Since immigrating to Canada more than two decades ago, Dr. Tanya Bracanovich has made it her goal to build a career to support herself and her family while giving back to the community that has brought her so much success.
She began her entrepreneurial journey 23 years ago when she opened Sparks Dental Clinic. Despite offering a wide range of services, Bracanovich set out to make her clinic feel different than the typical dentist’s office by paying close attention to the artistic design that presents a relaxed and uplifting environment to patients.
The approach has paid off. Today, the business has expanded to a team of 19 to whom she contributes much of her success.
“Some team members have been with me for 20 years,” she says. “My team is my second family; I am lucky to have that amazing work atmosphere.”
However, growing a successful dental clinic was not enough for Dr. Bracanovich as she felt she needed to share her success with others.
“Initially it was all about survival – growing the business, paying the bills,” she recalls. “When things started running on their own, I asked myself, ‘What else can I do?’ I looked at how I could contribute to the community and that became my new mission.”
By connecting with other local dentists in the Ottawa Dental Society, Dr. Bracanovich found opportunities in philanthropy. She has worked closely for the last seven years with the Ottawa Mission Dental Clinic, a program supported by dentists volunteering their time to serve the underprivileged community. At least once a month Dr. Bracanovich visits the Ottawa Mission and provides dental care to community members in need. The service has delivered more than $1 million worth of free dental services to date.
“Putting a smile on people’s faces means so much to me, especially for those in a tough situation,” she says. Dr. Bracanovich became secretary of the Executive Committee for the Ottawa Dental Society in 2019, an appointment she says is a “huge honour.”
“We are fortunate to have Dr. Bracanovich join our organization,” says Dr. Fitzgerald, president of The Ottawa Dental Society. “The Ottawa Dental Society provides continuing education and social events to its nearly 600 member dentists and also has valuable services for the public, such as a dental emergency service, find a dentist and mediations. We look forward to her inspired leadership as she moves through the ranks and becomes President in 2022.”
More recently, Dr. Bracanovich worked on the society’s Tooth Booth initiative at RibFest on Sparks Street, a fun campaign promoting oral hygiene that included more than 4,000 samples of floss being handed out at the popular downtown food festival. She has also been involved with the Scarborough Rotary Passport Club’s Brush-a-mania, a service that sends dentists into schools to teach children how to brush and care for their teeth.
“Coming across like-minded people in the dental community is so fantastic,” she says. “For the 125th anniversary in 2020 we are planning other events to show the community how much more we want to contribute. It means a lot to me.”
Outside of the dental community, Dr. Bracanovich also supports various Ottawa Hospital fundraising initiatives as well as the “Get Sidified” fashion event fundraiser in support of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada where she walks the runway to support the cause. With so many organizations and charities in the city, it’s easy to get involved in the community by simply being present, buying a ticket or spreading the word to friends and family, she says.
“We’re lucky in Ottawa because there are so many opportunities here that allow you to give back in whatever way you can,” she adds. “We all have something to give, even if it’s just the smile on your face.”