Q: What is your current role here in Richmond Hill?
A: I am an oral and maxillofacial surgeon here in Richmond Hill.
Q: How long have you been located in the area?
A: I PCS’d (permanent change of station) here to Fort Stewart when I was still active duty in the U.S. Army in August 2012. We opened Richmond Hill Oral Surgery and Facial Aesthetics in October 2013 after separating from the Army.
Q: What made you choose this community?
A: Many reasons. First my colleague Dr. Dennis Kantanen who was stationed at Fort Stewart recommended that I live in Richmond Hill. After a few months of living here, my wife, Kristin, and I fell in love with the community. Richmond Hill is extremely family-oriented, and the school system here is fantastic, especially for our two boys, Silas who is 5 and Harrison who is 4. They are currently playing baseball and the families that reside here are warm, welcoming, and I felt that they needed an oral surgeon that they can trust and who can provide compassionate care to them and their families.
Q: What gave you the desire to launch another location?
A: The desire to launch a satellite office in Jesup was to provide oral surgical care to the community of Jesup and surrounding areas since the closest oral surgeon is anywhere from 30-45 minutes away. Also being in Jesup provides an additional convenience to the local general dentists in cases of emergencies.
Q: How often are you at the second location?
A: We are at the Jesup office once a week on Tuesdays, and as we grow, we will be opening up another day.
Q: What are the biggest obstacles you face with the distance between locations?
A: The biggest obstacle is to coordinate pickups for the kids if we run late due to an emergency patient.
Q: What has been the greatest reward in opening up the second location?
A: The greatest reward is to provide the community and the local GPs (general practitioners) with their oral surgery and trauma needs.
Q: Has the commute impacted your life in any way?
A: It is an hour each way, so Kristin and I on Tuesdays have to change our routine a bit for the boys. Kristin will drop our son off at his school a half-hour earlier to make it to the office on time. Sometimes, if we get out late, we arrange our boys to be picked up by our close friends.
Q: What are the biggest pitfalls to commuting, in your opinion?
A: The biggest pitfall is getting up earlier. Other than that, it has been rewarding so far.
Q: Do you have plans to launch other locations outside of the area?
A: Launching other satellite offices will not happen for a long time. We would like to get strong footholds within the current communities that we are a part of right now and earn both the patients’ and dentists’ trust in us.
Q: Despite the traveling distance, have there been any blessings come from this commute?
A: The blessing that has come out of opening in Jesup is that the patients that we have seen so far are genuine, wonderful folks. Just to hear them say to us that they had a great experience with us (which is unheard of with oral surgery!) and that they are happy to have us in town and they will tell their friends about us is so rewarding, and that is why I love what I do: Being compassionate to our patients and providing them the best possible care in a warm, relaxing and family-oriented environment, which sets us apart from everyone else.