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ODA Advocacy

The ODA's advocacy program is directed through the Government Relations Council  in affiliation with DOPAC, ODA's political action committee. The House of Delegates establishes policy on issues, while the ​ODA Board of Trustees provides interpretation of these policies. The Government ​Relations Council guides development of the ODA's legislative agenda and response to legislation.

The Government Relations Council applies the below core principles with the existing political climate of the Legislature, to determine its advocacy strategy:

  • It is in the best health and safety interest of the public at large and dental providers
  • It maintains and protects the dentist as the head of the dental team
  • It is cost effective for the public
  • It addresses access to care barriers for those in need of dental services while providing adequate reimbursement to the provider

Oregon Action for Dental Health

Oregon's 2017 Legislative Session

2017 was a busy session as legislators grappled with budget issues, a state housing crisis, and a host of complex bills. The Oregon Legislature considered a total of 2,647 bills, with 747 of those bills passed into law and signed by the Governor.

The Oregon Dental Association focused our legislative efforts on bills that could affect Oregonian’s oral health care, Oregonian’s access to care, and the practice of dentistry. In partnership with stakeholders, ODA proposed a legislative package entitled Oregon Action for Dental Health.  The purpose of these bills was to address the full service dental care needs of children, Medicaid patients, rural, and tribal communities in Oregon.  While the number of dentists in Oregon is growing in proportion to population growth, the dental profession recognizes needs exist in underserved communities.

  • Renewal of the Rural Medical Practitioners Tax Credit: SB 178
  • Funding for the Medicaid Primary Care Loan Repayment Program Budget Note
  • Native American Health Scholarship Program: SB 911
  • Oral Health School Screenings: HB3181
  • Public Notice of Changes to Fluoridation of Water Supplies: SB 878
  • Tobacco 21: SB 754

Next Steps and Moving Forward

This interim, we plan to meet with candidates and legislators across the state, building effective and meaningful relationships to help advance the goals of ODA membership. The ODA will continue building our grassroots network, connecting local doctors with their elected officials. We will continue building partnerships with stakeholders who have similar legislative agendas, finding ways to advance oral health issues in Oregon.

Additionally, the ODA will begin considering concepts and ideas to possibly draft as legislation for the 2018 and 2019 legislative sessions.  We will work on previous legislative issues to find new paths forward.

We encourage any member doctors who have legislative ideas to contact Jen Lewis-Goff, ODA Director of Government of Affairs.