Colene’s oral surgery experience reaches back to 1991. She worked as a surgical assistant at COFS before transitioning to the role of Implant Coordinator at COFS in 2007. She holds an Associate’s Degree in Arts and Sciences from Central Virginia Community College. Colene earned a certificate from the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Anesthesia Assistants Program having successfully completed coursework and an examination in the field of Dental Anesthesia Assisting.
Before coming to RVA, Colene, whose hometown is Colorado Springs, CO, lived in Bedford, VA, near the Blue Ridge Parkway. Having such strong ties to these areas may well explain her love of the mountains. But she is now a happily transplanted Richmonder, explaining that the thing she loves most about RVA is that it is a very active and culturally diverse community, with so much “local pride” among the residents. “People that live here seem to love it and are very supportive of everything Richmond has to offer such as local farmers, artists, and breweries, and they let the world know what’s here also!” she states with obvious pride in her adopted hometown.
Colene describes herself as an avid reader who loves to shop used book stores. While she enjoys many literary genres, Southern Historical fiction is among her favorites.
She and her husband are the proud parents of two teens, both of whom will be in high school next year.
She enthusiastically identifies the favorite aspects of her job:
- Seeing that the implant process is as easy and seamless as possible for both our patients and their referring/restorative dentist teams
- Being able to educate our patients on the benefits of implants and finding that little personal “nugget” that can help make a genuine connection to each patient. She sums up this relationship by noting, “People value being remembered—myself included!”
- Colene finds personal satisfaction in being able to use her strong communications skills along with her awareness of insurance regulations to ensure the best possible coverage for her patients
Colene guides our patients through their implant process at our Harbour Point office, in the Brandermill area.
A Nebraska native, Lisa is a proud Cornhusker and still enjoys visiting her extended family in the Midwest. She has been a part of COFS for about 15 years, with experience as a Patient Coordinator before being selected to work as an Implant Coordinator 11 years ago. She brings this wealth of implant experience to the implant treatment plans for each of the patients she works with. Lisa’s educational background in Early Childhood Education is evident in her quiet, patient demeanor and in her accomplished teaching abilities while thoroughly explaining the implant process and financial information to our patients.
For many years Lisa has been involved with COFS-sponsored Implant Study Clubs (seminars presented for dental professionals) by helping with the organization involved in hosting these conferences. Being a part of these sessions, Lisa has had the opportunity to build relationships with our patients’ general dentists. “One of the joys of my job is working with our fabulous referring dentists,” she notes.
“I really just think implants are the BEST replacement tooth option and wish everyone could be a good implant candidate. I like to tell patients when they are on the fence about the overall cost to break it down and look at it as ‘taking one step at a time’ and that there are several financial options available,” she states enthusiastically.
Lisa has volunteered her time at the Virginia Dental Society-sponsored MOM (Mission of Mercy Project) in Wise County, VA (Appalachian area), and she is an active member at her church, Grace Lutheran, where she has taught Sunday School and helped with the Altar Guild.
At the top of the list of Lisa’s favorite pastimes is spending time with her 2 children, Josh and Lindsey, both currently attending college. Shopping, hiking, and visits to a family retreat at Lake Gaston are also things she enjoys during her leisure time. She jokes that her favorite food group is chocolate!
Lisa sums up her thoughts on being an Implant Treatment Coordinator by stating simply, “I love working with patients one-on-one and being involved with their treatment planning!”
You can be personally guided through the implant process with Lisa’s help at our Patterson Avenue office.
Mandi brings 8 years of oral surgery assisting experience to her Implant Coordinator position at COFS, where she has worked for the past 4 years. She is DAANCE certified, having successfully completed coursework and an examination in the field of Dental Anesthesia Assisting. “From a young age, I knew I wanted to work in the medical field. I wanted to be able to focus on my innate compassion and desire to be able to care for people.”
She has volunteered her skills by participating in several Virginia Dental Society’s MOM (Mission of Mercy) projects as well as The American Dental Society’s Give Kids a Smile Day.
Mandi describes herself as having a natural LOVE for people and animals. She jokes with a smile, “I could carry on a conversation with a fly!” On a more serious note, she continues, “I know I can’t save the world, but by making people smile when given the chance, it can make the world a softer place to live.”
Mandi is a proud wife and a proud mother to her pre-school aged son, Mason and two dogs, Ruger and Benson. She explains, “Since becoming a mother my already strong desire to care of others has only amplified. Mason has taught me a new love and patience that I apply to my daily job at COFS.” In what she refers to tongue-in-cheek as “spare” time, she enjoys running and is currently training to run her first half marathon in the fall of 2015. She also enjoys DIY home projects with her husband and crafting as her “me” time.
“One thing I would like patients to know is that although implants are the best form of tooth replacement today it may not always the best option for everyone. I take pride in my job of educating patients on the benefits of tooth replacement and especially the long-term benefits of implants. Being able to help patients understand the implant process and gain a clear vision of their treatment is the most rewarding part of my job, especially when a patient may have been somewhat confused or overwhelmed prior to their evaluation.”
Mandi points out, “I am a true advocate for implants since I am a grafting and implant patient myself.” She is always happy to discuss her own personal experience for patients to relate to.
You can get to know Mandi and more about your implant process at our Huguenot Road office in Midlothian.
Melissa has called COFS her work home for over 7 years. Holding a Bachelor’s degree from VCU in Business Administration and Management as well as having been employed in retail prior to joining the COFS team, she knows the importance of customer service and prides herself on making her patients’ satisfaction her top priority. “I love working with people!” she declares. While at COFS, Melissa also has had experience as both a Patient Coordinator and Hospital Coordinator. Scheduling patients for hospital-based surgeries, researching their insurance coverages, guiding them through pre-surgical steps, and working with referring dentists and doctors have well-prepared her for her Implant Coordinator tasks.
Melissa calls herself a “spreadsheetaholic,” which keeps her well-organized and best able to efficiently guide her patients through each step of their COFS implant journey.
On a personal note, she is married with a young, demanding toddler, just beginning to walk. “Isn’t it crazy how time flies by!” she marvels. “I like spending time with family, watching Jackson grow up and change daily.” I also like going to the gym, and I’m addicted to Pinterest”. She confesses that she does not enjoy cooking, but she is trying to get better at it!
Although she self-effacingly describes herself as “boring,” and says she has hardly been off the East Coast, she has in fact travelled to London, Paris, and Rome. And most importantly for our patients, (and for COFS!) she states emphatically, “I love my job!”
“I love the fact that what I do helps people understand the implant process from beginning to end and that I have face time with them to get to know them—and sometimes their families. I think that gives patients a sense of well-being to know that they aren’t just a dental chart number, they are a part of our valued work family. Even though it can be a long process, the end result of an implant will be well worth the wait!” she adds enthusiastically.
Melissa will be your guide through your implant process at our Westerre office, in the far West End.
A native of Richmond and a graduate of Hermitage High School, Michelle brings 18 years of oral surgery experience at COFS, including work as both a Surgical Assistant and a Patient Coordinator, to her current role as an Implant Coordinator. She earned a certificate from the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Anesthesia Assistants Program having successfully completed coursework and an examination in the field of Dental Anesthesia Assisting.
Being involved in the development of the implant process at COFS, a position she has thrived in since 2008, has been her most rewarding and fulfilling. “Implants are the right fit for me. I enjoy giving patients their smile back!”
Michelle has also been a volunteer with the Virginia Dental Association’s Mission of Mercy (MOM) trips to the Appalachian area of Wise County, Virginia for many years. Another highlight of her volunteer experience was being a part of a dental team that worked in New Orleans following the Hurricane Katrina.
On a personal note, she and her husband love to travel. “Ask me where I am going next, and we’ll instantly have something to talk about!” She counts Yellowstone, Hawaii, Italy, and the Grand Canyon among her favorites. Michelle adds that in her travels she has become something of a “foodie.” She feels that a “food tour” is a great way to get to fully experience a new city. Michelle also describes herself an animal lover, and there is no doubt that her miniature pinscher, Emma, would vouch for that! Other hobbies include horseback riding and knitting.
Michelle quips that Dr. Miller would challenge patients to ask how old she is! (although we’re not sure she would give you an answer!)
Many prospective implant patients ask her, “If it were you, what would you do?” “For me, the answer is easy,” she says with no hesitation. “Have an implant! It is the best option available: better likelihood of long-term success; it’s the least invasive as far as preserving adjacent teeth; it helps preserve the jaw bone.”
Get to know Michelle as she personally guides you through the implant process at our Patterson Avenue office.