Professional and Personal Background
I have been in the dental profession for over 24 years. I began as a dental assistant and found that I had a desire for more independence and direct contact with the patients. I dove back into school to achieve these goals. I began at Portland State University and gained two years of required classes to apply for dental hygiene schools. I was accepted at and attended the Clark College Dental Hygiene program in Vancouver, Washington.
I have been practicing as a Registered Dental Hygienist for over 11 years. The majority of my hygiene career has been spent at a wonderful dental practice in Gresham, Oregon. I very much enjoyed getting to know all of my patients and seeing them on a regular basis. It is true, our patients are what make our career so enjoyable and fulfilling. After eight years in this dental office, my employer sold her practice; I took this opportunity to accomplish this goal and dream of helping the elderly with their oral health needs.
My grandfather, dad and others close to me have suffered from Alzheimers and other related dementias. Many of my loved ones have lived their final years in care communities and I have spent time with them and cared for them in their new homes. Over time I have gained a real comfort level among the elderly and memory care individuals. I have found that just laughing with them or singing to them can make a difficult time easier and certainly memorable for me.
Working in a traditional dental setting, I have seen a need for dental services to be offered to the elderly, outside of the dental office.
Retired and elderly individuals often face challenges including, the lack of dental insurance coverage, access to care and often times, limited budgets. By seeing these patients in their own homes, I can save them a difficult and potentially costly trip to the dental office. I am able to see the patients in their own recliners or beds, so the stress to them is very limited.
I have purposefully kept my fees at a very reasonable rate to give patients the access to necessary dental cleanings/screenings, without stressing their finances too much.
I am married to a great guy, TJ, and we have a wonderful son, Jon. We love to spend time outdoors hiking, camping, barbecuing with friends, gardening and taking our dog Hazel for walks. We feel fortunate to live in such a beautiful state that affords us the opportunities that Oregon does.
I grew up in Salem, but have had the opportunity to live in several different states. I always did miss Oregon and landed back in the Salem area in 1995 and and then moved to Portland to achieve my education goals. We remained in that area to allow our son to finish school, but have recently been blessed to make it back to Salem. We love it here and Oregon is where we will stay put.