HealthPoint is home to more than 100 amazing dental assistants (DAs). DAs are key members of our integrated care teams and make a daily difference in the lives of our patients and the health of our communities.
In celebration of Dental Assistant Recognition Week, we are spotlighting this important role and sharing an interview with Gregory Hvizdak, a DA II at HealthPoint Redmond.
How did you first connect with HealthPoint?
Greg heard about HealthPoint from his brother Eleuterio. “He was working as a pharmacy tech float at the Redmond clinic and he told me they were hiring for a dental assistant. I thought, hey, that’s kind of perfect because I’m looking for a job and we can carpool.”
As you know, dental assisting is both a demanding and an in-demand career. Why do you choose to stay with HealthPoint?
While Greg initially came to HealthPoint for the opportunity and the convenience, he has stayed because of his team. “The people are awesome. My co-workers, my patients, my management—they’re good people and I’ve kind of made myself the unofficial team Morale Officer.”
Tell me more about being a morale officer—what does that look like?
“I like to help people be happy. If I notice that someone is down and needs a boost, I’ll cook something special and bring it to work for them. When people were stressed out about the network outage, my reaction was ‘hey, we need to do something!’ So tomorrow we’re having an ice cream sundae bar.”
That’s great! What inspired you to take on that morale-boosting role?
“I think I get it from my parents. They always look out for other people. I also grew up watching a lot of Mr. Rogers.”
What do you find rewarding about being a HealthPoint dental assistant?
“I get to help people have a positive experience in a dental setting. Many people are nervous about going to the dentist, but I talk with them and help them relax. One of my patients recently cried because she was so relieved. I told her, ‘Please don’t cry!’ She said ‘Thank you for being so comforting and helping me through this.’”
You recently received a HealthPoint Scholarship Pathways Award to support your professional goal of becoming a dentist. Why do you want to take that next step in your career?
“My belief is why not just help everyone around you as much as you can? If I become a dentist I can help more people, not just here at HealthPoint, but also out in the community. I want to spend my weekends working with mobile dental clinics that serve people experiencing homelesness. I would also like to make donations. I’m a single person, I don’t need a lot; if I have a dentist's salary, I could donate half of it.”
You are clearly passionate about serving others and giving back to your community. Where does that passion come from for you? Was there a moment when you realized this was what you wanted to do in life?
“I guess it goes back to when I was a kid. I had a friend in high school who went through some hard times. He didn’t have anything to eat so I spent my allowance to buy him food. My dad found out and started packing an extra lunch to give my friend. Our family was also going through hardships, but I didn’t want my friend to be hungry. I think that’s when I realized that it makes me feel good to help someone without getting anything in return.”
How will the scholarship help you reach your goals?
'It will give me an extra boost to finally get through the doors of college. I just need one more year of regular classes and then I can immediately put all my efforts towards getting into dental school. I”m hoping to go to the University of Washington.”