For Natalie Mansour Brown, growing up in Los Angeles as the daughter of a general surgeon allowed her to observe firsthand the joy and satisfaction that a career in healthcare can bring. She says, “My father always talked about how rewarding it was to help others whether it was helping patients during his career or volunteering his time with various charities to serve others.”
A first-generation immigrant, Dr. Mansour learned the value of gratitude, hard work, and the importance of giving back to the community very early on. “I always wake up with a positive attitude because I am so grateful to be where I am today. My grandfather passed away when my father was very little, and he didn’t always grow up with everything he needed. I was blessed that my father immigrated to America, where I was born and given the opportunities so many others don’t get in life. My father taught me that with hard work and determination, it was possible to be successful and this success can be used to help others”.
In addition to her father’s immense influence during her formative years, Dr. Mansour was also inspired by her own pediatric dentist, Dr. James Gibbons, who continues to practice in the L.A. area. “I had a lot of cavities growing up”, she recollects, “He always put me at ease when I had a hundred questions about what he was going to do. I always said I would be a pediatrician or a pediatric dentist, and here I am today. I attribute the way I put my patients at ease to what i learned through all my own dental experiences and to the kindness I remember from Dr. Gibbons as a child.” Dr. Mansour graduated from Marymount High School and later the University of Southern California with a degree in biology. She then went on to Nova Southeastern University where she completed both her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree and her two year postdoctoral specialty training in Pediatric Dentistry.
She is proving herself to be a force to reckon with in organized dentistry in the state of California, and has helped execute many important legislative changes in a relatively short amount of time. Her love for organized dentistry is evident when she discusses her beginnings. “I was initially approached by Dr. Suzy Tavana, and then officially recruited by Dr. Jonathon Lee and I haven't looked back. I love, love, love my CSPD (California Society of Pediatric Dentistry) family. I mean it. You get in not knowing what to expect. You see the hard work these men and women do on a daily basis behind the scenes. They worry about our profession and take care of us. It makes you feel like you are serving your fellow members of the profession and your patients on a much bigger level than you could have done as an individual.” Dr. Mansour credits her work in dental organizations for her own personal and professional growth. “I have held positions on the Board of Directors for CSPD, was appointed Chair of Patient Services committee, and served on the Audit committee. I am currently the Public Policy Advocate of CSPD.’ As California’s PPA, Dr. Mansour tirelessly helped the CSPD issue a strong position statement on best practices in sedation, making sure that the state’s policies aligned with those of the AAPD for patients receiving minimal, moderate and deep sedation.
She also considers the leadership at WSPD her extended family. “I have met so many great leaders and friends through the WSPD”, she says. “My first WSPD friend was Dr. John Gibbons who attended our CSPD meeting as a western District Trustee. He explained what he did and how he communicated among the states and AAPD. I have come to learn that WSPD supports not only our state chapters and communicates to AAPD, they are pivotal in cultivating leaders worthy of serving at any level of organized dentistry.”
Ever seeking self-improvement, Dr. Mansour was among the few recently selected to be a part of Cohort VI of the Leadership Institute at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, a leadership program supported by the AAPD foundation. When she is not occupied with helping the dentists in her state, she owns and operates a successful dental practice with her sister in the L.A area. For all her stellar efforts within the profession, what Dr. Mansour counts as her most important achievement lies closer to home: “My greatest accomplishment and most difficult challenge I have ever faced is being a caregiver to my mother who is disabled. All our career accomplishments are great, but serving our very own parents who gave us the best of everything is the most rewarding.”