The American Dental Hygienists' Association is pleased to announce that on Dec. 30, 2005, President Bush signed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) fiscal year 2006 funding bill that was accompanied by a Senate Appropriations Committee report, including language encouraging the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to explore the creation of an Advanced Dental Hygiene Practitioner (ADHP).
"Inclusion of ADHA's language is key to the legislative success of the proposed ADHP concept," said ADHA President Katie L. Dawson, RDH, BS. "Our language encourages HRSA's support of the ADHP, while it does not carry the weight of law. No money has been appropriated to explore creation of the ADHP. Since it is an exceedingly tight fiscal environment, we will not see HRSA action on the ADHP without significant congressional interest. The bottom line is this is a tremendous victory for dental hygiene and those unserved Americans who will be directly impacted by the ADHP."
ADHA is hopeful that legislators will be encouraged by their constituents' input to call for HRSA Administrator Betty Duke to establish an agenda for the agency that will explore the creation of an ADHP to improve access to oral health-care services. Dental hygienists will also personally convey this message to their legislators on Lobby Day in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, March 21.
Click on the link to view the report language: ADHA