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.
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.
Ellie “cut her teeth” (groan!) in the dental field while still in high school working as a dental assistant in a general dentistry practice. Her responsibilities have included restorative dental work, dental hygiene, and dental laboratory work. She was also a Patient Coordinator, adding insurance and scheduling knowledge to her clinical background. Ellie brought this experience to COFS in 2014
With a self-deprecating smile she describes herself as “OCD,” but she feels the attention she gives to “the little things” brings thoroughness, accessibility, and an ability to answer each question her patients may have, in turn making them more comfortable with the implant process.
The daughter of an auto mechanic, Ellie frequently had the opportunity to work with her dad. My first car was a ’79 Z28 Camaro that my father had restored. When I was a teenager, he entered me and my Camaro in a car show in which I won first place!”
She describes herself as an outdoorsy person, having grown up fishing, gardening and riding ATVs. In her spare time Ellie and her husband “are always working on a new DIY project,” she notes. “We have owned three homes, lived in two apartments, and one tiny house in just the five years we have been married. We are currently completely renovating and remodeling a foreclosure.”
Ellie’s volunteer work includes visiting elderly folks in her community. “I enjoy bringing them dinner or just spending time with them. This is something I learned from both my grandmothers. At a young age they would often bring me along with a fruit basket in tow to visit those who were sick or homebound.”
About implants and the COFS doctors, Ellie says notes, “I have been intrigued by implants since day one. I feel implants are the most advanced dentistry available and the best restorative option. It is amazing to see how they can completely change a person’s self-confidence and quality of life. I’m honored to be part of that process. Our doctors are extremely caring and patient. They truly have our patients’ best interest at heart; I have entrusted them with the care of my own family.”
Ellie guides our patients through their implant process at our Harbour Point office in the Brandermill area.
Tonya’s enthusiasm for oral surgery is evident in the many hats she has worn within Commonwealth since her arrival here 18 years ago. Always looking to increase her professional knowledge and experience, she has successfully transitioned from her initial role as Patient Coordinator to the clinical side of COFS and now to Implant Coordinator. In each of her positions, she has brought her commitment, compassion, and her sense of humor–all of which come together to help her patients feel informed and well-cared for throughout their implant experience.
Although Chesterfield County born and raised and a graduate of Clover Hill High School, her team loyalties are now influenced by her Louisianan husband, Rick. “Geaux LSU Tigers and New Orleans Saints!” she declares proudly. “I have also discovered how much I enjoy Cajun food,” she adds.
Their blended family includes four daughters, two dogs, and one cat. “Spare time is a rare thing in our house, LOL,” she jokes. “But I do so enjoy spending time with my husband and all our kids.” Her hobbies include crocheting and crafting.
Tonya has volunteered her surgical assisting skills nearly a dozen times with the Mission of Mercy program in Wise County, VA, an underserved area in the heart of the Appalachians. She enjoys volunteering at her daughter’s school as well as her church’s CARITAS program and Mercy Mall. “I feel like whenever I can give back to the community and be a part of helping others it becomes a true blessing to me. It fills my heart with joy.”
“I am very excited about my position as an Implant Coordinator, being able to share my clinical knowledge to educate our patients from every angle of the implant process. I feel I am qualified from a personal point of view in that I have two implants myself. I like to see patients regain confidence in their smile and their health through implants. Implants are life-changing for so many people, and I get to be a part of that. What a blessing! All of our doctors are wonderful at COFS,” Tonya states. “You could not put your health and well-being in more reliable and capable hands.”
Tonya is at our Huguenot Road office, ready to help guide our patients through their implant process.