DDS, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Why He Was Nominated:
Dr. Loar has always been passionate about science, and a childhood trip to his mother’s home countries of Eritrea and Ethiopia put him on a path toward volunteerism, particularly treating children’s teeth. He says the experience forever made him aware that the comforts he had as an American were not shared by others in many countries.
“Everyone wants to be heard, and taking extra time [to listen] makes a huge difference.”
Impact of the Pandemic:
Covid-19 led to the cancellation of all of Dr. Loar’s pending volunteer events, including five international oral-health missions. “I’ve participated in over 40 volunteer events, and in the past four years I’ve done 22 volunteer trips to 12 countries. [The pandemic] hasn’t all been bad, though. It has definitely forced me to be still and reflect.”
Something People Don’t Know:
“I wrote a children’s book called ‘Sugar Bugs.’ It’s basically my oral-hygiene instructions in story form. I wrote it with the hope that maybe it would get into the hands of kids who would otherwise never have heard the basics of why we get cavities and how to prevent them. I always carry a couple of copies to give out while I’m traveling.”