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This February, the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) convened for its Annual Session meeting in Denver, CO, where Alabama ASDA was recognized nationally for its advocacy efforts.

At the session, delegates from each dental school in the U.S. debate policy and initiatives, elect new leaders, and attend educational seminars. The conference culminated in the Gold Crown Awards representing the best chapters in the U.S. for various categories.

Heath Padgett and Hannah DaileyThis year Alabama ASDA was pleased to win the 2024 Gold Crown Award for Advocacy, emphasizing the chapter’s commitment to advocacy, and successfully engaging the UAB student body in various advocacy-related events and initiatives. Hannah Dailey (D3), who chaired the Legislative Committee, won the 2024 Legislative Liaison of the Year Award.

The committee planned and executed several advocacy-inspired events including Advocacy Week in November. Advocacy Week was packed full of events including ‘Red, White, and Brews’ with Dr. Gordon Isbell sharing about his role in the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Alabama Dental Association (ALDA), a lunch and learn with Dr. Stephen Mitchell sharing about advocacy within Alabama, ASDA Fight Night with professors engaging in a fun-spirited debate on hot topics in dentistry, and more!

ASDA Fight NightHannah and I have also been involved in national advocacy through attending and leading a group of students at the ADA Student and Dentist Lobby Day in Washington, DC, and locally by attending the Oral Health Coalition of Alabama’s quarter meeting near Montgomery. In addition, I authored the cover article this past August for ASDA’s Contour Magazine, emphasizing the role of students in advocacy and the importance of organized dentistry.

Currently, Alabama ASDA is working with the Alabama Dental Association to promote the “More for Your Smile” campaign and declare April 3rd as “More for Your Smile Day.”

Cassidy McNeely-Minot (D3) will serve as the chapter president for the upcoming year, and Hannah will continue to serve as the Legislative Committee chair for 2024.

About Alabama ASDA

More than 50 years ago, dental students first came together to organize what is now known as the American Student Dental Association. Today ASDA connects students on local and national levels and gives them the training they need to be better leaders and professionals.

Alabama ASDA hosts a variety of events throughout the year including service days and an annual ‘Miles for Smiles’ event supporting the Cahaba Valley Health Care dental clinic, as well as canned food drives with Love in Action Ministries. This past year the Alabama ASDA’s award-winning Legislative Committee was overseen by Heath Padgett, a D4 dental student and 2023 AL ASDA chapter president, and was chaired by Hannah Dailey, a D3 dental student.