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In The Community

My passion in life is to help people. Through dentistry, I get to help people every day be the best version of themselves. I grew up in my father’s dental practice, watching over his shoulder and learning about compassion, empathy and selflessness- something that still influences me today. He inspired me to follow in his footsteps and pursue a specialty that would combine these traits, which led me to the profession I dearly love. I’m blessed and honored to take care of my patients at Buckhead Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, which I founded and where I serve as the clinical director. Building relationships with the people in our community is the most rewarding thing we do.

My career path wasn’t the only thing instilled in me from a young age. My parents taught me the importance of philanthropy early on- especially my mother, who was also a health care professional and who served on the board of a privately run all-girls orphanage in our home country of Iran. I recall going with my mom and older sister to visit the orphanage and taking them, along with the staff, on field trips to explore the arts, community and other fun adventures. The outings were always exciting for us, but what made them truly memorable were the smiles on the girls’ faces. Those children have now graduated from college, and some of them are married and have started families of their own. But the lesson I learned, that giving back can tremendously impact someone’s life and give hope to the hopeless, has stayed with me forever.

Today, I continue to be a firm believer in spreading love and contributing to the community in any way I can. I personally have a soft spot for charities that place children’s health at the forefront. In 2015, our eldest daughter had corrective surgery to address a congenital heart defect, which changed my outlook forever. Living through that ordeal made me realize the obstacles that parents with no or very little financial support have to overcome while seeking treatment for their children, and it opened my eyes to the need for more education and support for these families. I’m also an active supporter of Georgia Court Appointed Special Advocates
(CASA), which works to improve the lives of children in foster care throughout the state, and Jeffrey Fashions Cares, which benefits the Atlanta AIDS Fund and Susan G. Komen of Greater Atlanta- both of which you’ll learn more about in the pages that follow.

I’m grateful that my parents raised me to understand the value of giving back, and my greatest wish is that my two young daughters will learn to give back and be philanthropic too. Luckily, they have no shortage of role models here in Atlanta, as this city is filled with some of the most generous people I know. Simply turn to the spotlights within this issue to read about a few
inspiring individuals who are utilizing their resources and talents to make a difference. As we embark on this new decade, I hope you will discover a cause that pulls at your heartstrings and calls you to action.

DR. BAHAR NIA
Guest Editor