The 2021 Professional Advocacy Conference was held virtually this year, taking place on February 22-23, with 82 AAO members, including 42 residents, advocating for the specialty during virtual meetings with Members of Congress.

The Conference began the evening of Monday, February 22, with the AAO’s federal lobbyists at Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies providing an outlook on Washington, D.C. and expectations and priorities for the Biden administration. Then, Congresswoman Ann Wagner (MO-02) spoke to attendees about the upcoming legislative aid package, the importance of expanding FSAs, and other AAO legislative priorities. The evening concluded with an Advocacy 101 course that prepared attendees for what to expect for their virtual meetings.

On Tuesday, February 23, attendees were grouped by constituency and attended several virtual meetings with 10 different Members of Congress, including 4 dentist members of Congress.  During the meetings, AAO members discussed the AAO’s legislative priorities, which include helping protect staff, patients, and businesses from COVID-19, easing the burden of student loan debt, and improving healthcare policy. The AAO continues to advocate for the passage of the RAISE Health Benefits Act, the Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act, and the Student Loan Refinancing and Recalculation Act.

Federal Advocacy is made possible by the generous contributions to the AAOPAC. If you would like to contribute to the AAOPAC, you can click here.