Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine Students Advocate for Changes in Health Care, Student Debt on Capitol Hill

Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine's ASDA chapter students outside of the ADA's Town House near Capitol Hill. Students from Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine attended the American Dental Association's Dentist and Student Lobby Day in Washington D.C.  

April 2019 - Members of Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine’s chapter of the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) attended the American Dental Association’s Dentist and Student Lobby Day. The three-day event provides an opportunity for dentists and dental students from throughout the United States to advocate on behalf of themselves and their patients on issues that affect their profession and oral health within our country.   

Stony Brook students were able to attend breakout sessions and discussions with political analysts, subject matter experts, and dentists well-versed in advocacy. “We learned about lobbying from the experts,” explained Joseph Manzella, Class of 2021 and 2019-2020 Stony Brook ASDA Chapter President. “We became familiarized with the issues we’d be discussing with lawmakers and gained a better understanding of the recent political landscape.”   

Through meeting with Members of Congress, students advocated for the repeal of federal legislation exempting many healthcare insurance companies from federal regulation, for the reauthorization of legislation impacting student debt accrual and refinancing, and for the establishment of legislation that would require health plans to cover medically necessary services resulting from congenital anomalies.   

"Overall, the issues we advocated for and the experience of being in the nation’s capital talking directly to lawmakers was incredible,” said Joseph. “It affirms that by serving within this organization, we are making a difference in the lives of all of dental students, the future of our profession, and the health of the patients that we serve.”