On April 9, AGD President Dr. Manuel A. Cordero and AGD Congressional Liaison Dr. Myron (Mike) Bromberg met with legislators on Capitol Hill to discuss AGD priorities. These issues included: continued funding for critical oral health issues in the Fiscal Year 2019 federal budget and support for AGD’s proposed Oral Health Literacy legislation.
Unfortunately, the President’s FY 2019 budget proposes to eliminate all funding for HRSA’s Title VII oral health training programs. By contrast, in the recently enacted FY 2018 omnibus bill, Congress provided nearly $41 million for HRSA Title VII (an increase of $4 million over current levels), to include a $10 million set-aside for Pediatric Dental Residency programs and $10 million for General Dentistry residency programs.
In their meetings, Drs. Cordero and Bromberg expressed support for HRSA’s vital role in oral health training programs, urging legislators to continue Title VII funding. They pointed out that HRSA Title VII Oral Health Workforce programs play a key role in meeting the sustained need for more general dentists with advanced training.
In meetings on oral health literacy, the AGD leaders explained how the importance of prevention in the form of oral health literacy is often overlooked, much to the detriment of our nation’s oral health needs. The AGD representatives emphasized the need for research-based strategies that can help inform a national public education campaign.
Impact on General Dentistry: Oral health literacy and funding for federal oral health programs are key components of AGD’s advocacy agenda and will be addressed again during AGD’s Hill Day in June.