It is so exciting to be Celebrating 25 Years at Stephens and Gatewood Dentistry!
I have had the distinct honor and privilege to have worked at the absolute BEST dental practice over the last 25 years!
I was 21 years old when I graduated hygiene school in 1985. My first position was at Riverhill Dentistry in Wisconsin Rapids. After 3 months of employment, Dr. O’Connor shared his happiness that my schedule was booking at 100%. I was really proud of that achievement and even happier when he gave me a raise! I was sad to leave my Wisconsin dental family but I was excited about the new opportunities and possibilities when we moved to the great state of Texas in April 1988. At first, it was very challenging for me to find the caliber of office I wanted to be associated with in the Houston area.
Let me share that March 25, 1989 was the day that changed my life forever!
Dr. Stephens and his amazing wife, Robin had a dream of launching their own practice. They succeeded when they opened their doors and their hearts to the surrounding Houston community.
I remember the day of my working interview so clearly. I immediately felt at ease at their
state-of-the-art practice and I was told that the patients I had seen that day were more than pleased with the service they received from me. When my working interview was complete I asked Robin if I had the job. I distinctly recall Robin saying loudly down the hall, “Jackie, does Val have the job?”
(Fun Fact-Jackie is Dr. Stephens given name. With the exception of family and close friends, he goes by Jack these days.)
He replied with a simple, “Yeah!” That was the genesis of my 25 year journey here at Stephens and Gatewood Dentistry! I have to giggle to myself because we do things so differently now.
What a journey it has been!
This is my love letter to my most beloved patients past, present and future. I say patients but what I actually mean to say is dear friends. Please know and believe in your hearts that you are my focus, you are the reason why I am excited to be in this profession, you are my passion, you are my extended family and my heart belongs to each and every one of you.
You all have made my life expedentially rich! Over these many years I treasure the shared inummerable smiles, the personal moments, your sorrow and tears, your triumphs, your heartaches and countless hugs. I have had the privilege to watch your children grow up into exemplary young adults. Now some of these young adults are entrusting me to take care of their children.
(Tears are now welling up in my eyes.)
My dear friends, please know you all honor me with your life, your trust, your friendship and your love.
Dr. Stephens, I wouldn’t be the hygienist I am today if it weren’t for your consistent guidance, direction, tough love, your sensitive heart, your loving spirit and I truly admire your unending quest in the pursuit for excellence. You are my forever mentor. I could not imagine my life without you in it!
Dr. Gatewood, you radiate happiness and joy! You are always smiling and of good cheer! I value you and your vast dental knowledge. I have always appreciated your kindness when I am in need of your expertise. Working with you is a true delight! Thank you for being as remarkable as you are!
Dr. Pagano, you are a genuine welcomed addition to our team! You are effervescent, gregarious and fun-loving. I know our patients are forever changed because of your commitment to excellence!
Robin and Donna you both are the heart and soul of this practice. It absolutely could not function without you! We adore that you both appreciate and value each and every one of us! You both are so kind, thoughtful and generous in everything you do!
To the amazing team of women (and to even my former team members) at Stephens and Gatewood Dentistry. I truly admire and I am in awe of each and every one of you!
I am so honored to know first-hand just how dedicated these women are to our patients and practice!
Great work is done by people who are not afraid to be great. Believe me they all are GREAT!
They all have Texas-Sized hearts and are so dedicated and passionate to taking care of our patients at an elevated level!
My dear friends, I so incredibly blessed with your sweet spirits, thoughtfulness and most of all your genuine friendships. My heart has love for each and every one of you. I have treasured all the forever memories we have shared over these 25 years and I am looking forward to all the new ones to come!
Only a life lived in the service to others is worth living.