Chief Dental Officer ‘humbled’ by Honorary Doctorate

Sara Hurley, Chief Dental Officer for England, has received an Honorary Doctorate of Health from the University of Plymouth at a ceremony on the city’s waterfront.

Calling the award ‘a huge privilege’, Sara collected the accolade on 18 September alongside the University’s graduates from the Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry. 

Addressing the graduates and the audience after meeting the institution’s first-year students, Sara encouraged them to ‘remember their roots, continue to be critical analysts of every fact offered, and carry the University with pride’. 

Sara’s visit – her third to the University – also included a tour of the cutting-edge teaching facilities including the anatomy equipment in its Life Sciences Resources Centre and Simulated Dental Learning Environment. 

On receiving her honour – on the same day as the graduation of the University’s first cohort of Dental Therapy and Hygiene students – Sara said:

“Once again I’ve received a very warm welcome and the vibrancy of the University is incredible. To become part of this amazing academic family – a family that just relishes the opportunity to understand the issues out there, to not step away from asking awkward questions –is exceptional, and I’m truly humbled to be receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Health.”

Professor Christopher Tredwin, Head of the Peninsula School of Dentistry, said: 

“We are so pleased to welcome Sara here today, and delighted she has accepted this honour in recognition of the impact she is having on the profession. Her kind words and endorsement of the School serves to recognise each and every student and staff member whose efforts make the Dental School such an inspiring place to study. It’s also been fantastic to watch our first cohort of Dental Therapy and Hygiene students graduate, alongside our first cohort of MSc in Restorative Dentistry graduates, and having the chance to stand shoulder to shoulder with Sara as they celebrate their achievements is an experience I’m sure they’ll never forget.”

"It is a privilege to become part of this amazing academic family – a family that relishes the opportunity to understand the issues. Their acknowledgement of my small journey in health and dentistry is graciously accepted. I'm humbled. The University does absolutely live up to its motto – explore, dream, discover."

Chief Dental Officer Sara Hurley opened the new University of Plymouth Dental Education Facility in Exeter in 2016, saying:

Recognising a need to improve access, the Exeter Dental Education Facility offers not only a place for excellent patient care but an outstanding environment for the high quality of training of the next generation of dental professionals.

Sara's visit to the Exeter Dental Education Facility

"Continue to be the critical analysts of every fact that is offered to you. Just be the caring, kind, compassionate clinician that you trained to be, and you will do the profession proud. Carry the University with pride. I look forward to standing with you, shoulder to shoulder, as a 2017 Plymouth University alumni."

New Chief Dental Officer for England visits the University of Plymouth (October 2015)

Sara Hurley came to see first hand how the University and Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise (PDSE) are spearheading advances in dental education, research, community engagement and care.

See pictures and write-up on Sara's first visit