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Dental Students Learn Importance of Legislative Process to Profession
Date:3/8/2010

SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 50 dental students from four of the six California dental schools attended a Student Advocacy Day sponsored by the California Dental Association last Tuesday, March 2, in Sacramento. The students, ranging from first to fourth year dental students, had all expressed an interest in learning more about the different facets of advocacy and how they can be a part of the process now and in the future.

"I attended an advocacy conference a few years ago that CDA offered," said third year dental student Ryan Abelowitz from the University of California Los Angeles. "I thought at the time how great it would be for more students to attend. This has been a great venue to be able to bring issues to the dental students that will affect them and their future patients, and in turn they can bring the issues to the capitol now that they have been exposed to the process."

CDA President Thomas Stewart hosted the students for the day, which began at the CDA headquarters where they learned about the importance of advocacy, including grassroots efforts.

"We want to make sure that these future dentists are keenly aware that laws are being made every day that will have a direct impact on the profession, their practice as well as their future patients," said Stewart.

The students visited the State Capitol where they heard presentations from Senator Sam Aanestad, Assembly Member Bill Emmerson, Assembly Member Mary Hayashi, Assembly Member Nathan Fletcher and Senator Mark Leno.  Senator Aanestad (R-Grass Valley) is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who was elected to the State Senate in 2002 and represents the 4th Senate District covering 12 Northern California Counties.

"Even though my position now does not allow me much time to practice dentistry, I am still a member of CDA," said Senator Aanestad, who is currently running for Lt. Governor. "From my vantage point now here at the Capitol, I can tell you the volunteer dentists and staff are advocating strongly for your profession. I encourage you to get involved even now while you are in dental school."

About California Dental Association

The California Dental Association is the non-profit organization representing organized dentistry in California. Founded in 1870, CDA supports its members in their practices and service to the public through innovation in education, advocacy and related programs. CDA also contributes to the oral health of Californians through various comprehensive programs and advocacy. CDA's membership consists of more than 24,000 dentists, making it the largest constituent of the American Dental Association. For more information, visit cda.org. 

SOURCE California Dental Association

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