Growing the “Heart” of Heartland Dental Care

HDC completes the Home Office addition project and revives the Institute at Heartland Dental Care

At the center of every person is their heart, pumping nutrients and oxygen to every part of the body. At Heartland Dental Care, continuing education and non-clinical support are the heartbeat of the company, and at the “heart” of operations is the Home Office, dedicated to equipping and energizing affiliated offices to provide the best patient care possible. As the organization has grown and thrived, HDC’s Home Office, located in Effingham, Illinois, has grown to keep up with the needs of affiliated dental offices across the country.

Doubling the size of the previous building, the newly-expanded headquarters now features the increased Accounting, Administration, Accounts Payable, Marketing, Human Resources, IT, Payroll, Education, Recruiting, Affiliation and Development talent that a vibrant, growing organization demands.

"When dentists are distracted by non-clinical, administrative duties, they are not as focused on patient care, which negatively affects their patients," said Richard E. Workman, DMD, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Heartland Dental Care. "With HDC, affiliated dentists can focus on and advance their level of care, benefiting both themselves and patients alike. The new Home Office addition will help Heartland Dental Care strengthen our cause."

Along with the physical space needed to house more talent, one of the most significant additions to the Home Office is the return of The Institute at Heartland Dental Care. The Institute features many prominent and beneficial educational courses for affiliated dentists and team members. Continuing education plays a substantial role in staying up-to-date on the latest techniques and technology in dentistry, and the Institute at HDC features top clinicians and lecturers from around the country, both HDC-affiliated dentists and other speakers, to provide affiliated dentists and team members with clinical and leadership training opportunities they would not get anywhere else.

Here are just a few examples of the world-class education courses that are now being supported by the Institute at Heartland Dental Care:

New Employee Orientation – Welcome to the HDC Family

At Heartland Dental Care, the term “family” is often used when referring to affiliated offices, dentists and team members―and for good reason. HDC employees are not viewed simply as employees; they’re members of a family that learn and grow together, help each other and work toward the same common goal, because teams that work together succeed together. So when new dentists and team members become part of that family, HDC welcomes each one of them with open arms through New Employee Orientation, or NEO.

For many affiliating team members, the initial transition into HDC can be a hectic time. Many of them may think, now that we’re affiliating with HDC, will everything change? Will we be replaced? Will we lose control? What will my patients think? NEO is provided to alleviate these concerns and show newly-affiliated dentists and team members exactly what HDC is all about. During the course, they experience the camaraderie, friendliness, encouragement and guidance that HDC provides, because those items are the foundations which the company is built upon. Attending NEO gives attendees the chance to discover a welcoming family that exists so they can take their patient care and careers to the next level.

Offered twice each month at The Institute at Heartland Dental Care, NEO introduces new affiliating and recruited dentists and team members to Heartland Dental Care, providing valuable information on the benefits of being part of HDC, the history of the company, HDC’s philosophy, and more. In addition, several members of the HDC Executive team introduce attendees to company goals and proven HDC systems.

"With HDC, affliated dentists can focus on and advance their level of care, benefiting both affiliated dentists and patients alike. The new Home Office addition will help Heartland Dental Care strengthen our cause."

Richard E. Workman
Richard E. Workman, DMD
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Heartland Dental Care

"It was great to receive a full introduction to HDC and learn about the company’s goals and philosophy directly from the leadership team," said Alexander Reznikov, DDS, practicing dentist at Family Dental Care of South Sheboygan in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. "I also enjoyed networking and building relationships with other newly-affiliating dentists and teams that are at the same career level and have the same aspirations as I do."

A great benefit of HDC is the close-knit environment shared by affiliated dentists and team members. This camaraderie among HDC family members is truly felt as dentists and team members come together from all parts of the country for New Employee Orientation, creating many relationships that extend far beyond the several-day training experience.

"Attending NEO was an incredible experience for me and my staff," said Dena Scherer, DMD, practicing dentist at Spring Street Family Dentistry in Monroe, Georgia. "During the affiliation process, I learned about the benefits we would have access to, but to actually visit the Home Office, learn more about HDC and meet the leadership team and the people assisting my office, it definitely reinforced that affiliating with HDC was a great decision."

In addition to meeting fellow dental professionals, a full Home Office tour allows newly affiliated dentists and team members to meet the individuals who support them. From Marketing Representatives to Client Administrators, attendees are able to see the faces on the other end of the phone line and shake the hands that type the emails. Because the expansion grew the “heart” of HDC, affiliates can enjoy becoming a part of the family at NEO, right at the Home Office.

Dr. Dental University and Dr. Leadership Series–Taking Clinical Skills Further

Building on the introduction to HDC through NEO, affiliated dentists are also offered the building on the introduction to HDC through NEO, affiliated dentists are also offered the Dr. Dental University course (DDU) and the Dr. Leadership series. Both courses provide an excellent means for affiliated dentists not only to learn more about proven systems and philosophy, but to improve upon their clinical skills.

Best described as NEO specifically for newer dentists, Dr. Dental University is a four-day course for recently graduated dentists who have affiliated with HDC. Each July, a new class of attendees becomes acquainted with HDC’s culture and support systems. In the remaining two days, doctors focus on building clinical skills. In this portion, doctors learn from well-known, experienced dentists and industry business leaders who lecture on a variety of topics. For example, at the 2013 DDU with over 100 attending dentists, renowned expert in endodontics, Dr. George Bruder, provided training on the WaveOne endodontic technique. In addition, Dr. Mark Hodge, practicing dentist at Berkshire Dental Group in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and Elite Invisalign Provider, presented on why providing lifetime care is so important.

"During the affliation process, I learned about th benefits we would have access to, but to actually visit the Home Office, learn more about HDC and meet the leadershp team and the people assisting my office, it definitely reinforced that affiliating with HDC was a great decision."

Dena Scherer, DMD
Dena Scherer, DMD
practicing dentist at Spring Street Family Dentistry in Monroe, Georgia

"There are many techniques in dentistry, including endodontics, that young dentists simply don’t have access to while attending school," said Dr. Bruder. "I'm thrilled to pass on my knowledge to them. The DDU course offered by HDC is an excellent opportunity for these young dentists, and it’s a tremendous pleasure being part of it. With state-of-the-art equipment, HDC’s new Institute space is a fantastic environment for instruction."

Fred Joyal, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of 1-800-Dentist and author of Everything is Marketing: The Ultimate Strategy for Dental Practice Growth, also spoke about the ever-increasing need for executing the right dental office marketing strategy.

"Creating the right image for a dental office isn't taught in dental school, but it's essential. Every aspect of a dental office sends a marketing message. Everything a dentist does, everything patients see, hear, smell, touch and taste in their offices either increases case acceptance or decreases it," explained Joyal. "The DDU course served as an excellent forum to show these young dentists how small marketing steps can help them create unforgettable and unexpected patient experiences."

Like DDU, the Dr. Leadership series is offered to newly affiliated dentists with five or less years of experience. Offered each year and focusing on leadership, team partnership and clinical training, the series features the dental industry’s top speakers. In addition, HDC’s own clinical directors and lead doctor mentors educate attendees on the latest techniques in dentistry―techniques typically not taught in dental school. Instructors find that the series reduces the learning curve for new dentists from the industry standard of 10 years to less than two years, providing leadership and business training not taught in dental schools as well as evidence-based clinical training in an open learning environment.

In 2013, the course is offered as a five-part series from August through December, covering topics such as:

  • Direct and Indirect Restorations
  • The Eight Laws of Leadership
  • Doctor/Hygiene Partnership
  • Endo Build-Up and Crowns
  • Failing Forward
  • Scheduling for Efficiency
  • Oral Pathology and Oral Pharmacology
  • Medicine in Dentistry

"The DDU course served as an excellent forum to show these young dentists how small marketing steps can help them create unforgettable and unexpected patient experiences."

Fred Joyal
Fred Joyal
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of 1-800-Dentist and author of Everything is Marketing: The Ultimate Strategy for Dental Practice Growth

"Learning about HDC's vision and mission at NEO was motivating, and now I can't wait to implement what I learned at DDU in my office," said Anne Knox, DMD, practicing dentist at Village Crest Family Dental in Smyrna, Tennessee. "On the clinical side, learning from skilled clinicians like Dr. Bruder and Dr. Hodge was great. On the business side, Fred's presentation opened my eyes to the opportunities I have to improve the success of my office. I couldn’t have gotten this valuable experience anywhere else."

Bell Leadership®–An Effective Evaluation of Oneself

Originating in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and considered life-changing by many, the Bell Leadership course provided through the Bell Leadership Institute is one of the most recognized and successful seminars on personal development. Offered throughout the year, the course is a great opportunity for HDC affiliated dentists and team members to evaluate their levels of communication and leadership.

Spearheaded by Dr. Gerald Bell, Bell Leadership has helped organizations develop leadership mastery through its programs and services since 1972. Its training programs have been used by more than 500,000 leaders in more than 4,700 organizations in over 30 countries. In 2013, HDC has offered 12 Bell Leadership courses throughout the year.

"Being able to bring this great information back to our direct reports, peers and company leaders has been the most humbling and fulfilling experience from a workplace perspective; it is amazing to watch people growing personally and professionally with efficiency and depth."

Julie Thomas
Julie Thomas
Director of Operations at Heartland Dental care and certified Bell Leadership instructor since 2005

Taught by a certified Bell Leadership instructor, the course reveals why people behave in certain ways and how to communicate effectively with every personality style. Increasing efficiency and success both personally and professionally, the course is ideal for anyone in any profession.

"Being able to bring this great information back to our direct reports, peers and company leaders has been the most humbling and fulfilling experience from a workplace perspective; it is amazing to watch people growing personally and professionally with efficiency and depth," said Julie Thomas, Director of Operations at Heartland Dental Care and certified Bell Leadership instructor since 2005.

Bell Leadership takes the concept of personality profile tests like Myers-Briggs and DISC to the highest level. Participants complete a comprehensive self evaluation, focusing on several areas of their personality and mindset. They also choose 10 to 15 friends, family members and co-workers to complete anonymous evaluations on them. The participants’ results, along with peer feedback, are collected and presented, helping them fully understand how they perceive themselves compared to how others perceive them. Seeing how they truly come across, they can identify and implement a strategy to improve upon weaknesses and build upon strengths.

In 2005, Bell Leadership initiated the Train the Trainer program to help participating organizations train their own team members to become certified instructors. The program has been widely successful, with over 3,300 people graduating from Bell’s trainer-taught programs. Because of this success, Bell Leadership has recently expanded their licensing of seminars, now training instructors for their advanced course, Achievers II (read more about this at http://on.wsj.com/16oADJY).

Education and support are the heartbeat of HDC, supplying affiliated dentists and their teams with the means to succeed in offices across the country. HDC’s Home Office expansion, which was completed in June 2013, grew the facilities that house the “heart” of the organization. Beyond creating space for more staff to support HDC’s talented family across the country, the Home Office expansion has made room for one of the fundamental tenets of HDC’s success—continuing education. The Institute embodies the value HDC places on supporting world-class continuing education, and the building project has brought The Institute at Heartland Dental Care back where it belongs—close to the heart.