Brenda Wade Schmidt
After looking for four years for dentists who could take over their businesses, Dr. Leslie Heinemann says he has found a pair who will be the successors for the practices in Flandreau and Dell Rapids.
Dr. Matt Ford and Dr. Sara Robison started seeing patients last week at Heinemann Family Dentistry, and will work with Heinemann during a transition that could take more than a year. Heinemann’s daughter, Dr. Kimberly Heinemann, left the practice at the end of June.
Ford and Robison, who met during dental school, said the local clinics were just what they wanted for their future. He moved to Dell Rapids from Minnesota, and she moved from Texas.
“This has been the goal of ours for a while. It took us a long time to find the perfect place to go,” Robison said. They knew it was the right fit after meeting with the Heinemanns, she said.
Ford, who graduated from Lincoln High School in Sioux Falls, said he has wanted to come back to where his roots are.
“Sara and I both knew this was the place for us,” he said. The philosophy and the way the Heinemanns take care of people was a good match to their own approach, he said.
“We really like the small -own feel of it, that’s what we wanted,” Ford said. “You can actually build relationships in small towns.”
Robison will be in Flandreau on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and Ford will be in the Flandreau office on Thursdays. They both will be in Dell Rapids on Tuesdays when the Flandreau office is closed, and she will be in Dell Rapids on Thursdays.
Robison, 30, is from Utah and graduated from the University of Utah and the Midwestern College of Dental Medicine in Glendale, Ariz. She practiced outside of Fort Worth, Texas, for the past three years.
She likes working with children in her practice, and she and Ford will be learning some of Heinemann’s skills, including orthodontics and extracting wisdom teeth.
“First of all, he’s a great dentist. We can learn a lot from him. He’s established a philosophy or a way to do dentistry that is about the patient, about the community,” she said.
Ford, 30, played basketball, golf and tennis at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, and graduated from the Midwestern College of Dental Medicine in 2015. He practiced for a year in Omaha and the last two years in Melrose, Minn.
One of his favorite skills is doing dental implants. “It’s the closest thing you can do to getting your natural tooth back,” he said.
Ford and Robison both live in Dell Rapids.
For the immediate future, the two will keep the Heinemann Family Dentistry name on the business but eventually want to change it to Flandreau Dental and Dell Rapids Dental. The 10 staff members will remain the same.
For the rest of the story see this week's print Edition of the Enterprise