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.
Virginia Public Policy Advocate
In 2012 the 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 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. Dr. Reggiardo is currently the Executive Director of CSPD.
VAPD members interested in public policy issues in Virginia as well as policymakers and advocates for children’s oral health at the state level should feel free to contact the Virginia PPA using the form below.