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SBU Urges Congress to Fund More Oral Health Training Programs and Increase Funding for Dental Research

Dr. Dan Colosi

On Wednesday, September 18, Dr. Dan Colosi, Associate Professor in the Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine and Director of the Division of Diagnostic Imaging, visited Capitol Hill in conjunction with the American Dental Education Association’s Hill Day to advocate for more oral health training programs and increased funding for dental research.

Dr. Dan Colosi
Dr. Dan Colosi

“There is a need for more dental school faculty. There are currently about 265 funded vacant full-time faculty positions nationwide. Title VII funding supports faculty development at dental schools, helping to involve practicing dentists in dental education,” said Dr. Colosi. “The proposed loan repayment program provides dental schools with a recruitment tool for highly-qualified faculty.”

In addition to advocating for more oral health training programs, Dr. Colosi explained to Congressional staff the importance of increasing funding for National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). Discoveries stemming from NIDCR-supported dental research have reduced the burden of oral disease and have led to better oral health for tens of millions of Americans. Researchers have documented discoveries showing the important relationship between oral and systemic health. These findings will potentially contribute to the prevention or moderation of many serious systemic diseases. Additionally, poor oral health and underlying oral disease may significantly increase the risk of developing systemic conditions such as adverse pregnancy outcomes, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

During his advocacy visit to Washington, DC, Dr. Colosi met with staff of Leader Chuck Schumer, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Lee Zeldin, and Rep. Tom Suozzi. Stony Brook’s Office of Government Relations coordinated these meetings and continues to work closely with Congress on Stony Brook’s federal priorities.

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