On Sept. 28, 2018, the President signed an $854 billion appropriations bill (as Pub.L.115-245) that keeps the government running through Dec. 7, and provides FY 2019 funding for Department of Defense and Labor-Health and Human Services-Education programs. The conference bill — HR 6157 — was passed by the Senate 93-7 on Sept. 18, and by the House of Representatives 361-61 on Sept. 26. Thanks to the great efforts of Congressional Liaison Heber Simmons Jr., AAPD’s D.C., lobbying firm Hogan Lovells, and the nearly 300 AAPD members who participated in the Public Policy Advocacy Conference earlier this year, the AAPD was successful in obtaining our recommended funding level of $12 million for Title VII Pediatric Dentistry training. In addition, report language provided a preference for pediatric dental faculty in the dental faculty loan repayment program (DFLRP). AAPD advocacy for DFRLP has already benefitted a number of pediatric dentistry faculty members around the country.

The specific report language is as follows:

“Oral Health Training.-The conferees include not less than $12,000,000 for General Dentistry Programs and not less than $12,000,000 for Pediatric Dentistry Programs. The conferees direct HRSA to provide continuation funding for predoctoral and postdoctoral training grants initially awarded in fiscal year 2015, and for section 748 Dental Faculty Loan Program grants initially awarded in fiscal years 2016, 2017, and 2018. The conferees continue to support awards with a preference for pediatric dentistry faculty supervising dental students or residents and providing clinical services in dental clinics located in dental schools, hospitals, and community-based affiliated sites.”