Archive for the ‘Fun at the Office’ Category

Good Luck Nick !

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

Nick and His Proud Mom

It is a sad day for us at the offices of Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates.  For today is Nick’s last day at the front desk.  Nick Eads has been with us for nearly 3 years now, and although we knew his employment was only temporary at the time, the last 3 years have seemed to gone by much too fast.  Some of you may not have had contact with Nick.  That is because he usually comes in after lunch and works the closing shift as an Assistant Office Manager.  At the time we hired him, Nick was a studying business at VCU and was able to arrange his classes so that he could work afternoons and evenings.  Nick caught on to the computer system very fast, and learned the ins-and-outs of handling insurance questions and scheduling patients.

20th Birthday !

Many patients would ask if Nick was my son, and the answer to that question is “NO”!  But he is very close to the Freeman family.  In fact, Nick and my son John were born on the same day and have known each other for over 20 years.  Nick played baseball at Atlee Little League and was a great influence on my son’s love for snowboarding, helping to make several family trips to Massanutten possible over the years.  When I needed an afternoon person at the front desk, Christie and I were discussing it over dinner.  I remember saying, “You will probably think I am crazy, but something is telling me to offer the job to Nick!”  Well I am glad I did.

Nick relaxing at home with friends.

Nick added something to the office.  His polite mannerisms and diligent work ethic helped the transition at the front desk go smoothly when Kim left to have her baby.  And in a dental office, it is always nice to have another male employee in the mix!  Recently, Nick graduated from VCU, and in this tough economy he was given 2 job offers!  I was not surprised.  Today he will be leaving us to join the Virginia Lottery.  We will all miss Nick very much, but we wish him the best on his new adventure.  I know if he keeps working as hard for the Lottery as he has for us that he will advance fast over the years.  Good Luck Nick . . . You will always have your friends on the dental team!





Who Makes You Smile?
Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates
3290 Church Road
Henrico, VA  23233



Where Did Polly Go?

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Next time you visit the offices of Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates, you may notice that something is missing.  “Polly“, the blue and yellow parrot that hung in the corner of our operatories for the last 12 years, has flown the coop.  Polly has been a long loved addition to our office and has been in many rooms over the years.  Recently, it has been in the corner of Room 2 — watching over Dr. Scott and Tori.

Polly belonged to my Grandma, Mary Freeman, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  It hung over her kitchen sink ever since I can remember, and in the early days, the parrot had a red feather in its beak.   As the story goes, my Grandpa George sent the bird to her from the Pacific when he was in the Navy.  I understand this was a very popular souvenir to send back to your loved ones.  Grandpa George was a real sailor, with a tatoo of a hula girl and everything.  Grandma kept Polly in her kitchen until she passed in the year 2000.

After loosing Grandma, my family and I headed up to Pennsylvania for the funeral.  My Uncle, who was in charge of her estate, asked if there was anything I wanted from Grandma’s house.  My wife Christie and I thought about it, and told him that it may have seemed silly but the only thing I wished for was “Polly” the parrot out of the kitchen.  My daughter Olivia, who was 12 years old at the time, came up with the idea to hang the parrot in our bird room at our office.  She said it would be like Grandma was looking down on me working all the time.  After the funeral, Polly came to Virginia and has been here ever since.

Earlier this year, I attended a Continuing Education Course in California.  While out there, I was able to meet up with my youngest cousin, George Flynn.  He has lived and worked in the Hollywood area for 10 years now, and I had not seen him since Grandma’s Funeral.  It was great catching up with him.  While we were reminising, George asked me if I still had the parrot.  I told him I did.  Then he told me that he too had asked our Uncle for “Polly”.  I had never known this.

This Christmas, my family and I took Polly down from her perch and mailed her out to sunny California.  She is now enjoying the warm weather and looking down over my Cousin George.  We will miss Polly in our office, but I have had her for 12 years, and I thought it was only right to let her go to a new home.  Take care of her George, and I’ll see both of you next time I’m out that way.


Who Makes You Smile?
Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates
3290 Church Road
Henrico, VA  23233

Lieutenant Dan Band: Memorial Day Weekend 2012

Friday, June 8th, 2012

On the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend 2012, my family and I had a wonderful experience.  We went to Charlottesville to see the Lieutenant Dan Band play at the Paramount Theater on the downtown walking mall, and they rocked the place! ” Who is the Lieutenant Dan Band?” you might ask.  Well,  you will not hear them on the radio or on an I-Pod, but you will know and enjoy all the songs they play.  Actor Gary Sinise, who is now best known for his TV character Detective Mac Taylor on CSI: New York, played the part of Lieutenant Dan in the block buster movie Forest Gump in 1994.  Lieutenant Dan was a tough, young officer who believed it was his destiny to die in the jungles of Vietnam.  When Private Forest Gump saves him, his character must learn to live without his legs — a mental struggle at first but by the end of the film he becomes a strong and successful person.  Gary Sinise received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role.   This was such an influential character that Lieutenant Dan overshadowed Gary Sinise for several years after the film.

Gary Sinise, a Vietnam vet himself, then decided to give back to his country by entertaining the United States Troops – – –  not by acting, but by playing music for them over seas.  He put together a band that would travel with the U.S.O. playing for the soldiers all over the world.  Whenever he walked out on stage, the soldiers would yell in a Forest Gump type accent “Lieutenant Dan!”   Soon after, it was decided to market them as “The Lieutenant Dan Band.”  When not filming CSI, Gary Sinise and the band entertain the troops and do concerts to raise money for veterans.

I had heard on the radio that the band was playing in Charlottesville at the renovated Paramount Theater on Memorial Day Friday, and that the profits were to go to a local group which helps wounded veterans re-assimilate into society.  Often, Memorial Day goes by with yard work and a cook out, but this year I thought it would be nice to do something more to mark the occasion.   The concert hall was filled with local veterans — some as old as WWII to our current battles in the middle east.  It started with two local musicians who were on their way to the middle east the next week to play for the troops, and then they were joined on stage by The Lieutenant Dan Band.  As I said before, this is not a group with their own CD.  They played the big hits from the 40’s up to current music today.  From Boogie Wo0gie Bugle Boy to The Devil Went Down to Georgia.  And they kept the crowd on their feet for nearly two (2) hours.                                                                                     

Gary Sinise himself only sings back up, but he plays the base guitar all night long.  I must give him credit.  I believe he knows that he is the main reason people come see the band, but as big a star as he is, he takes a back seat to the music.  He has 3 female and 2 male lead singers, and each has their own style and song selections.  The horn section is fantastic.  The drummer was out standing, and the other guitarists were extremely talented.  The concert is blended with some stories about their travels and soldiers they have met, and of course patriotic music is added to the mix.  They finished the night with “God Bless the USA” and then were off to Washington D.C. to play on the Mall over the weekend.

It was a perfect event for Memorial Day.  My family had a wonderful time.  I want to thank everyone who has ever fought for our country.  You are the people who preserve our freedom.  I want to honor all those who we have lost in battle, and their families who suffered their loss.  Please know that what they did for our country does not go unappreciated.  God bless you . . . and God Bless the United States.

We Celebrate 15 Years with Susan Seward

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

We are delighted to celebrate another special anniversary.  On January 29, 1997, we welcomed Susan Seward to our Dental Team.   15 years later, Susan laughs, “I don’t plan on going anywhere.”  She recalls the offices in Radford, Chesapeake and Richmond where she spent the early years of her career as a Hygienist.  Those positions were jobs, but Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates is her home.

As her husband’s career progressed from Horticulture student to Landscaper to Adjunct Professor at J. Sargent Reynolds,  Susan worked  3-4 years stints in a variety of offices across Virginia.  It was during this time that her skills grew and her experiences with patients deepened.  Still, she never felt like she had found the right office to work with.  Then she interviewed with Dr. Freeman, and she realized very quickly that this was the family atmosphere she had been looking for.

Impressed with the skill of the Dentists and  the commitment of the other staff members, she found herself doing something she had not done before – – – bringing her family to the office where she was working for their Dental care.  “We even brought my daughter’s boyfriend at one point,” she chuckles.  Susan has worked a two or three day week during her 15 years with us.  Currently, she is happy with a schedule that has her in the office Monday and Wednesday and “on call”  to fill in for others as needed.

So how have things changed across the three decades of her career?  “Patients today are better informed,” she observes.  Information is available from TV, the Internet, magazines and newspapers.  She has seen her patients become more aware of the connection between dental care and their overall health, which makes it easier to encourage good home care.  Susan loves to provide this motivation. This increase in awareness makes it easier to explain concepts and treatment to her patients.  It can also be challenging.

“Sometimes,” she says, “we have to answer lots of questions about issues that are in the media.  A famous Doctor will mention something on a show and everyone will get concerned. ”  She welcomes the conversations and takes care to be sure that her patients have the most accurate information.   Today’s patients, who are interested, informed and engaged, make great partners in their own care.

Some other things have changed as well.  Susan remembers the time before masks and gloves, before suction replaced cuspidors and spit bowls.  “So many of the tools of care have improved.”  Technology has improved as well, but, she emphasizes, the fundamentals of good care remain the same.  She is committed to providing great care, fostering communication and maintaining her patient’s comfort.  Of all the things a Dental practice can provide, she says that quality care tops the list of importance.

One of Susan’s skills that we value the most is her responsiveness to her patients–her ability to assess her patient’s needs, to gauge what they need to know, to listen and to communicate.

We are so grateful for the time, talent, care and concern for her patients that Susan has invested with our office.  As we move into the new year, we look forward to a great 2012 with great friends and team members like Susan.

Happy Anniversary, Tori Dickerson

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

On January 16, 2002, a bright eyed, newly graduated Dental Assistant walked into our office to start her career.  Fresh out of school, she came to work for Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates eager to practice all that she had learned to help patients.  This week, we celebrate  Tori Dickerson’s Ten Year Anniversary at our office.

This was not Tori’s  first career choice.  “I got my teaching certificate,”  she recalls, “but I quickly figured out that it wasn’t the right fit for me.”  Calling on the experiences of friends who were already working in the dental field, she set her sights on a degree that would let her work as a Dental Assistant.  She knew that this would give her the skills needed to help others and to find a good job.

Tori  is happy to share how much she loves her job.  When she began working, she did not anticipate how much she would come to know and care for her patients.  Over time, she has learned about their families and their lives and many of her patients have become her friends.  Tori finds it is gratifying to help her patients with their overall health and well being.  She laughs saying  it is like being a nurse, only with better hours.

Unlike the teaching career that she originally contemplated, Dental Assisting allows her to leave her work at work.  This little luxury keeps her  rise to the challenge of each new day.  Some are peaceful and even.  Some bring emergencies, complicated procedures or other challenges, but for Tori, the variety in the work makes things even more interesting.   Unlike the other Assistants, Tori  has worked with several different Dentists over the last ten years at our office.   Dr. Freeman likes to give her the responsibility of breaking in the new Doctors, teaching them our special techniques,  and making sure they know what we expect of them at our office.

“I was lucky, though, to get such a wonderful place off the bat.”  Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates has been Tori’s  professional home for her entire career, and it is easy to see why she has stayed.   “We have a real family atmosphere here.  It is relaxed and fun.”   Tori credits Dr. Freeman and his wife, Christie, with setting a great family-like tone in the office.  “They are such kind, wonderful people.  It is quite a feat to sustain such a positive environment for both the staff and the patients.”   As an example, Tori related the following story:

“We were on the way back from a Dental conference in Las Vegas.  Everyone had a wonderful time.  We were all chatting, joking and laughing about the events that took place that weekend.   A couple on the plane close to us starting asking questions about who we were and the reason for our trip.   I remember talking to the wife, and telling her all about the new techniques I learned that weekend.  A month  later that couple schedules appointments at the office. They thought we were wonderful and fun on that plane ride back to Richmond.  And we are! ”

We asked Tori what has changed over the last ten years.  She replied that new products come on the market always claiming to be better than the one they are replacing, but that good dental care is always good dental care.  Quality work does not change.   “Each day is an adventure in this place.”

Thank you, Tori, for the care and skill you bring to our patients.  We are so glad that you have invested the last decade with us and we look forward to many more years with you on our Dental Care Team.

Thank You, Penny, for 10 Great Years–and Many More to Come!

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Today marks a very special milestone. Ten years ago today Penny Willliams chose to join our office as a Dental Hygienist. We are humbled to think of all the people that Penny has helped over the last decade. Her commitment to her patients is extraordinary and her presence in the office is a delight to her co-workers. We asked her to share some thoughts about her 26 years in the field.

MFA: Penny, you have been a valued colleague for the last decade here in our offices.    Clearly, you feel a real sense of dedication for your work and your patients. What is your favorite part of your role as a Dental Hygienist?

PENNY:   The best part of my job here is the daily contact with our patients, who have now become my friends.  They make my life richer and my profession enjoyable.  Patient compliance comes much easier, I believe, because people know I genuinely care.  I take a personal interest in their families and daily life and they in mine. Ironically, I benefit as much as they do from these interactions.

MFA: Your career spans more than two and a half decades. How did you know that this was the career that would bring you such satisfaction? How did you choose this line of work?

PENNY: As a child growing up, I always wanted to be a writer, but as college approached I felt more and more drawn to the medical field.  I took a summer job as a dental assistant in a young practice and immediately loved every aspect of dentistry, especially dental hygiene. It was at the end of this summer that I decided to pursue this career.  I had had negative dental experiences as a child and I thought I might be able to make a difference by choosing this profession.

MFA: What changes have you seen during your career so far? How are things different now from when you started?
PENNY: Since graduation from MCV in 1986, my life has seen many changes both personally and professionally.  Technology has improved the delivery of dental care and has made for more pleasant dental visits.  The recent knowledge that our overall health can be affected  by our daily dental routine such as brushing and flossing has forced my profession to look beyond traditional dental care and take a more holistic view. Contributing to the complete health of my patients is now possible through dental hygiene instruction and care.

MFA: You had a sense of what you wanted when you started. What has surprised you most about the way that events have unfolded for you?

PENNY:   One of the greatest surprises in my 26 years as a dental hygienist is the profound effect that my patients have had on me as a person. I have come to realize that I need them as much as they need me and that they have taught me as much about life as I have them about dentistry. They validate my success in this wonderful profession and I am eternally grateful.

MFA: It is obvious that you are in the right profession and we are very grateful that you’ve chosen to work with us. What has your 10 years with our office meant to you?

PENNY:     Another unexpected gift in my professional life, especially in the last 10 years, is the bond formed with my work family. Just recently I have discovered how truly important these people are to me. We are all very different yet we come together every day with the same goal- to provide the best care we can for our patients.  The daily trials we encounter as a team have never deterred us from that goal and at the end of the day we are still the best dental team I know.  The individuals that make up this team have not only made me a better hygienist but a better person.  I am so grateful that 10 years ago today, there was a job opening for one lucky hygienist at the Office of Dr. Mark Freeman and Associates.

MFA: I’m not sure who was luckier–you or us. Thank you, Penny, for 10 great years and we look forward to the years to come.

Hello and Welcome to all our Patients and Friends

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

From everyone here at the offices of Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates, we would like to welcome you to our NEW website and blog.  We have been working very hard to bring you a dental site which can help answer many of your dental questions, but yet be fun and interactive.  I hope you find our new site easy to use.  By using the buttons across the top and bottom of our welcome page, you can find out more about procedures you may be needing or thinking about.  In General Dentistry, you can learn more about fillings and crowns, extractions and bridges, as well as partial dentures and TMJ.  In Cosmetic Dentistry, see what is possible with implants, whitening, Veneers and much, much more.  Your Oral Health is very important to our office: therefore, we have dedicated a section of our websit to just that.  Here you will find everything from the basics about brushing and flossing to how we treat Periodontal Disease.  For new patients interested in finding out more about our office or existing patients who want to get to know us better, the Our Office button introduces you to our Doctors, Hygienist and Staff and even has slide-show tour of our facility.   The Patient Information section is filled with helpful information and documents you can download to help make your visits to our office go smoothly.  And, just for your entertainment, please check out our Games & Contest page for fun and a chance to win some great prizes!

We truly want our web-site to be a great referral page for anything and everything about Dentistry!  Please feel free to forward our site to your friends so they too can have all the information at their fingertips.  If you ever have a question which you would like more information about, go to Contact Us, and one of our skilled Team Members will get back with you as soon as possible.

Who Makes You Smile?

Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates





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