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Paying it forward

Dentist Sura Hadad (BSc’98, DDS’03) invests time and money in her community and the Faculty of Dentistry

Sura Hadad’s (BSc’98, DDS’03) fondest memory of her time at the Faculty of Dentistry was the moment she walked across the stage at graduation with her daughter by her side. She had met the demands of the rigorous academic program along with the added challenges of becoming a new mom during her third year. “It wasn’t easy,” she recalls. “I loved the Dentistry program. It was challenging work, but it provided me with an exceptional education.”

“I believe in paying it forward,” says Dr. Hadad—and she does so in many ways. In addition to running her dental practice, Lozowski & Hadad Family Dental Centre, she provides support to young refugees who are applying to dental school in Canada. She is involved with the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS), offering free dental services to Syrian refugees. “I want to help them, as they are starting a new life in a new country.” She sponsors a family in her home country of Iraq. And when Dr. Tom Boran, past dean of the Faculty and proponent for the Dental Clinic Renewal project, asked Dr. Hadad to be a part of the campaign, she didn’t hesitate and made a pledge of $25,000.

“I want to give back to the place that got me to where I am today,” says Dr. Hadad, who joined the Faculty of Dentistry in 2009 as a part-time instructor. “It’s inspiring when you go into a new space. The simulation lab is amazing. I want students to experience this environment, as they will be motivated to learn.” The undergraduate clinic in the new Dental Clinic is slated to open in September 2018 and will be set up like a private practice, where students can gain experience in a real world setting prior to graduation. The new spaces will also support more patients in need of oral health care in the community.

In addition to Dr. Hadad’s gift to the Dental Clinic Renewal project, she has generously given $25,000 to set up a scholarship fund to support second-year students in the DDS Qualifying Program. This program is for dentists from overseas who want to move to Canada and practise. Some candidates may have already worked in dentistry abroad, but need to gain the required prerequisites to practise here.

As a member of the admission committee, Dr. Hadad sees how expensive it can be for these students, often combined with the added financial pressures of supporting their families while in school. “I want to bring them some joy, as they are investing a lot to come to the program,” says Dr. Hadad.