Michigan Community Dental Clinics’ Tom Veryser Passes Reins to Gregory Heintschel as Chief Executive Officer
At the end of July, a familiar Boyne City face stepped down as the head of the Michigan Community Dental Clinics (MCDC).
The MCDC’s board of directors has announced its appointment of Dr. Gregory Heintschel to succeed Dr. Tom Veryser as chief executive officer, effective immediately following a yearlong transition period. Drs. Heintschel and Veryser have worked together for the better part of the organization’s history to grow the statewide nonprofit dental clinic network and continually enhance dental service quality for the state’s most vulnerable citizens in the most cost efficient manner.
Veryser, who formed MCDC in 2006 initially in response to a call for assistance from the Health Department of Northwest Michigan to better serve low income, under-insured and Medicaid patients, retires following a smooth and seamless leadership exchange.
“Today, MCDC continues to grow in its mission to create and expand access to quality dental care for in-need Michigan citizens, making this an appropriate time to hand over the reins to a leader who will take the organization to its next level, ” said Veryser.
“With the growth of Medicaid coverage now extended to help even more Michigan residents access healthcare, the need for dental services specifically designed for and attuned to the special needs of these patients is as great as ever. Greg Heintschel is the right leader at the right time to build on MCDC’s strong foundation and ensure the safe, quality and dedicated experience for which we are known continues and grows to serve others.”
Heintschel has played a significant role in MCDC’s growth as a healthcare network. He has served as MCDC’s chief dental and operating officer since 2007, and is active in leadership roles of national dentistry organizations. Heintschel served 20 years in the U.S. Army Reserve prior to joining MCDC, and has been honored for his outstanding work in cosmetic dentistry and published on such topics related to administrative procedures for dental office efficiencies.
“I am extremely honored to be given the opportunity to lead MCDC, with a team and a mission that sets us apart in the healthcare arena,” said Heintschel. “I am confident in the caliber of our professionals and appreciate the confidence of the board in tapping me to lead MCDC forward.
Building upon the foundation Dr. Veryser has built, we will continue to focus on improving the health and well-being of people by meeting unserved areas of the state, in addition to nurturing the partnerships with communities we have established.”
Dr. Heintschel says the organization continue its core mission of providing Medicaid-paid high value dentistry at reduced costs. Continual improvement in the areas of patient satisfaction, professional staff recruitment and retention and clinical care standards, he says, will also remain central to MCDC’s goal of “improving lives one smile at a time.”
Under Veryser’s stewardship, the MCDC is grown to 26 clinics across the state affiliated with local health departments, with three more clinics slated to open in 2015.
The organization has gained national recognition from the American Dental Association as Michigan’s largest and most efficient provider of Medicaid dental services.
Veryser will continue to serve the MCDC through involvement in special projects and initiatives.
“We are pleased to have an internal leader with Greg’s demonstrated track record and management skills to take MCDC forward,” said former MCDC board chair, Kevin Cawley of Spectrum Health. “Greg has provided exceptional financial and administrative expertise to the organization, which has contributed to the success and sustainability of the organization, and to its service delivery efficiencies.
Tom Veryser will long be remembered for his inspiration, leadership and entrepreneurial drive, as well as his tireless passion for helping those in need.”
Dr. Veryser owned his own private practice dental offices in the Bad Axe and Ubly communities of Michigan’s thumb region.
Governor Rick Snyder in 2011 appointed him to the board of directors of the Michigan Center for Rural Health, and he was the Dental Director for the Health Department of Northwest Michigan.
He has served as associate clinical professor and assistant dean at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, and is a frequent keynote speaker at the national level about the importance of oral health policies that benefit underserved and at risk populations.
“Tom Veryser is an exceptional leader who thinks big and compassionately, brings out the best in people and brings responsibility to the role that publicly funded healthcare services work,” said Cawley. “We are grateful for Tom’s vision, dedication and commitment to MCDC and its people, as well as to our clinics’ patients, communities and state.”