Recognition & Regulation
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My husband and I are alumni from six educational institutions and we’ve learned that when you graduate from such an institution and become an alumni that puts you on a unique mailing list. Your institution does not forget you; you get regular reminders of campus activities, class reunions, classmates’ accomplishments and updates on the institution itself. And it is this last category that, I suspect, is the main reason for the continued staying connected communication, updates on the institution. In fact, all of our six institutions have grown exponentially. The private junior college, when we attended, had less than 200 students, but is now a University that offers PhD and pre-med programs. All these institutions have one major commonality, they solicit support. In fact, the inspiration for this writing comes from the letter just received from the President of one of these institutions: “Dear Friends of My Alma Mater, I write to you with great pride and a sense of shared accomplishment. Our 2015 Report on Annual Giving allows us to express our gratitude for you. For the second consecutive year we have reached and surpassed our $1M goal. This is due entirely to your loyalty and the generosity of the My Alma Mater community. More than 50% of our Annual Fund donors are ‘loyals’ with at least 5 years of consecutive giving.” Apparently this institution has loyal generous supporters who believe in the institution’s mission. This generous support is not unheard of in the denturist community. We have jumped major hurdles because of the dedicated generous support of united individuals who believed in a cause, however, our mission is not accomplished and will not be until every individual in the United States has their just right to choose the services of a denturist in their own state, in their own community. The Rayborn Fund is established to honor the generous support of Senator Rayborn and to challenge individuals to understand the urgent dental crisis and be part of the movement that will provide denturists’ services nationwide. To quote from a generous donor, “I am gratified to give because it makes me feel like I have ‘skin in the game.’ For me, it’s reminiscent of running wind sprints for my coach at basketball practice – when I made the commitment, there was a payoff later on. In a similar way, this giving is a commitment as I am more engaged in the profession and realize that in the end my gift will make a difference in thousands of lives.” There are many worthwhile organizations probably soliciting your gift; however, none will be more far-reaching than providing denturist services everywhere. Senator Rayborn would like to challenge every practicing denturist in regulated states to match his monthly donation and he kindly asks that everyone generously donate; no gift is too small. To donate or set up a monthly contribution please call: 360-232-4353 / 855-653-3688
TAKING THE DENTURIST MESSAGE TO CONGRESS
Denturists took advantage of the 2015 International Denturist Symposium location in Alexandria, VA and went to meet with several members of Congress in Washington DC. The opportunity to take the Denturist message to Congress is even more important as the National Denturist Association seeks greater recognition nationwide for the profession.
Most of the meetings were with representatives from Washington state since Washington Denturist Association (WDA) lobbyist Carolyn Logue has worked with many of them at the state level. WDA President Bill Disantis, NDA Vice President Joe Vize, Eric Hansen and Val Charron were among those who met with members of Congress, including Senator Patty Murray, Senator Maria Cantwell, Congressman Dan Newhouse, Congressman Derek Kilmer and Congressman Rick Larsen. In addition, Robyn Balcom was able to meet with a staff representative of Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke.
The Washington State NDA Delegation was also able to have an impromptu meeting with Congressman Dave Reichert of Washington state in the hallway outside the House Ways and Means Committee meeting. Attempts were made to meet with others but with many Congressional Representatives just returning from a long August recess and budget negotiations on-going, schedules were very difficult.
Although there is no active legislation before Congress and licensing battles are under the purview of the states, just the ability to introduce our profession and talk about what we do was important. Many members of Congress are unfamiliar with the battles we have faced at the state level yet they hear from the National Dental Association on a regular basis. In addition, we were able to talk with them about how we interact with programs such as Medicaid/Medicare, and the importance of ensuring Denturists are recognized as health care providers in future discussion surrounding the Affordable Health Care Act and other federal insurance laws.
It is important that we make sure our Congressional representatives know the profession as much as our state representatives. We should, as Denturists, take every opportunity to meet with those who represent us whether in DC or in our home states. Thanks to these recent NDA efforts, we now have some new friends in Congress.
Interested in participating in efforts to establish national denturist recognition and regulation?
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