Virtual Hill Day: FAQs

Why are AADR, ADEA and the Friends of NIDCR hosting a Virtual Hill Day? 

Due to growing health concerns over COVID-19, the in-person 2020 AADR, ADEA and FNIDCR Capitol Hill Day was canceled. A Virtual Hill Day will allow those who support our shared policy priorities—including increased funding for the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) and Oral Health Training Programs within the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)—to educate elected officials about the importance of these programs and how they’re making a difference. 

Using the hashtag #FundOralHealth, we can build momentum and amplify our collective voice. 

How do I engage on a Virtual Hill Day?  

AADR and ADEA have created several resources to help you engage during the Virtual Hill Day. 

The easiest way to engage is to use AADR’s Action Alert or ADEA’s Action Alert, which allow you to communicate directly with your legislators using your preferred communication method of email, Twitter or phone call—or a combination of the three. To use the action alert, simply click the button of your preferred communication method, enter your contact information, select one of the messages or customize your message, and click “Send!” Remember—if you have a story, tell it! 

We also hope you will engage on Twitter throughout the day using the hashtag #FundOralHealth. AADR and ADEA have included several sample Tweets within this Communications Toolkit, but we also encourage you to draft your own to make the message as personal and effective as possible. 

How do I ensure my message is effective? 

There are several elements that can make a message effective. Above all, we encourage you to make your messages personal by sharing your story—why you do what you do, how these programs could make your life or a loved one’s life better, or how your research is making a difference.

It's also helpful if you can share how these federal agencies are making a difference in your state. Share statistics and resources, when possible, to bolster your point. 

When I call the office of my Member of Congress, should I ask to speak with someone specific or talk to whoever answers the phone? 

You should feel comfortable speaking with whoever answers the phone. You may ask to speak with the health legislative assistant, who is responsible for handling the member’s health portfolio, but rest assured that your notes will be captured by whomever you are speaking to in the office and passed along. 

Can I leave a voicemail with my elected official’s office if no one answers the phone? 

Absolutely. Just be sure to provide your name and a call-back number in case the office has any follow-up questions. It’s also helpful to provide your zip code and note that you are a constituent. 

When I called my congressman’s office, the voicemail box was full. What should I do? 

Some congressional offices have implemented telework policies amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. If you tried to call your elected official and the voicemail was full, we encourage you to either send a Tweet or email directly to your lawmaker or call them at a later date. 

When I reached out to my Member’s office, I was asked about an appropriations request form. How should I respond? 

AADR and ADEA are working directly with congressional offices on appropriations requests. If you receive this request from an office, please direct it to AADR Assistant Director of Government Affairs Lindsey Horan or ADEA Chief Advocacy Officer Tim Leeth, and we will provide the necessary information.