The dental practice that keeps on giving
The American Dental Partners Foundation/Carus Dental Scholarship was established in 2007 with both alumni giving and students in mind.
Six years later, the endowment fund’s purpose is gaining momentum with new gifts from A&M Baylor College of Dentistry alums who are partners of the group practice. One even recently hand-delivered a $4,100 contribution to the college’s advancement, communications and alumni relations office.
“We’re trying to create a culture of giving and giving back,” says Dr. Ray Scott, president of Carus Dental, a group practice with locations throughout Austin, Houston and Central Texas. “It’s easy to not look at how we got to be where we are today. We oftentimes forget it came from our dental education, whatever institution we graduated from.
“We felt like it would be great if locally we could create scholarships where we could encourage our employees and doctors to give back.”
Several Carus dentists and staff members jumped at the opportunity to give to their alma maters, including Dr. Paul Bates ’88, who has been a full partner of Carus Dental for 23 years.
“Honestly I didn’t know what I had when I got out of dental school,” says Bates. “It very much prepared me for private practice. So I was very, very happy to support the scholarship.”
Bates never did receive a scholarship when he was a student at the dental school, but he recognizes the impact even a small amount of assistance can make.
“It would have allowed me to make better decisions when I first started practicing,” he says. “I hope it helps these students move forward into successful careers.”
Giving at Carus is simple. Dentists and other employees may opt for payroll deduction and can choose for money to be given as a general gift to the school, or the funds may be directed to the Carus Scholarship, which annually benefits a third-year dental student.
TAMBCD isn’t the only beneficiary. Carus also gives to the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental School and the UT School of Dentistry at Houston — that way all dentists and staff with dental or dental hygiene school ties in Texas feel motivated to give.
Scott says he hopes the mentality spreads to future professionals, as scholarship recipients pay it forward after graduation.
“We thought it could create a mindset in that student so that when they graduate, they say, “Someone helped me. What can I do to give back?” says Scott.—Jenny Fuentes