GraceMed is blessed to have an amazing family of healthcare providers who bring a diverse range of life and professional experience to their work here. Through the years, many have come to us from nations and cultures as far away as Indonesia, Egypt and Pakistan. But as they say, at least when they’re talking about Kansas, “there’s no place like home.” So we thought we would take a moment to introduce you to three relative newcomers among us for whom coming to GraceMed was a decision to put down professional roots in the place they have always called home, even if they may not have always been here.
For Dr. Lisa Le, Wichita isn’t just where she grew up. It’s where she grew up around dentistry. Her parents founded a dental practice here that her sister later joined as well. Dr. Le got her start as a dental assistant before making the decision to become a dentist herself. After graduation, she spent five years in Japan and Spain as an active duty dentist in the US Navy before returning home. “My service overseas was a very enriching experience,” she said, “but I knew I needed to come home and get involved in general practice to grow professionally. Now that I’m here at GraceMed, it’s exciting to contribute to our mission to provide quality dental care to the underserved in our community.”
For optometrist Michael Keefer, the journey to GraceMed began in Belleville, Kansas where he had a private practice for more than 20 years. Seriously injured in a fall from a ladder, Dr. Keefer went through a long recovery that required him to sell the practice. After several years of working in VA hospitals during which he and his family moved to the Wichita area, he returned to private practice in Dodge City, commuting during the week from Wichita.
“I think what I learned over time was that I really enjoy seeing patients much more than I do running a practice,” Dr. Keefer explained. “And I enjoy seeing my family even more. When the opportunity to stay in Wichita and work with GraceMed came around, it was a real blessing. I can work in a clinical setting and just focus on helping patients who really need eye care. There’s a team around me to take care of all the administrative tasks, so I get to experience the pure joy of helping my patients.”
Dr. Tiffany Pinkston first encountered GraceMed as a college student, witnessing firsthand the free care provided by our Dental Outreach Team at a Give Kids a Smile event. Then, in her last year of dental school, she came to GraceMed to do her externship and was deeply impressed. “I saw the sedation dentistry we provide here for special needs patients. Without GraceMed these patients would not have access to care. I’m really glad to be a part of a mission that makes such a difference for the underserved.”
This post originated in our State of Grace quarterly news magazine. If you would like to receive the magazine, please visit this link and give us your information. Thanks!