The Commonwealth's Big Authority on little teeth


State and Federal Advocacy Opportunities

Every year, Virginia is represented by a delegation of pediatric dentists working with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) at the federal level, and alongside the Virginia Dental Association (VDA) at the state level, to advocate for policies, guidelines, and programs that promote optimal oral health and oral healthcare for children. Participation in these advocacy opportunities is strongly encouraged.

State Advocacy
VDA Legislative Day on the Hill
January 2021 (TBA) - Richmond, VA
VDA Advocacy Page

Federal Advocacy
AAPD Pediatric Oral Health and Advocacy Conference
March 2021 (TBA) - Washington, DC
AAPD Public Policy and Advocacy Page


State Public Policy Advocate

Secretary/Treasurer Dr. Patrice Wunsch
Dr. Patrice B. Wunsch
Public Policy Advocate for Virginia
Academics - Midlothian, VA
Residency: University of Maryland, Baltimore
DDS/DMD: Marquette University

About the Public Policy Advocate Initiative
In 2012 the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), through the Council on Government Affairs, developed a state Public Policy Advocate initiative in order to strengthen and coordinate advocacy efforts by our state chapters. The Public Policy Advocate (PPA) position is designed to serve as the state pediatric dentistry association’s (e.g. VAPD) advocate for the oral health issues of infants, children, adolescents, and patients with special health care and developmental needs.

The PPA will help represent the state pediatric dentistry association in promoting children’s oral health issues with the state legislature and other elected bodies, state regulatory agencies (including Medicaid and health departments), licensing bureaus, professional health and child welfare organizations, oral health coalitions, foundations, institutions of dental education, publicly funded safety net programs, and the private sector benefits industry.

The PPA will also closely coordinate their activities with those of the state dental association. PPAs will serve as an advocacy liaison between the state pediatric dentistry association and the state dental association.

The PPA program is modeled on the successful efforts by Dr. Paul Reggiardo (former AAPD president), who served as PPA for the California Society of Pediatric Dentistry (CSPD) for many years.

AAPD members interested in public policy issues and state policymakers and advocates for children’s oral health should feel free to contact the PPA in your state. Click here for the current list of other states’ PPAs.

For further information about the program, please contact AAPD Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel C. Scott Litch at