On November 8, AAO members engaged in the State of Ohio Lobby Day in Columbus, Ohio. This first-ever AAO state lobby day was launched in coordination with the newly created AAO National Advocacy Network (NAN).  It provided an opportunity to engage AAO and Ohio Association of Orthodontists (OAO) members in the legislative and policy processes at the state level while at the same time building AAO’s brand and presence at the Ohio Statehouse. 

Key policy areas discussed with lawmakers included patient health and safety concerns related to mail-order orthodontics, the Ohio Dental Loan Repayment Program, access to quality care, and licensing and workforce.

Five AAO/OAO members participated in the inaugural Lobby Day. Pictured above, from left are: Dr. Dale Anne Featheringham (Ohio AAOPAC Captain, National Advocacy Network), Dr. Parker Heiner (Ohio State University orthodontic resident), Dr. Phil Beckwith (AAOPAC Board Member representing the Great Lakes Association of Orthodontists)Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, Dr. Nancy Montgomery and Dr. Brandon Cook. The AAO representatives were joined by AAO contract lobbyists Dave Battocletti, Isaac Northrop, and Aaron Ockerman with Ockerman Consulting.   

The day commenced with an opportunity to meet Ohio Attorney General Yost and discuss consumer protections concerns. Following an engaging meeting with General Yost, members spent the morning meeting with staff and lawmakers from eight state House and Senate offices followed by lunch and a private tour of the historic Ohio Statehouse. 

“The Ohio State Lobby Day was an excellent opportunity to educate lawmakers about our policy priorities and applicable solutions specific to Ohio,” said Dr. Featheringham. “Staff and lawmakers from each office that we met with are particularly interested in learning about solutions to increase access to quality orthodontic care in Ohio and seeing what solutions are possible through the Dental Loan Repayment Program. It was a productive and fulfilling day in Columbus. Thanks to the AAO Advocacy team – including Ockerman Consulting – for organizing such a memorable day for orthodontists in Ohio to make an impact.”

In this first-ever state lobby day, attending orthodontists were able to learn more about legislative processes while simultaneously engaging in meaningful, grassroots advocacy efforts to educate on AAO policy priorities. AAO/OAO orthodontists not attending the lobby day in-person were invited to take digital action and send a message about policy priorities to their lawmakers, complementing and amplifying the AAO/OAO lobby day conversations inside the Ohio Statehouse.

As we continue to do more advocacy work in the states, please help support AAO Advocacy priorities by making your end-of-the year 2023 contribution now at AAOPAC.org. AAOPAC is helping to fuel our advocacy success not only in Washington, D.C. but in states throughout the country as well. Our AAOPAC Pillars of Giving are working and the AAO’s advocacy influence continues to grow through AAO member grassroots engagement.