Home Grown Care
With HDC, dentist is right at home.
Self-proclaimed "hometown grown," Dr. Christie Leedy believes in dental offices where patients are neighbors and friends. She loved growing up in quaint Haskell, Texas. After her graduation from the University of Texas Health and Science Center in San Antonio, she opened her first practice in the small Texas town of Anson in 1984. Eight years later, she brought her own neighborly feel to the big city of Abilene, Texas, located just 55 miles south of her hometown.
Dr. Leedy had big beliefs for a small town girl though, claiming, “Just because we are in a small town, does not mean we have to be small-minded.” She took this theory to heart, seizing every opportunity for professional development through continuing education. Dr. Leedy shook the status quo of local dentistry through her forward thinking and interest in technology, introducing the area to cosmetic dentistry as well as implants. The driving force behind her will to grow, however, was always her patients. “I want to offer them access to everything they may need or want for their oral health.”
"Hearing Dr. Workman, I realized how much HDC felt like me and where I was in my career and life. Their values are at the core of my own - what I grew up with and what I believe about patient care."
Christie Leedy, DDS
practicing dentist at Abilene Dental in Abilene, Texas
However, a series of challenges began to test Dr. Leedy's ability to continue to provide the highest care with a personal feel. Her partner dentists broke away from her practice, Abilene Dental, and left her running a two-million dollar office by herself―an undertaking she had never planned on. On top of that, she suffered a severe tibia and fibula fracture requiring surgery and limiting her mobility. Her doctors recommended three months of rest that would take her away from the practice, but Leedy knew that would be impossible. Not only did she not have three months worth of saved overhead to cover the costs of inoperation, she did not want to let her patients down. "Being from a small town, I have four generations of some families as patients. They want to see me when they come in and I want to see them. I want to know their whole stories."
So, despite the doctors' suggestions, Dr. Leedy continued to practice. She would see and treat her patients while using a chair to elevate her booted foot, decorated in boot covers designed by her team to match her lab jackets. Slowly, however, the injury took its toll on Leedy both emotionally and physically. "I found myself just trying to get by. Keeping our high level of patient care started to come at my own personal expense. I focused all my postitive energy on patient care but still had the administrative side of the office to handle after hours. We maintained a great practice, but it was running us more than us running it."
Dr. Leedy decided then that it was time to find a better solution. "I had heard about Heartland Dental Care through friends who had affiliated and I began conversations with the affiliations team," she says. Shortly after, Leedy attended the Academy of Comprehensive Esthetics Annual Meeting and by chance listened to a lecture from Dr. Rick Workman, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of HDC. "Hearing Dr. Workman, I realized how much HDC felt like me and where I was in my career and life. Their values are at the core of what I grew up with and what I believe about patient care."
She soon began the affiliation process. "The affiliation and the team I worked with were wonderful. They are real, solid people who love and believe in what they do," she explains. "My biggest fear was losing the people aspect of my office. That has not occurred through the affiliation with Heartland Dental Care in any way, shape or form. If anything, our patient care and attention has increased even more."
r. Leedy's focus is back on delivering the personal care and hospitality that reflects her roots. "If anything, from my patients' perspective, the affiliation has granted them more doctor time with me or 'Dr. Christie', as my patients know me." Dr. Leedy has more time for herself as well, recently taking her first full week of vacation in five years.
Don't expect her to take much more time off, however. With neighbors, friends and family for patients, this hometown doctor enjoys keeping close to the office and close to home.