Adding to the excitement
The dental field has not been blessed with a favorable reputation. The expression “it’s like pulling teeth” typically describes a struggle. “I’d rather go to the dentist” is usually said when people are dreading an upcoming engagement. We think of dental offices as bland with harsh lighting, a hub for discomfort and pain. Cass County Dental Clinic has a different story.
Walk into the front doors of either location in Belton or Harrisonville and you are greeted with colorful walls, toys and activities and lively animated movies playing on the waiting room televisions. Children are greeted with smiling dental assistants and hygienists. Clinic dentists play popular Disney songs as they examine teeth. The clinic’s newest team member aims to maintain the momentum.
“I want to contribute to the positivity and excitement that is associated with this clinic,” Julie Myers, RDH, said. “Everyone that works here wants to be here. It’s not just a job.”
Julie is Cass County Dental Clinic’s new practice manager. The clinic is a program of Cass Community Health Foundation that offers dental services to children and adolescents who are low-income uninsured or insured by Missouri Medicaid. In 2016, the clinic treated 3,150 patients. Julie began in September and has relished the opportunity to learn about all of the moving pieces required to provide dental services to underserved children.
“People have committed themselves to make sure this works. That’s what is exciting. People are truly invested in and care about the kids and this program.”
Julie is no stranger to the dental field or offering dental care to children. Her interest sparked at a part-time job in a dentist’s office. The environment encouraged her to advance her education and attend dental hygiene school. She received her associate’s degree in dental hygiene from Johnson County Community College. After two years of full-time clinical work, she enrolled at University of Missouri-Kansas City, received her bachelor’s degree and, finally, her master’s degree in dental health education. She currently teaches for the dental hygiene program at Concorde Career College.
Before joining the Cass County Dental Clinic staff, Julie worked at a pediatrics dental office in Overland Park, Kansas while lending her skills to other mobile outreach efforts for youth. She traveled to schools providing dental hygiene services to underserved children, a patient-base she will become familiar with as practice manager. The clinic will allow Julie to broaden her skills while continuing to serve kids who face several obstacles in receiving the dental care they need.
“A lot of children are limited by the knowledge they get from the adults around them. It’s important that we intervene and give them the education they might not be getting somewhere else,” Julie said. “Children need healthy, pain-free mouths. It affects how they learn and how they eat. It’s all connected to the rest of the body.”
Julie is self-motivated and goal oriented. Her passion comes from long-term objectives, changing mindsets and emphasizing the value and importance of healthy teeth. She is eager to join a network of people that enthusiastically support the clinic in many different ways.
“People donate to this clinic and provide supplies to ensure that our work continues on. They believe in what they are doing and the children they are helping.”
The bright walls and cheerful atmosphere of Cass County Dental Clinic are possible because of the supportive, spirited community behind it. Julie joins that community with optimism and a contagious smile that will help her lead the clinic and its staff to better serve the children of Cass County.