2015 “your evolution” Winner Announced


Public chooses Help! Teeth Hurt! as recipient of social entrepreneur support kit from alumni UBCalumni UBC has revealed that the winner of its 2015 “your evolution” program is Help! Teeth Hurt! – a project aimed at creating a specialized dental clinic for adults with developmental disabilities. The organization will receive a “social entrepreneur support kit” including a mentoring session with UBC President, Professor Arvind Gupta.

“your evolution” empowers social entrepreneurism projects undertaken by UBC alumni around the world. It’s an innovative, online project-sharing platform that uses the strength of the UBC network to connect and support alumni working on socially beneficial projects. This year approximately 300 projects were uploaded to the “your evolution” website and 10 finalists were selected. The public has been voting at www.yourevolution.ubc.ca and this week Help! Teeth Hurt! was named the overall winner with a total of 1024 votes.


Help! Teeth Hurt! is a project founded by lawyer and UBC alumna Joan Rush.  The mother of an autistic son, Joan discovered that many adults with developmental disabilities fall through the cracks in terms of dental care.  Adults suffering from conditions such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and autism can't be treated in a typical dental office and often require treatment under general anesthesia.  Many adults with developmental disabilities also have complex medical conditions, which require that they be near a hospital intensive care unit while under sedation.

There is currently no specialized dental clinic in B.C. that includes a general anesthetic suite for these adults, and dental students currently receive little or no training in how to treat them. The resulting problem is that many adults wait years for treatment in hospital and suffer serious and irreversible decay.

The goal of Help! Teeth Hurt! is to create a specialized dental clinic for adults with developmental disabilities at the UBC Hospital. This clinic would treat adults with disabilities and be a training centre for students of dentistry, medicine, and social work.

As the winner of this year’s “your evolution” Help! Teeth Hurt! will receive a “social entrepreneur support kit” including:

  •  Professional photography session or the production of a video to help its cause.
  • A mentoring session with UBC President, Professor Arvind Gupta.
  • A mentoring session with entrepreneur, venture capitalist and Chairman of Rising Tide Fund Ossama R. Hassanein. MASc’74, MBA’76 – a member of UBC’s start an evolution Campaign Cabinet.
  • Access to a consultation with a UBC faculty member in an area most relevant to the project’s needs (e.g. business, law, engineering, computer science).