Improving Oral Health Through Collaboration

Fay Donohue, President & CEO of Delta Dental of Massachusetts
Fay Donohue-resized-600

I am honored to be chosen as one of five women for this year’s 2013 Academy of Women Achievers by the YWCA of Boston. I am humbled to be in the company of great women who are leaders in their communities and making a difference in the lives of others. Together we work to champion gender equity and leadership opportunities for women in greater Boston.

I learned early in my career that to be successful, you have to stand up for yourself and take charge of your future and what you believe in.  Women especially have to learn that, sometimes the hard way.  Early in my career, I was passed over for a promotion because I was pregnant and my boss just assumed I didn’t want the job. I told him I did. Three months later, I was promoted to become the first female regional director of the company.  It was a turning point for me because I learned that you have to speak up for yourself. I taught my daughters this as they grew up – you have to be willing to take risks, to say ‘yes’ to what you need so you can move forward. 

I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to work on issues that I am passionate about.

Today, I devote that passion to improving oral health and eliminating dental disease. Dental disease (cavities) is the most common chronic disease in children, more common than asthma. Sadly, one in 10 minority and low-income children in Massachusetts feels pain in his or her teeth. At Delta Dental of Massachusetts, our mission is to improve the oral health of all. It is a very important mission. If you care about education, you have to care about oral health; how can children be successful in school, if they have mouth pain and can’t concentrate? If you care about jobs, you have to care about oral health; how can you feel confident in an interview if you’re embarrassed about your teeth?  We are working to eliminate dental disease, which is almost 100% preventable with prevention and education. I am inspired every day that with hard work and dedication, we will eradicate dental disease and improve the oral health of all.

I am also passionate about helping women advance in their careers and that is why this YWCA recognition is so meaningful to me. We need organizations that advocate for equity and the empowerment of women, such as YWCA Boston, to help our society overcome discrimination and injustices that lead to disparities in care.  YWCA Boston does really important work to lift women up and support them as they advance in their careers and improve their lives and those of families.  I am humbled to be among the 2013 Academy of Women Achievers.

Click here to learn more about Delta Dental of Massachusetts.