Marquette University Alumni Association Alumni National Awards Weekend
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Isaam B. Lutfiyya, H Sci ’98

Isaam Lutfiyya graduated from Marquette’s dental hygiene program in 1998.  Three years later, at the age of 24, he became the director of the Milwaukee’s Madre Angela Dental Clinic, providing oral health care to those who do cannot otherwise afford it, many with an average household monthly income of less than $500.

In the past four years Isaam has nearly doubled his operating budget, enabling him to expand clinic services from the limited focus of emergency care to that of comprehensive preventive and restorative care.  

Isaam’s career path emerged through his student experience in Marquette’s dental clinic. He learned Spanish while treating non-English speaking Hispanic patients, was introduced to Hmong refugees while seeing patients from the Indo-Chinese Learning Center, and treated homeless, handicapped, minority and other disadvantaged people.

Once he realized how much impact cultural understanding and sensitivity had on quality of care, he resolved to continue in this direction.

Isaam notes that in his work he is frequently presented with opportunities to try something new. “At these times,” he says, “convention would dictate (and in many instances, correctly so) that we travel along a proven route. However, I have enjoyed the greatest personal and professional rewards when I have been unafraid to act upon a new idea while equally embracing the possibilities of success and failure.” 

Isaam is currently pursuing graduate school to continue his mission.

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