Michelle with Kids

Get to Know Michelle Meyer, Hygiene Coordinator

Michelle HeadshotMichelle joined Willow Creek Dental in 2011 and has been busy scheduling patients as our Hygiene Coordinator ever since. She is a Colorado native who grew up in Aurora and has two children living in North Dakota and Tennessee.

 

 

You have a background in Accounting with over 20 years of experience. How did you end up at Willow Creek Dental? Do you still do any Accounting work today? 

I actually used to work for a packaging and shipping franchise with Dr. Blakeley’s husband and he told me about the opportunity at Willow Creek Dental. I still occasionally like to pick up Bookkeeping jobs on the side as Accounting is “relaxing” for me.

What is your favorite part of the job?

I love getting to know our patients and their families.

What has surprised you the most working at a dental office?

Truthfully, it is all the candy and junk food that we get at our office from other doctors and vendors!

You love country music and have been lucky to meet some pretty famous people. Who have you met?

I have been fortunate to meet Darius Rucker, Jana Kramer, The Band Perry, Kasey Musgraves, Lauren Alaina, and Eli Young Band.

You are always attending concerts. What has been your favorite concert so far? What is one you would love to go to?

My favorite concerts have been Luke Bryan where I was at the stage watching him perform and Blake Shelton.  I have yet to see Kenny Chesney, whom I’d love to see, but I prefer the smaller venues and he plays at football stadiums.

What is something about yourself that would surprise people?

I am interested in learning more about “energy healing”. There are actually people who are licensed and paid to do energy healing work. I love learning about Chakras, Numerology and have a mentor who is helping me gain confidence and clarification with my intuition and medium abilities.  I also love working with Tarot Cards.  Handwriting Analysis is another subject I love learning about and I have basic skills with.

What do you like to do in your downtime?

Weekend trips to see my children or local trips to the mountains are my favorite.  I also enjoy country dancing (two step, triple step, country cha cha, west coast swing) and want to learn salsa dancing next.

Favorite Book:

“The Secret”- a book about the power of your thoughts… what you attract into your life. The thoughts you put into the universe are what comes back at you, changing our thinking, having lots of gratitude and the feeling of abundance and ultimately it is what you get back.  Again, it’s that energy thing.

Favorite Movie or TV Show:  

Sweet Home Alabama is my favorite movie and I love the TV show Nashville.

Favorite Holiday Tradition:

We don’t really have any regular holiday traditions however my family does get together every Christmas Eve.

Katie Camel Resized

Get to Know Katie Stager, Registered Dental Hygienist

Katie Stager Close up 4_6_15Katie has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from CU-Denver and also a Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene from CU-Dental Health Science Center. She has been with Willow Creek Dental since 2008 and is also our OSHA and Infection Control Coordinator, ensuring that our procedures and equipment meet OSHA requirements.

 

You have a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry. Were you always planning to go into the dental field?

Yes, I always knew I wanted to go into the dental field but I wanted something to fall back on in case my body doesn’t let me do hygiene for the rest of my life. At the time I was very interested in dental forensics, which is why I got a degree in Chemistry.

What advice would you tell someone who would like to be a Dental Hygienist?

I would tell them to shadow a dental office and a Registered Dental Hygienist to make sure you like it. Also, try to complete an internship if possible.

What hygiene habits are you instilling in your young daughters?

USE AN ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH FROM DAY 1.  For my 3 year-old, we sing a song until I am done brushing her teeth.  She gets to brush first and then I get to brush and I sing songs until I’m done.

You like to be active and played soccer growing up. Do you still play today?

Can’t say I still play but some days I miss it.  I am still quite active, though, and enjoy going to the gym for spin classes.

You and your husband love to travel—how many different countries have you been to? What was the place that surprised you the most?

I have been to 16 different countries, I think. I survived the Bermuda Triangle back in 2014. I never ask someone who travels a lot which place was their favorite because each place is very different.  I always ask, “if you could go anywhere right this second, where would you go?”  I love Europe for the history.  I also have favorite beaches that I love to visit for the water.  United Arab Emirates surprised me the most I would say.  The customer service was amazing and everywhere you went people were very kind.  EVERYTHING is in English. including stop signs, which are in the shaped like ours and say it in Arabic and then underneath say “STOP”.

What would be  your dream place to visit?

I have so many places still on my bucket list. As of right now, though, I am anxious to take the girls on a Disney cruise.

What do you like to do in your downtime?

I enjoy family time, making cards and scrap booking.

Favorite Book:

I enjoy reading a suspenseful James Patterson book.

Favorite Movie or TV Show:

For TV shows, I like Hell’s Kitchen, MasterChef, Banshee, and Shameless. Nick and I also enjoy watching a good movie.  It’s hard to pick a favorite, but we really enjoy getting a good laugh.

Favorite Holiday Tradition:

We always watch Planes, Trains, and Automobiles for Thanksgiving and Christmas Vacation for Christmas. Growing up one of my siblings would wake up very early and wake all of us up. We would sit on my parents bed and go through our stockings. Then we would head downstairs and open presents. My mom would put some kind of pastry in the oven and we would eat that while watching one of our new movies. All of us would then fall back asleep watching the movie. We would stay in our pajamas all day and just hang out as a family. I loved it. I would love to start those kind of traditions with our daughters.

Rachel Scuba Diving

Get to Know Rachel Holland, Registered Dental Hygienist

Rachel HeadshotRachel was born in St. Petersburg, Florida but has been in Colorado for the past 20 years. She has an Associate of Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene from Pueblo Community College.

 

You have an Associate of Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene. Are you also getting your Bachelor’s degree? Have you always wanted to go into the dental field? 

Yes, I am. I am currently enrolled in the first bachelor program ever offered at Pueblo Community College. I will finish my degree in the spring of 2018 with a Bachelor’s in Dental Hygiene Education. I have known I wanted to be in the dental field since I was 19 years old. I shadowed an incredible dental hygienist and she inspired me to do what I love doing today, treating and educating patients!

 

What advice would you tell someone who would like to be a Dental Hygienist?

My best advice would be to do your research, shadow hygienists and get experience in the field before pursuing your degree. Make sure you enjoy it and study hard!

 

What is your favorite part of the job?

My favorite part of my career is the patient care. I truly enjoy getting to know each and every one of my patients while being able to provide excellent care simultaneously.

 

You are a certified scuba diver. When did you get certified? What got you interested in diving?

I was certified in July 2016. So far, I have dove in Mexico and Florida. My dad grew up diving in Florida and always dreamed of showing our family how beautiful underwater life can be. So this past summer we all went to Mexico and were scuba certified together!

 

What would be your dream scuba trip?

My dream scuba trip would be in Hawaii, Bora Bora, Indonesia, or the Galápagos Islands.

 

You are currently learning Portuguese. What made you choose Portuguese? Do you speak any other languages?

Yes, I am currently learning Portuguese. My fiancé is Brazilian and speaks Portuguese fluently. I am interested in learning in order to interact with all of his family, especially when we visit them in Brazil. It is a fun language but very difficult to learn pronunciation. I also know and understand most of the Spanish language.

 

What do you like to do in your downtime?

In my down time I like to go for walks/ runs at cherry creek state park, ride my road bike in the mountains, spend the weekends with family and enjoy a glass of wine and a good TV show in the evenings.

 

Favorite Book: Currently my favorite books are hygiene school related while I’m finishing my degree (haha).


Favorite Movie or TV Show:
My favorite movie is A League Of Their Own. My favorite show is How I Met Your Mother .


Favorite Holiday Tradition:
My favorite holiday tradition is Halloween because we always dress up as different characters and act goofy.

Kristen Climbing

Get to know Kristen Kirkland, Registered Dental Hygienist

Kristen NEW Close up 3_27_15(1)Kristen grew up in Lake Tahoe, California and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene from Northern Arizona University in 2005, being named the College of Health Professions Outstanding Student of the Year. She moved to Colorado after graduating and has lived in Lone Tree ever since.

You grew up in California and went to school in Arizona. What brought you to Colorado?

I decided to move to Colorado without ever having visited because it sounded fun! I wanted a real city to live in where I could still ski, and then got into climbing after having moved here. I love the seasons in Colorado – Denver is the warmest and lowest elevation of anywhere I’ve ever lived.

What advice would you tell someone who would like to be a Dental Hygienist?

I love being a hygienist, and it’s a great career for working in health care, but not working with sick people.

You are passionate about rock climbing and just got back from a trip to Switzerland. What was special about climbing there?

Switzerland is such a beautiful place. A really good friend of mine moved there earlier this year for work, so I got to see her as a great bonus. Every place I climb has a subtly different style of climbing that presents new challenges, both mental and physical.

What other countries have you traveled to?

I’ve been to the Netherlands, France, Italy, Canada, and the British Virgin Islands. I’m planning a trip to Belize for February (maybe a little climbing, but mostly enjoying some sunshine and sand instead of my usual hanging out under a rock in the dirt!)

When not out of the country, you still rock climb every weekend. What is your favorite local spot?

There are so many to choose from. I always say it depends on the season, but Guanella Pass, or a little area outside of Vail called Red Cliff are both favorites!

You are also an avid skier. What is your favorite Colorado resort?

I usually spend Friday at Mary Jane/Winter Park, but my favorite resort is definitely Crested Butte.

What else do you like to do in your downtime?

I practice yoga,  cook almost every night, and read.

Favorite Book: Anne of Green Gables

Favorite Movie or TV Show: Sound of Music

Favorite Holiday Tradition:

Making a “friendsgiving” meal every year (14 years running). I brine my turkey ahead of time and then spend all day in the kitchen making everything from scratch. One year I even made the whole meal in a motel room in Utah while on a climbing trip using just a crockpot and microwave.