Why I Give: Theresa Chiang
Thanks to their remarkable ability to spur everyone from health professionals to CEOs to world
leaders into action, Dr. Tze and Dr. Chiang’s foundation has helped serve urgent needs while advancing
paediatric care and education (Nick Pearce photo).
A passion for improving health outcomes for children inspired Dr. Theresa Chiang (BSc’61, DDS’65, MSc) and Dr. Wah Jun Tze’s (BSc, MD’65, FRCP, OC) earliest gifts. Their ability to turn ideals into actions has created a legacy of better health care and had a profound impact on thousands of lives ever since.
Thanks to Dr. Chiang’s recent $1 million gift, the new Tze/Chiang Paediatric and Adult Special Needs Clinic at Dalhousie’s Faculty of Dentistry will be an exciting next step in their legacy and an opportunity to honour Dr. Tze, who died in 2001.
Dr. Chiang and Dr. Tze’s journey of giving began in the mid-1980s, when Dr. Tze travelled to Guangzhou with a delegation aiming to “twin” the Chinese city with Vancouver. “He visited the Guangzhou children’s hospital and found a dire need for medical equipment and supplies, and assistance in medical knowledge and technology,” says Dr. Chiang.
Determined to make a difference, the couple created the Canada China Child Health Foundation (CCCHF) in 1987. Thanks to their remarkable ability to spur everyone from health professionals to CEOs to world leaders into action, Dr. Tze and Dr. Chiang’s foundation has organized over 20 major programs in China, including twinning of all children’s hospitals in Canada with major children’s hospitals in China, and initiating neonatal screening programs, exchange programs, medical training, the transfer of medical equipment and the establishment of children’s oral health programs. The CCCHF also created “Child Friendly Centers” to help China’s vast rural areas access primary health care for children; more than 100 Centers now improve paediatric health throughout the country.
Dr. Chiang’s goals were to help children and serve urgent needs while advancing paediatric care and education. Her generous gift to Dalhousie’s Faculty of Dentistry will do exactly that: two state-of-the-art surgical suites will address the shortage of specialized facilities to provide care to adults with special needs and waitlists for paediatric dental surgery in Nova Scotia. The suites will also benefit students and faculty, who will gain valuable learning and research opportunities working alongside the highly qualified paediatric dentists and specialists operating in the suites.
“An optimal outcome requires the coordination of paediatric dentistry, anesthesiology, hospital interdepartmental support, adequate facilities and equipment, as well as support from government and the dental society,” says Dr. Chiang, who helped establish a similar program in Vancouver. “I can envision the success of this program at Dalhousie because of the multi-level support Dean Ben Davis was able to obtain. We hope to expand this kind of program to other provinces in the future.”