Advocating For Your Right to Practice!
Join us at the State House to visit with the state legislators to discuss important issues that affect oral health and your practice.
Date: Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Where: Calvert House, 58 State Circle, Annapolis, MD
Cost: $50 Admin Cost
8:00 AM Breakfast Briefing - MSDA Legislative Chair, MSDA Staff & Lobbyist
We will brief you on the legislative goals we are trying to accomplish and which bills we are speaking to legislators about.
8:45 AM Visits with delegates to discuss legislative issues
12:00 PM Lunch & Debriefing @ Calvert House
During the debriefing, we discuss questions that the legislators may have had and how to answer them, etc.
Dentist Day 2017
During Maryland’s 90 day legislative session approximately 2500 to 3000 bills are introduced. The Legislative Affairs Committee of the MSDA and MSDA’s lobbyists review these bills and address the approximately 100 or more that will have a potential impact on our dental profession or the patients we serve. A great opportunity for you to get involved in the legislative process is our annual "Dentist Day" in Annapolis, which is on Wednesday, February 22, 2017. It has been a MSDA-sponsored event for some 25 years! All members of organized dentistry are invited to attend this important event. Much of the success goes to our membership working one on one with their legislators on "Dentist Day".
Several state dental organizations are supporters of Dentist Day in Annapolis. These include the MSDA, the Maryland Dental Society, the Maryland Association of Pediatric Dentistry, The Maryland Children’s Oral Health Institute, and the Maryland Academy of General Dentistry. According to MSDA Lobbyist Mr. Dan Doherty, because of the importance of the legislative issues, 2017 is a crucial year for each MSDA member to meet and get to know their legislators. Each Maryland state legislator will be informed that "Dentist Day” is approaching and to expect visits from dentists within their constituency. Visiting dentists will be given a packet to give to each of their legislators. Each packet contains information about organized dentistry in Maryland and dentistry’s position on several bills. It is our hope that between where you live and work, we will have a Maryland dentists visit with delegates and senators from all 47 legislative districts. Although you may not have an opportunity to meet with all your legislators in person, I have found interacting with legislative staff and aides also can be very rewarding.
Parking & Shuttles
Parking garages are available in Downtown Annapolis but limited. MSDA has arranged for continuous, convenient shuttle service from the United States Naval Academy Stadium to College Avenue and North Street, as well as the return trip. The parking lot is located near the Navy/Marine Corps Stadium at the Taylor Avenue Entrance (Gate #5 near the Blue Angel Plane). The MSDA bus will take you to the drop off/pick up spot at College Avenue near North Street (it is a two block walk to State Circle and the Calvert House). As you will see, State Circle is beautiful circling the State House but too narrow to negotiate a bus! The shuttle runs about every 10-20 minutes and will be marked "MSDA" verses the trolley buses that also leave the same lot but take a longer route. The shuttle is free but there is a nominal charge for the parking lot. The MSDA shuttle will run from 7:30am to 7:30pm so if you want to spend time walking the cobblestone streets of Annapolis after "Dentist Day”, feel free! Remember, when returning to your car, pick up the MSDA shuttle bus at the corner of College Avenue and North Street where you were dropped off originally.
Breakfast & Registration
Once at the Calvert House, enjoy a continental breakfast as you register and pick up your visitation materials. At 8:15am we will start with Welcoming Remarks and outline our legislative agenda for this year. Usually between 8:30 and 9am we will break to start our Senate/House Visitations. If you have never attended "Dentist Day” before, we will try to pair you with a veteran of "Dentist Day” to help show you around the various offices.
- My best advice is to go to the web site www.mdelect.net to find your legislators for both your home and office district.
- From there it’s easy to get their email address and send them a short email that Feb 22 is "Dentist Day”, you are a constituent, and you would like to arrange to stop by the office for a short visit. You will be amazed how quickly your legislator or their aide will get back in touch.
- From experience, try to schedule your visits on the House of Delegates around the same time, and in the Senate as well, so you’re not running back and forth between the Senate and the House Office Buildings. This is important since you have to go through security before entering each building. Please remember to bring picture ID.
- The sooner you let them know you are visiting, the better staff can work you into the legislators schedule (just like the dental office!). Some offices will not commit to a time so I will often leave my cell number so they can contact me when they have an opening. If your legislator still has no time, ask to meet with the legislative aide as this will help to begin building a relationship.
- Bring plenty of business cards, for there will be a place to include that in your packet that you will give to your legislators. I have found the visits to be most congenial and we often talk about issues in our community, as well as dental issues. Discuss the position papers and the dental issues of the day and make sure your legislator knows that you and the MSDA are a resource to them should they ever need information during the legislative session.
- A follow up thank you note to your legislator after "Dentist Day” is always a nice touch.
- Occasionally, I’m asked a question that I do know the answer or I feel I’m not qualified to answer. I will note the question, stating I will get them the answer to that question within a day or two.
- During the morning, the House of Delegates and the Senate will go into session around 10am. I always enjoy walking over to the State House to observe the proceedings.
Lunch is provided at the Calvert House at noon followed by a debriefing during which we can review any questions that may require follow up or comments received during our visits.
The Legislative Affairs Committee of the MSDA will keep you informed as the legislative session progresses. We hope the information noted above will motivate you to take a day off to attend. A day off now will eliminate lots of potential headaches for your dental practice in the future. Registration information on "Dentist Day” is included in the MSDA Newsletter as well as above. A charge of $50 is included breakfast and lunch and helps defray some of the cost involved in providing such a worthwhile program. I look forward to seeing you February 22!
Information submitted by Dr. Charles Doring, MSDA Legislative Committee Chair
Contact Peter Holmes at 410-964-2880, ext 102 or firstname.lastname@example.org.