Over the past four years, The Lucy Hobbs Project® has been introduced to some incredible women in dentistry. These women have persevered throughout their careers and have set the benchmark high in our industry, similar to Dr. Lucy Hobbs, the first American woman to earn a doctorate in dentistry.
Dr. Mary Teddy Wray was just 16 years old when she left her native country, Uganda, to attend boarding school in New York. She escaped political instability at home – Uganda was ruled at the time by the notorious Idi Amin – but in the U.S. she struggled with money while putting herself through school. first at New York University and then Georgetown, sometimes subsisting on nothing but bread and water.
That searing experience has imbued in her a spirit of giving at her practice in Bel Air, Maryland. The only dentist in her area who accepts Medicaid, Dr. Wray- “Dr. Teddy” to many of her patients – also offers low-cost treatment at several local nonprofits, including SARC, the Sexual Assault/Spouse Abuse Recovery Center, which provides abused women money, legal assistance and a safe place to live.
“But there was no one to help them with their broken teeth,” she says of SARC’s clientele. “I thought that if I gave them a smile it would help their self-esteem, and they could get a decent job.”
Through SARC, Dr. Wray began treating patients at Anna’s House, a shelter run by Catholic Charities for homeless women and their families. One of her patients there, a woman in her twenties eager to start beauty school, needed nearly all of her teeth replaced, a task Dr. Wray completed over two months – at no cost.
She now sits on the boards of SARC and three other organizations, raising funds for all of them. In addition to her practice, too, she performs reduced-cost dental services for the ARC Northern Chesapeake Region association for disabled adults, and the Mason Dixon Community Services group for low-income residents.
“The work is satisfying,” Dr. Wray says of her 24/7 humanitarianism. “The happiness you feel is because you helped someone else. It makes you warm inside.”
Learn more about The Lucy Hobbs Project. (It’s free to join!): http://thelucyhobbsproject.com/
Nominate before the November 18 deadline: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LucyHobbsProject2017