Health Care (EHC) program of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) regarding key questions for the research topic, “Noninvasive, Nonpharmacological Treatment of Chronic Pain”. The research topic, which will explore alternative treatments to chronic pain conditions, appears to be in response to the opioid epidemic. Key questions are used to guide and focus researchers as they draft reports. The five current key questions address the following chronic pain conditions: low back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and headache.

AADR submitted comments encouraging researchers to include chronic orofacial pain as a key question. Please see the links below for AHRQ’s request for comments and AADR’s response. AADR will monitor and update the blog with any changes to the key questions.

Click here to view AADR’s response.