Tag Archives: Lobbying

Dental Sleep Practice Article Published

Former Congressman Marty Russo adds his voice to Dental Sleep Practice on ‘How To Make A Difference In Washington.”

Dental Sleep Practice Magazine

Dental Sleep Practice Magazine article published by Former Congressman Marty Russo


It has been a privilege to get involved in helping out the “Sleep Community” — a group of dental, medical, and other practitioners who care about the dangers of sleep disorders and their negative impact on health and safety.

In conjunction with several speaking engagements, this companion article appeared in an issue of Dental Sleep Magazine.  Here’s an excerpt:

“I’ve spent my career in politics and government with eighteen years in the U.S. House of Representatives and twenty-two years as a top lobbyist. My message to you is that what happens in Washington matters. The best way to impact federal policy making is to get involved. You can make a difference.”

“There is a lot of activity in Washington these days around legislating and regulating sleep apnea and transportation safety.   I can tell you that there are large gaps in understanding among federal policy makers regarding the latest advances in dental sleep medicine. There is no consensus among all the federal players as to how to best approach the issue of sleep apnea…The good news is that this lack of consensus gives you an opportunity to have your voice heard.”

One of the most wonderful things about speaking to groups is that I get to hear about issues that are important to people.  Getting involved with the Sleep Community to help them be heard in Washington has been particularly gratifying.



Speaking At The Sleep and Wellness Conference

The American Sleep and Breathing Academy held its Sleep and Wellness Conference 2014 in Scottsdale AZ.

My topic was “An Insider’s Guide to Influence In Washington.”

Sleep and Wellness ConferenceThis annual conference for health care professionals focused on a multi-disciplinary approach to sleep medicine.   I especially noted Member Mark Rosekind of the National Transportation Safety Board who spoke about how important it is to examine issues of operator fatigue when investigating transportation accidents.

Below are some conference photos and slides from the “Prezi” that accompanied my speech.   I enjoyed sharing insider tips on how Washington works and how lobbyists are effective.  It was fun to look at a tourist map of Washington and explain how a lobbyist views sites like The White House and the United States Capitol.

The best question from the audience asked, “How can a David can be heard in a world of  Goliath lobbyists?”   That question cut to the core of my message to audience  — you need to get involved, you can make a difference.   It can often seem as though a big lobbying operation has the money and resources to always shut out smaller interests.  But my experience is that Members of Congress in particular care more about what their constituents think.

A group with an issue like “sleep disorders” can get their message across by picking specific issues to work on and combining efforts. These efforts should be directed toward their own Members.  As we discussed, it’s important for the sleep community to establish relationships with Congress and let it be known that they want to be part of the solution.  The best way is to become a source of expertise so that when sleep issues come up, the Members already know and trust this expertise.  It was especially rewarding after the speech to hear a dental professional discuss how the sleep community might get involved to make a difference.

Sleep and Wellness

ASBA Sleep and Wellness Conference 2014, May 1-3 Scottsdale, AZ

Marty Russo and Roy Green
Marty Russo and Roy Green
Dr. Richard Klein, Marty Russo, Dr. Elliott Alpher
Dr. Richard Klein, Marty Russo, Dr. Elliott Alpher
Sleep and Wellness Conference - Russo Slide
Sleep and Wellness Conference - Russo Slide
Sleep and Wellness Conference - Russo Prezi Slide
Sleep and Wellness Conference - Russo Prezi Slide
Sleep and Wellness Conference - Russo Prezi Slide
Sleep and Wellness Conference - Russo Prezi Slide
Sleep and Wellness Conference - Russo Prezi Slide
Sleep and Wellness Conference - Russo Prezi Slide
Sleep and Wellness Conference - Russo Prezi Slide
Sleep and Wellness Conference - Russo Prezi Slide

Public Policy Speech to the Academy of Craniofacial Pain

Former Congressman Marty Russo speaks on lobbying, influence and public policy issues surrounding sleep apnea.

Here’s a video clip of how the sleep community can make a difference in Washington.

There is a lot of activity today in Washington surrounding sleep apnea and issues in transportation.

Agencies like the U.S. Department of Transportation, and sub-agencies like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration are looking very closely at the role of sleep disorders and transportation safety.

The sleep community needs to wake up and get involved.  Government policy makers don’t know everything there is to know about sleep apnea.  They need to hear from experts like the members of the Academy of Craniofacial Pain.

Speaking To The Academy of Craniofacial Pain

Marty Russo Speaking At The AACP

Mid-Winter Session Speaking Engagement

It was a privilege to speak to an assembly of the foremost dental experts who are part of the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain.

This conference at Scottsdale, AZ, included a number of distinguished presentations on how the latest advances in technology can help those who suffer from sleep apnea.

I spoke to the group about how the actions of Congress and the federal agencies have a profound impact on the treatment of sleep apnea:  “If You’re Not At The Table, You’re On The Menu:  What Are The Three Keys To Influence and How To Use Them To Get Things Done In Washington.”

Several recent examples in the world of sleep apnea include:

  • The US Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is starting a 3-year rule making process to address safety concerns about truckers who have sleep apnea.  The AACP has been very active at ensuring that all solutions being discussed include the option of oral appliance therapy.

    Speaking to the Academy of Craniofacial Pain

    Dr. Steven Olmos, Dr. Richard Klein, Marty Russo, Dr. Elliott Alpher, Dr. Dennis Marangos

  • The Federal Aviation Administration is concerned about pilot fatigue and have also started a rule making process that will likely include aspects of sleep apnea and viable treatment options.
  • The National Safety Transportation Board is investigating the Brooklyn train derailment and whether the engineer suffered a sleep attack.

We had a good discussion about how each expert in the room could get involved so that federal rule makers are informed of all the latest technology innovation so they can make good decisions based on science.

Marty Russo

Marty Russo, Roy Green, David Gergen


After the primary conference sessions were over, I enjoyed meeting the legendary Roy Green, wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles.  Many retired NFL players suffer from sleep apnea and we discussed ways to get the word out.

David Gergen is a leader in trying to help these retired players receive treatment that not only works, but fits their lifestyle.


Many thanks to the leadership of the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain for allowing me to update them on how federal regulations are impacting the diagnosis, testing and treatment of sleep apnea.  I appreciated the camaraderie and fun.

Academy of Craniofacial Pain Speaking Engagement

Front Row: Ms. Pam Talley, Dr. Rick Bonato, Marty Russo, Dr. Richard Klein, Dr. Jeff McCarty. Back Row from Right: Dr. Elliott Alpher, Bill Carney, Nancy Andriuk, Patrice Barrett, Dr. Pat Barrett, Dr. Larry Talley






Lecturer at Loyola Marymount University

Lecturer at Loyola Marymount University

Institute for Leadership Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles Lecture

I was honored to speak to several political science classes at LMU on November 11, 2013, as part of a visit with Department Chair Dr. Michael Genovese and Associate Professor Dr. Janie Steckenrider.    LMU has a vibrant program for developing future leaders that understand the role of politics and government in our society.

Dr. Genovese is an author of over 30 books on leadership including his latest, Leadership Matters:  Unleashing the Power of Paradox.  I enjoyed reading through the book which includes stories of leadership in all sort of facets of society:  from history to politics to Hollywood.

I had to laugh along with Dr.  Steckenrider as we both remembered that she attended one of my early political fundraisers at the Condessa Del Mar in Alsip, Illinois back when I was campaigning for re-election in 1976.

We agreed that politics and public policy has changed dramatically since those days. In the 1980’s I served as a Deputy Whip and had a front row seat to watch House Speaker Tip O’Neill work out deals with President Ronald Reagan.  I’d like to see more of that today.  The country needs the art of compromise to help us grow businesses and jobs.