Since White Family Dental opened in 1983, Dr. Ed White has developed his practice with some pretty simple concepts. “Always follow the Golden Rule. Put your patients first because these are people you know, families you care about and they’re putting their trust in you. Treat them with respect.”
“Dr. White strives to follow the Golden Rule and our entire team does as well. We take care of our patients…as people, friends and members of the community,” explains Nancy Hoover, one of White Family Dental’s Appointment Coordinators.
Nancy, who has been with Dr. White for 32 years, believes his relationship with the team is the foundation of the practice. “He takes care of each of us and our families. He helps educate and train employees and has been instrumental in our lives in many different ways. When medical and family issues happen, he provides great family support and sees each of us through the good and bad times.”
“When you have a leader who is willing to do whatever he can to take care of his family, his team here at the office, and his patients…you want to do the same. You support what he’s doing and you commit in your heart to do likewise.”
Libby Fry, one of White Family Dental’s Expanded Function Dental Assistants (EFDAs), agrees. In 1984, she was working at a local radio station and wanted to become a dental assistant. Libby mentioned it during a visit to Dr. White’s office. “I was interested and Dr. White listened. He outlined what was involved and suggested that I train directly with him, instead of going to dental assisting school. He hired me on the spot and trained me from day one! I’ve literally learned everything I know about dentistry from Dr. White and I’m very thankful! He helped me develop my skills and my approach to working with patients. Dr. White says to treat your patients as if they were one of your family members,” she recalls.
Every patient that walks through the door for a dental exam is treated like a member of the family. “We know their names and we’re friendly. We want every visit to be a pleasant, comfortable and happy experience from the time they schedule an appointment until they walk out the door afterwards,” Nancy explains.
Kathy Hendrickson, a Business Administrator, joined the practice in 2013. “You can’t pick a better family practice than White Family Dental. I’ve worked in the dental field for over 20 years in Central Pennsylvania and this is my best experience ever! I love it here and our patients love it here. Everyone strives for excellence. Dr. White gives more than 110 %, he is respected by his patients, and he gives so much to the community. I’m very blessed to work in this office and my plan is to finish my career here.”
Harriet Sauder and Melissa Mooney echo Kathy’s feelings. “We are truly family. We take care of each other. If someone has too much on their plate, we jump in and help. There is a respect for each and everyone’s role. It has established a loyalty in the practice. The patients feel that and see us happy, laughing and talking with each other,” Melissa explains.
And when one patient has a great experience eventually other family members become patients as well. “We have families that are third generation patients with our practice. I have held and taken care of newborn babies while mom was in the dental chair. Now that newborn has grown up and is a mom. And grandma, mom and newborn grandchild are coming to the dentist together. It’s a unique and rewarding experience.”
In addition, White Family Dental is recognized for its leadership and charitable giving in the community. The Smiles for Life program at White Family Dental has raised almost a half million dollars to benefit various children’s charities and service organizations.
100% of the revenue from patients’ teeth whitening procedures is donated to children’s charities, including the local Power Packs Project which benefits children and families in Elizabethtown and Lancaster County (www.powerpacksproject.org).
Dr. White also stays active in several local organizations and has received the Vincent O’Connor Award for Community Service in Elizabethtown and serves as a Trustee at Elizabethtown College.
Dr. White says he is “humbled and blessed” by the team around him. “My father was a mechanic, and I grew up working with my hands. I’ve always enjoyed working with people and taking care of them, so dentistry was an ideal profession for me. Practicing dentistry and managing the business was challenging at first, but I had great mentors like Nancy and Libby that kept me grounded and organized in the early years.”
Dr. White graduated from West Virginia University, where dental training is very traditional, very hands on. “It is a traditional program and has evolved over the years to keep up with new techniques and innovations.” Dr. White has stayed active with his alma mater, serving as the President of the Alumni Association for the College of Dentistry. Four of White Family Dental’s other dentists, Dr. Christin Buehler, Dr. Jay DeHart, Dr. Caleb Beam and Dr. Megan Kinkelaar Beam, are WVU Dental School Graduates as well. “It’s a testament to the expertise and consistency in the practice. WVU’s dental program is highly accredited and I trust the personalities, the temperaments and the quality training that our dentists have because of it.”
With each dentist’s niche specialty, White Family Dental is able to offer expanded services, so patients can stay local and have specialized care throughout their lifetime. “From pediatrics, to root canals, dental endoscopy, tooth extractions and implants, we treat patients as much as possible in the office. We also offer senior citizen discounts and will take people to and from their home if they don’t have transportation options. We’ll help however possible.”
Dr. White acknowledged there is some skepticism in the dental industry with all of the changes in technology and that there’s the expectation of ‘cutting edge’ all of the time. “We have all the bells and whistles, however, above all else, people still desire the personal relationship. That’s what is most important to us. At some practices, the communication level is lacking and there’s no consistency of care, and you don’t know who you will see when you walk in the door. We’re different. Our success is ‘Relationship Driven.’ It’s hard to gain trust, but once we earn it, we work hard to keep it.”
With offices in Elizabethtown, Masonic Village, New Holland, Manheim and a new upcoming office in Willow Street, the trust in White Family Dental is growing. Dr. White says while they are growing, they haven’t lost the personal touch. “We are still very connected with our patients.”
Barb Eberly of Elizabethtown, who has been a patient of Dr. White’s since 1983, agrees. “The dentist is not my favorite place to visit, but every employee here is very friendly and makes sure you’re comfortable. Linda at the front desk is my favorite! She has a unique way of answering the phone that cheers me up and makes me laugh. Plus, I believe it’s just as important to have a good dentist as a good doctor!”
Sometimes, the personal relationship extends hours away from the office and out of state, as patients decide to travel, just to stay with White Family Dental.
David Mason of Lewisberry, grew up in Elizabethtown and began as a patient of Dr. John Lebo’s and Dr. J. Ralph Parrett’s practice on the corner of Washington and Market Streets in 1958. When Dr. White took over some of Dr. Parrett’s patients in 1983, David stayed with the practice and has never changed, even though he lives 45 minutes away. “They were always accommodating with my schedule as a school administrator. And when Dr. White came in on Saturdays, because I had a problem with a partial or spit out a crown…well, I was extremely thankful.”
Melissa Elosge moved to Elizabethtown in 2002 and lived here until 2005, when she graduated high school. Melissa went into the Navy but stayed with Dr. Karen Otto-Sullivan at the Elizabethtown office. When Melissa and her family lived in Maine, they drove 9 hours just for an appointment. They now drive from Newport News, VA and Melissa says, “I don’t care. I’m keeping my dentist because she is spectacular!”
Her twin sister, Amanda, agrees. “Dr. Otto is amazing! She’s sweet, very personable and takes time to have a personal conversation with you. She makes you feel comfortable and you know she truly cares.”
Dr. Otto-Sullivan’s dad, Bill, proudly tells the story of dental school, when she was striving non-stop to study, learn and stay focused. Dr. Otto finished at the top of her class all four years at Temple University and when Bill congratulated her on graduation, she said “Dad, I didn’t do this to get A’s, I did this so I can offer the best dental care to my patients.”
And that’s what Dr. White promises every new patient coming through the doors. “You will always have consistent, high level dental care in a positive environment. We will ask you what dental experiences you had previously. We will listen and make sure if it was a bad experience, that it doesn’t happen in our practice. You will be in control and eventually, step by step, we will gain your trust.”
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