Dear Dugoni School Family,
I hope you were able to enjoy some time away from your screens during this beautiful weekend. I find it hard to believe that it has been five weeks since we were all together in our school home at 155 Fifth Street. We have all adapted with a positive attitude and shifted to teaching, learning, and work from home to keep one another safe. It has not been easy, and I am sure you feel some of the same frustrations that I feel. I miss seeing you in person when I would walk through the building. I miss our celebrations and the warmth of our humanistic culture and environment. I am confident that we will make it through this with the grit and perseverance that I see in so many of you. George Washington said, “perseverance and spirit have done wonders in all ages.” Our perseverance and spirit will do wonders in making the Dugoni School family grow and excel through these challenges.
During our Virtual Brown Bag with the Class of 2020 on April 10, some students came up with a very forward-looking and generous idea to support patients in need, once we are able to resume clinical services. We know there will be great need in the community as the financial impacts of the pandemic continue to burden our society.
Students asked whether the funds from the Dr. Henry A. Sutro Oral Rehabilitation Award, for this year only, could be transitioned to our patient care fund to support continuing care for patients who may now be facing economic hardships due to COVID-19. The $100,000 amount would be a significant addition to our fund, which targets chronically underserved individuals in our community.
The funds come from an endowment established by the late Dr. Henry Sutro ’50 and his family. We reached out to the Sutro family last week and they have graciously agreed to this idea. We thank them for their vision and generosity in supporting the change for this year.
As a result, many patients in financial need will be able to have their treatment subsidized. Students, too, will benefit as they will be able to obtain patient experiences that they will need to complete their training, once we are able to resume clinical care.
I also would like to thank the members of the Dugoni School family who pitched in to make a donation to the Dugoni School Student/Patient Emergency Fund. This crowdfunding project has generated nearly $8,000 in donations from 30 people. Thank you for your generosity in helping to grow this fund and help people in need. If you would like to provide support to this critical use, please follow the link here and support the Emergency Fund.
I want to end with gratitude for the incredible generosity of our students in coming up with this idea and our residents, faculty, staff, and alumni. I cannot say enough about how much you all touch my heart as you continue to live the very best of our values and look for ways to help and support other members of the Dugoni School family and our communities.
Difficult times can bring out the best in people or they can bring out the worst. This incredibly difficult pandemic has created an opportunity to bring out the very best of the Dugoni School family… I see it bringing out the very best in each of you.
Thank you and be well,
Nader A. Nadershahi, DDS, MBA, EdD