The Group Dentistry Now Show: The Voice Of The DSO Industry – Episode 160

Katie Wienecke, Director of Partner Relations at Dental Lifeline Network & Carli Casey, Senior Manager of Corporate Responsibility and Service at Pacific Dental Services (now PDS Health) join the GDN Show. They discuss how integrating volunteerism and social responsibility can positively impact recruitment and retention.

To learn more about Dental Lifeline Network visit

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To find out more about Pacific Dental Services culture of service visit –

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Full Transcript:

Bill Neumann: I’d like to welcome everyone to the Group Dentistry Now show. I’m Bill Newman. And as always, we appreciate everybody listening in, whether it’s Google, Apple, Spotify, or maybe you’re watching us on YouTube, but without a great audience like you, we wouldn’t get great guests. Gosh, I think we’re up to a hundred and… 60 episodes, so we really appreciate the support. This is the second time we’ve had Dental Lifeline Network on our podcast. We had Dental Lifeline on sometime last year, and we’ve had Pacific Dental on, gosh Carly, first time for you, but we’ve had Steve Thorne on two times. He’s actually gonna be on again, so we’re gonna have, I think he might like be the We may have had some others on three times, but Steve is definitely, I would say he’s close to being a regular on the podcast. So great to have Dental Lifeline Network back on and PDS back on. But both first times for you. So we have Katie Wieneke. She is the Director of Partner Relations at Dental Lifeline Network. Katie, thanks for being here today.
Katie Wienecke : Thank you so much for having me.

Bill Neumann: And we have Carly Casey. She is the Senior Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility and Service for Pacific Dental Services. Carly, thank you for being here.

Carli Casey: Thrilled to be here, Bill. Thank you.

Bill Neumann: So why don’t we start things off, Katie, a little bit about your backgrounds and when you started at Dental Lifeline Network.

Katie Wienecke : Yeah, absolutely. So I am pretty new to the dental world. I’ve been with Dental Lifeline Network now almost one year. And before that, I worked in public education. And what I did there was coordinate corporate partnerships with our schools. So I really worked to design partnerships that were beneficial to both sides, to our schools, to our educators, to our students, as well as to our corporate volunteers and different groups. I have a long history of working in the nonprofit world and the foundation world. And so really just love working with people and helping them find ways to give back to their communities and build their communities.

Bill Neumann: And really, Katie, you’re focused on group practices and DSOs, correct? So that’s your role?

Katie Wienecke : Yeah, we went through a strategic plan or created a brand new strategic plan a couple years ago. And my role was created to focus on helping those partnerships really grow and strengthen those, those partnerships together.

Bill Neumann: And you’ll see Katie, I mean, even though she’s only been in the dental world a year, she’s just about every group practice and DSO meeting. So she might look like a familiar face. So even if she hasn’t been in the industry long, she’s been at most of the shows. So yeah, it’s great to see Dental Lifeline Network really focusing in on group practices and DSOs.

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Bill Neumann: Carly’s been, you’ve been at Pacific Dental Services for quite a while, 2017. Can you talk, discuss some, maybe a little bit about your background before you joined Pacific Dental Services? And then I’d love to find out more about your role. You know, the audience might not necessarily be aware, you know, that, you know, PDS has somebody that’s really dedicated to this social responsibility, giving back and PDS does a lot. So maybe focus in on a couple of different things that the PDS is doing.

Carli Casey: Yeah, Bill. So I’ve been with Pacific Dental Services. I celebrate eight years and two months, which is crazy to think about. I grew up in the Midwest and always thought my career would be in aviation. So you can imagine my surprise when I found PDS and realized Dental is the industry I will be supporting. So I started with Pacific Dental Services and the Midwest. I supported the marketing efforts and quickly learned that I really was passionate about service and wanted to join that team that really focused on building a culture of service, creating healthier, happier patients and communities. As you know, PDS is one of the leading dental and medical support organizations. We currently support over 980 practices in 24 states. which is amazing to think about the incredible growth. And one of our main priorities, our actual mission, is really to help create healthier, happier patients. And specific to my role and what I think is so unique about PDS is that we take it a step further and really focus in on creating healthier, happier communities and team members through engaging in acts of service. So So when we think about that unique angle of what PDX has with my team and corporate social responsibility, that’s really always our true north, is how do we create healthier, happier communities by providing donated dentistry efforts and so many other ways of service. But also, how does that impact our team members? And what do they change in their hearts and minds when they engage in those acts of service? I think that’s often overlooked when we think about serving others.

Bill Neumann: It is amazing what PDS is doing, and I kind of look back at some of the things that we’ve discussed on the podcast, and we’ve done quite a few articles about PDS, but you have these trips to Guatemala and Fiji, you have Kaboom, which is the playgrounds. So you do this in the communities that you serve, right? But then you’re also doing it outside the country as well.

Carli Casey: Yeah, yeah, I love that you mentioned some of my favorite events. So I actually just returned back from a Guatemala trip on Sunday. So we partner with the PDS Foundation, who has a clinic in Guatemala. So we’re able to really engage not only our clinical team members, but our non-clinical team members too, to go and give a week of their time, a week of their hearts and their talents, to serve donated dentistry. And when we’re on those trips, we’re going and buying food and other essential items to go give some of the community members and those families in Guatemala. But outside of that, earlier in March, we celebrated a Kaboom playground build. It was actually our 19th Kaboom! Playground Build, where we bring our teams together and we celebrate performance and we celebrate and recognize teams by engaging in those acts of service and, and leaving a lasting legacy in the communities that we’re currently working in. I think it’s really important to focus not only on what we can do to our current patient base and how we can support them and their journey to becoming healthier and happier, but what happens outside of the practice, right? So you’ll see so many times throughout the year, teams are engaging in whether maybe it’s food drives, toy drives, coat drives, just collecting items to give to nonprofits in their communities. Or we partner with the nonprofit Charity Water. We are actually in a campaign right now where patients can donate to this nonprofit that provides access to clean drinking water in Ethiopia. So with that donation, a patient can receive a couple dollars off their dentistry treatment that day. And today I think we looked this morning and we were over $200,000 raised in nine short days. So really just always amazed by how generous our team members are and how willing they are to give to others and to give their time and efforts. And again, I think that speaks back to the culture of service at PDS. And as you know, DLN, Dental Lifeline Network, they’re one way that we really engage and find success and bringing service to life for our clinical team members in the office. I can’t wait to dive into that.

Bill Neumann: Yeah, so let’s find out about Dental Lifeline Network. So you do have this long partnership, you’ve had it for a while with PDS, but what does Dental Lifeline Network do? So the audience probably knows a lot about PDS, but I’m going to guess that a lot of our audience may not be aware of Dental Lifeline Network, even though Dental Lifeline Network has been around for quite a while. So, Katie, can you talk a little bit about the history and really what the mission is of Dental Lifeline Network?

Katie Wienecke : Yeah, absolutely. So we are actually celebrating our 50th anniversary this year. So we’ve been a part of the dental world for a very long time, always growing, always evolving. Always excited to have partners like Carly and PDS. Our mission is to change the life of America’s most vulnerable adults through our coordinated system of care. We do this by providing life-changing dental care to the elderly or medically fragile or those living with disabilities that can’t otherwise afford this care. And we primarily do this through our donated dental service program or DDS. The program’s operated in all 50 states and we do prioritize the veterans So it’s a pretty big mission pretty big vision and we accomplish this through our network of volunteer dentists and lab all across the US I think one thing that makes us unique and special is that Patients are treated in the dentist’s office. So it’s an opportunity to serve the community you work with or work in, but also to have them come and be part of your office and your team. So, you know, aside from our mission to focus on vulnerable adults, our goal is really to make volunteering and giving back as easy as possible. And so we have coordinators that screen the applicants, that work with our patients and doctors from start to finish, ensuring that patients qualify, that they have transportation, that they’ll show up, that they’ll be compliant with the treatment plan, and that any lab work or specialists needed will be donated. And, you know, I think, Bill, you know, maybe remember, and I’m sure everybody’s heard us say, our ask is that our volunteers see one patient a year, which is, I think, pretty reasonable. But we currently have a waitlist of over 5,000 people in need of this care through our DDS program and that are waiting to see dentists. So we always feel lucky to have great partners like PDS who can help us sort of fill that waitlist. But I would say we are always in need of people who are looking to give back to their communities.

Bill Neumann: You mentioned something, Katie, that I think is really important. I mean, you really do make it easy for providers to volunteer. So there really isn’t an excuse that the group practice of the DSO doesn’t have somebody like a Carly to kind of help coordinate all this. DLN can really do that for the group practice. We talked a lot about the benefits to the clinicians, but really there’s an impact to the entire staff, so the benefits there. Can we talk a little bit about those and how really the office managers and some of the other staff really get the opportunity to give back as well?

Carli Casey: Yeah, I think we’re always focused on what happens for the clinicians and the dental assistants and the hygienists. And that’s very important. Don’t get me wrong. But there’s also something that happens with the front office team members, too, because they are just as involved with the patient interaction. Right. They’re oftentimes the one that the patient sees fir create the tone when that office of what that’s go that experience will be l it’s making the appointme network, scheduling the o the patient up front and engaging with them. Sometimes people are very anxious and it’s really important for the teams at the front office to engage in service. And so when we think of this idea of job purposing, it’s not just the donated dentistry, but it’s those interactions that the teams in the front office are having as well. One of my favorite letters I’ve received from a patient at Dental Lifeline Network was a patient who was seen on Smile Generation Serve Day and it was this woman who discusses how she was initially looking for care for her husband who has Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and she found Dental Lifeline Network in a simple Google search and applied to see if he was able to receive care and surprisingly she was eligible to receive care too. And so in this letter, she talks about how delighted she was, but not only that, but how delighted she was with the interactions in the office, how she wrote down every individual team member’s name because they made such an impression on her and her husband in their experience that she remembered them and they were so close to to her heart, you know, she titled it, I clicked a mouse and found a house. She found a home for dental care, and she couldn’t have done that without Dental Lifeline Network. So I think, again, it’s really important to think of all team members who are impacted by engaging in acts of service specifically with Dental Lifeline Network.

Katie Wienecke : And can I also share a quote that is from one of our dentists, volunteer dentists in Pennsylvania that speaks directly to that as well? What began as help out and give back turned into get back. The emotional gratitude these dentally disadvantaged, almost crippled patients express to us is an energy boost that stays in our office for the rest of the day. I certainly believe our DDS participation has made our office better at what we do. It reinforces why we’re here. Our entire staff truly looks forward to who is coming in next. Turns out, we’re the ones who are thankful. And we’re lucky we get to hear those kind of things all the time.

Carli Casey: Katie, how frequently do you hear people say they then want to go and pay it forward from the patient standpoint? Because I know I hear that all the time.

Katie Wienecke : We do. We hear that a lot from our patients. It’s an incredible place to work and be a part of this change. It’s really fun to meet other people in the dental world and get to talk about the work that we do because it is pretty unique. And it’s so satisfying. I mean, I know you both know you wish you could give that to everyone. I mean, we talk about how easy it is. We talk about how meaningful it is. But until you really experience that, it’s hard to grasp just how big that impact is. So it’s pretty cool.

Bill Neumann: So let’s talk about the partnership that PDS and it’s a longstanding partnership. So and again, it’s one of those things like you do a lot, Carly, as an organization already. And then you also partner with Dental Lifeline Network. So can you maybe talk about the relationship that you have and how that works?

Carli Casey: Yeah. So we started partnering with Dental Lifeline Network in 2016. And we have this event many of you may have heard about called Smile Generation Serve Day. And it’s our annual day of service at PDS. And it’s always the third Thursday in August. And it’s a day where team members across the country open their doors and they provide pro bono dentistry to the patients of their choice. And I think that’s what’s so unique about these efforts is that it’s truly up to the team and the clinician and to who they serve. And as you can imagine, Dental Lifeline Network was a great resource for us to provide a variety of patients who truly need care to these teams. So we started partnering with Dental Lifeline Network and clinicians now have the opportunity to choose from the different populations of individuals that Dental Lifeline Network serves, right? So, Katie and I were talking and we were thinking, we were laughing, saying, Dental Lifeline Network serves a very broad group of patients, yet it’s very specific. And I think that’s the beauty of who Dental Lifeline Network serves, because as we know, as Gen Z and millennial team members are coming into the practices, they’re really focused on purpose, yet what one individual may really feel strongly about serving a different population than another clinician. And so when we partner with Dental Lifeline Network, we’re giving them the option to choose who are they really connected with, because I think that’s when we see that transformational experience. happen in an individual. So again, we’ve been partnering with them on Serve Day since 2016, but it’s evolved since then, right? And as Katie said, there are so many individuals who still need care. Access to care is a huge hurdle right now. And so what we’ve done with Dental Lifeline Network, which is so unique, is that they’ve actually been able to provide us maps of different cities or states and really show us where are those key areas where patients are desperately in need of care. And what then we can do is we can take it back and we can really focus in on different communities across PDS to see who is wanting to serve, who has a meeting coming up, where can we help recruit some volunteer dentists, because As Katie mentioned, DLN makes it so easy to serve. All you have to do is sign up as a volunteer dentist, and then DLN takes care of the rest, which makes my job a lot easier. It makes the team’s job a lot easier. And it really makes serving one patient a year totally doable, which I love being able to provide that opportunity to our supported clinicians.

Bill Neumann: Go ahead, Katie. You’re going to say something, but I think before I just want to interrupt you because I think it’s a great time now. We’ll do this at the end as well. You talked about making it easy for a dentist to sign up. So Katie, maybe you can, like right now, if somebody wanted to sign up, how do they do so? We’ll do this at the end as well, but I think this is a great point. Like how easy is it and where do they go to sign up?

Katie Wienecke : It’s so easy. They can either email me directly or they can go to our website. and there’s just volunteer tab, sign up, we will get to you pretty quickly to get you through our process, get you a welcome packet and then get you a patient as soon as possible. So one of the things that Carly mentioned that I do also want to say about our program is that we give dentists the option to say no. So it’s not like you sign up and you say, okay, I want to volunteer, and we just send somebody to your office. Once we get through screening our applicants, and we think it’s a good match for one of our dentists, we will call them, talk them through what the patient has told us. And then at that point, they can say yes, I want to see them for a treatment plan, or no. And then even after they get to the office, and create a treatment plan, the dentist can still tell us, look, I don’t have capacity right now, or this isn’t going to work, or whatever the reason is. They don’t actually have to give us a reason, but they can say no at that point, too. So we really want to make sure, as you both have said, it’s as easy as possible, and it also fits with your vision or our volunteers’ vision of how they’re giving back and who they’re giving back to.

Bill Neumann: Yeah, that’s a great point, Katie. So what you’re saying is that you’re just not, you have this list of this backlog of 5,000 patients that need to be served, but the provider has the opportunity to understand who they’re going to be serving, whether they have the capacity to do that. It may be outside their skill set for whatever reason. So there is really kind of this, it’s not just, hey, here’s a patient. And that’s as far as it goes. It’s a lot deeper than that.

Katie Wienecke : Yeah. We want to stay with you from start to finish. And if this patient doesn’t work, we are confident we will find one that does work for your office. And we’re also grateful just to have you see them in their office, in your office, create a treatment plan. We can then take that treatment plan to other dentists too when it doesn’t work out. So we want this to be an amazing experience for everyone involved.

Bill Neumann: Let’s talk about the relationship, Carly. Maybe you could kind of jump in. And this is a long term relationship. And I think a lot of the people that are listening to this that might be interested in having some of their providers become part of Dental Lifeline Network and seeing some of these patients, there’s 5,000 out there that are in need. What are some of the keys to this long term relationship that you have? Again, you’re doing a lot of things, but you continue to work with Dental Lifeline Network. So maybe discuss some of the keys to that great relationship.

Carli Casey: Yeah, some of the keys to our success with the relationship with Dental Lifeline Network, as Katie said earlier, it’s really the ease of volunteering for the actual volunteer. And I think That’s one of my favorite things about DLN and working alongside them. We’ve been able to serve, since 2016, over $1.5 million in pro bono dentistry to over 400 patients. And it’s really because they are with you every step of the way. When I’m able to tell a clinician that it’s so easy to sign up, all I need is a QR code, right? And then I tell them, OK, DLN will call you when they have a patient. And maybe your schedule’s full for the next two weeks, or maybe you’re going on a trip, or you’re onboarding a new team member, and you need to wait maybe three weeks. That’s OK. You have that flexibility. to tell them and to be able to serve when it’s okay for you, right? Which I think, again, is low pressure for the clinician, which ultimately provides more access to care for these patients. And I think that the transparency in that, DLN’s willingness to work with the clinician and the teams, but not only that, as Katie mentioned earlier, they’re really making sure that the patient has transportation and they arrive to the appointment which is a really big deal for teams when their schedules are really busy, they want to make sure that people are going to show up. And that’s what DLN does, which is just amazing. And again, it’s really that beauty and being able to serve veterans, as Katie mentioned, so many people are passionate about veterans because it directly impacts them, or they’re passionate about the elderly or the medically fragile patients or those with special needs. And so really giving team members the flexibility to choose who they serve, how they serve, when they serve, that’s what makes it so successful.

Bill Neumann: Thanks, Carly. Katie?

Katie Wienecke : All right, Bill, I have a number for you. We’re almost at 200,000 patients seen and treated. 200,000. And as you said, we’ve, we’ve passed the $500 million marker and donated dental services, um, about two years ago, I think. So we are, we are surpassing that. I think we’re right at about 750 million now.

Bill Neumann: Wow. Yeah, that’s incredible. And you still have right now 5,000 patients that are waiting for care.

Katie Wienecke : Yeah. And you know, that list could actually be a lot longer. We work really hard on setting expectations and making sure that when people do come in on our list, that we at least talk to them. And if they do qualify, we work our hardest to ensure that they see a dentist. And so, you know, one of my favorite stories with PDS was a hard case, because we do, if you qualify, we take you on and we will keep working with you. Sometimes it takes months. Sometimes it takes a week. Sometimes it takes years. But we had a case recently where our coordinator had been working with a 75-year-old veteran in Texas, a cancer survivor. He only had six teeth left. Some of them were chipped. Some of them were broken. And we hadn’t been able to find him a dentist for months. And so the coordinator came to me, and I was like, I’ll call Carly. I know they’re in Dallas. Let’s see what we can do. And I think within a week, Carly had a team for us. and are seeing that patient and treating him now. So, I mean, just really amazing.

Carli Casey: And if I can jump in, sorry, a cool part of this story is that I was able to connect it so quickly because when that email came in asking and searching for a dentist, I was in Guatemala with a group of clinicians and it just so happened that one of those clinicians was in the DFW area and we had had many conversations about his, desire to serve and his desire to provide access to care to those who don’t have access or are struggling to find access, and specifically veterans. So it was almost like all the pieces fell into place exactly when they were supposed to. And so when we returned from Guatemala, we were able to immediately connect that patient to that clinician’s team and get him scheduled, which just really shows how passionate people are to serve others and so many people just are looking for a way to get involved and DLN makes it so easy.

Katie Wienecke : I think it also speaks to the power of building strong partnerships and that is something that DLN is really invested in. That’s a big part of my role is ensuring that that line of communication is open and that comfort and that you know, being able to just know, because I’ve, I’ve had the joy of working with Carly and PDS so closely over the last year, that when something like that does come to me, I, I know who to call. And so, you know, we really appreciate building strong partnerships like that.

Carli Casey: One thing Katie does when we are looking for patients or certain areas that maybe have a longer wait list is DLN will actually break it down into the level of care that the patient needs. So they have a ranking system of maybe they just need a cleaning, maybe they need dentures, maybe it’s more treatment that’s required. And so when she sends me over, you know, patient A needs this, I’m able to really have a great conversation to make it easier for the clinician to accept the case because we know what’s needed, right? And I think so often, It seems so overwhelming when you want to get involved with service. Where do I go? Who do I call? How do I know it’s provided? How do I build this into my schedule? And because Dental Lifeline Network provides us with that information in advance, it’s more turnkey for the teams.

Bill Neumann: And I think that that’s really important for the audience to understand that it is. It’s like that coordination aspect. I mean, there’s a lot that’s involved there from really, you know, helping figure out the area that somebody needs to serve, to the level of care, to the patient, right? Can, you know, is the patient and the provider a match, right? Because there’s that aspect as well. So there’s a lot that’s involved. Carly, you mentioned earlier, there are the, there are clinicians out there that want to give back. And I would say the majority of them do. Hopefully they all do, but the majority for sure want to. But there’s also the company aspect, right? It’s not just the satisfaction that the clinician has from giving back, but there’s a huge benefit to the organization as well. Can you discuss that a little bit?

Carli Casey: Yeah, you’re you’re right on there. Right. So at PDS, we are a we’re an organization that gives back, right? We give to others. We have a strong culture of service. It’s who we are. It’s a part of our DNA. It’s who we’ve always been and it’s who we will always be. And so there are so many reasons why I could rattle those off. But really, what I love that Steve Thorne always talks about is that transformational experience that happens when we give a little bit of ourselves to others, right? So often we think about the impact to others, which we shouldn’t not talk about. I think that’s a huge reason why we serve. But there’s also this change that happens inside each individual when we engage in acts of service. And it changes, you know, who we are and how we see the world and how we interact with others, right? I mean, I was just in Guatemala on Saturday, we had a group discussion about what what changed in us during that trip. And everyone talked about how they just felt lifted and lighter, and they had a full heart and how they were going to use that in the future. And I think that that not only benefits individuals on a personal level, but it also benefits the organization, right? Because when we are all aligned in our shared values, and we’re all invested in a culture of service, it changes how we show up, and how we engage with our team members, and how we engage with individuals and different practices, and how we engage with our patients. And it creates something really special. You know, I love when we are having our annual fundraising campaigns with like charity water, because we’re able to engage our patients and becoming a force for good with us. Right. It’s not just us saying, hey, we did this. It’s hey, patient bill. Thank you so much for joining us and creating change and being a positive force for good in the world. And so how that benefits individuals, patients, communities, and the organization is just amazing. And I’d love to see everyone do this, right? There’s so much need out there. There’s room for all of us to give to others in whatever capacity it may be. But it’s really all of our responsibility to get together and and to serve in one way or another.

Bill Neumann: And Katie, you’ve seen this not just with PDS and the benefits that working within a Lifeline network has had for PDS, but you’ve seen this with other group practices and DSOs. Are there any examples out there? Either one of you can answer this. You’ve seen like a specific example where volunteering has actually been better for business.

Katie Wienecke : So Carly and I were talking about this. There’s actually a lot of research out there, aside from just what we see firsthand. I can tell you across sectors, so not just the DSOs and group practices and DPOs that I have the good fortune to work with. But in my previous life, working with other big companies, helping them engage in these kind of volunteer and give back practices really lowers turnover in organizations. It helps attract and recruit new talent, there’s really a strong, I don’t know, Carly, maybe we’ll have a better word, but like energy right now of people want to know what they’re consuming. And they want to make sure that they are consuming good things. And that includes who they are going to get their teeth treated from and knowing that this person isn’t in it just for the bottom line, they actually care. And people want to work for organizations that are that way too. And so Forbes released a study last year, I think it was, where they said companies see a 52% lower turnover among newer employees when they participate in Purpose Programs. And a quick, honestly, a quick Google search will show you ample business research that just says over and over and over again, how important having a good purpose program, serve program, mission program is to attracting and keeping talent.

Bill Neumann: I think that’s a great point. And we can just really look again to PDS and the investment that you’ve made as an organization to giving back in multiple ways. Certainly, it’s something that has benefited your organization. And I do look at it as a culture builder. It’s a piece of the culture of the organization, however you give back. And I know a lot of group practices are challenged right now with their cultures. And you see some that have a lot of turnover, and that could be one of the reasons.

Katie Wienecke : And so again, I would go back to when we do meet some of these leaders, and they just say, we don’t know if we have that capacity. You know, we kind of feel like, how could you not? We will make this so easy for you. And just like PDS, We will work to make sure that this partnership is meaningful and meets your wants and needs as well.

Carli Casey: Yeah, and I think that is a really important thing to talk about, right? Because, again, back to PDS, we have a strong culture of service, and that’s just who we’ve always been. But as we look at who’s entering the workplace right now, right, we are strong in millennials, and Gen Z is coming in strong. And they really are passionate about purpose and finding purpose in the workplace. That is a non-negotiable for them. And one of my favorite books that I encourage anyone interested in social impact or building a culture of service to read is Do Good at Work. And it really coins this phrase called job purposing. And when I think about our work with Dental Lifeline Network, it’s one of the best examples of job purposing, which is where we’re able to build purpose into our day-to-day interactions and activities and job responsibilities. And so when we think about the opportunity that clinicians have to provide pro bono dentistry to patients of their choice, That’s their core competency, right? There’s no easier way to practice job purposing than there is to partner with organizations like Dental Lifeline Network. And as they frequently say, just see one patient a year. There are so many benefits to serving others. And again, I think when we talk about the change that happens within ourselves, we’d be remiss not to think about what, what happens in our brain and, and our mood and how that’s lifted and boosted when we do engage in acts of service. And that impacts team members and their mental health and how they show up. And again, in the world we’re living in, that’s a really important piece of the equation to focus on when we look at how and why we’re engaging in acts of service and building a culture of service.

Bill Neumann: Yeah, again, I think I’ve stressed this a couple of times, but just just the ease that Dental Lifeline, it’s the easy button. I always go back to, that’s probably dating me. I think that was Circuit City and they don’t even exist now. But Dental Lifeline Network makes it easy for your group and your providers to give back in your local communities. And there are 5,000 out there, like you said, Katie, there might be more. There are more, I’m sure. But you have 5,000 right now, really across the country. I mean, so if you think you’re listening to this, you’re watching this podcast, and you think you’re too small, you have a lot of solo practitioners that are volunteering. You may be a group out there that has three or four locations, but I would say reach out to Dental Lifeline Network, reach out to Katie. and find out, and you’re going to find out that there’s probably a need in your area, probably in your backyard. Again, so I just want to make sure that the audience understands that you’re not too small. You don’t have to be a PDS to participate. You can have one location. You can have 500 locations and participate. but there are needs across the country. So maybe to wrap this up, Carly, it looks like you have something to say. I’d love for you to kind of finish some thoughts here and, you know, just maybe kind of put an exclamation point on some of the things that we’ve discussed.

Carli Casey: Yeah, Bill, you were just talking about how easy it is. And it doesn’t matter the size of your DSO, there is an opportunity to get involved. So I wanted to share just a few of the ways that DLN has supported us to be able to recruit new volunteer dentists for them and show, you know, Gen Z and millennial clinicians that there’s an easy way to build purpose into their career. So Dental Lifeline Network has great flyers and pamphlets and They give us those resources so then we can provide those maybe at different meetings or onboarding or emails. We have a program called the We Serve Center where we can promote different opportunities to get involved. So they make it easy there. But they also, again, I can’t dismiss the fact that they have a QR code. It’s a very easy form that you can slide into PowerPoints. You can send it in emails. that really makes that volunteering process and signing up very easy. As I mentioned at the beginning of the podcast, Pacific Dental Services is in 24 states, but that means there’s many states that we can’t support right now. And so if there’s practices or DSOs in those other states, it’d be great to see them get involved and support DLN because, again, 5,000 patients need access to care. That should be pretty simple for us to all come together and support.

Bill Neumann: Great point. Yeah, 5,000, when you think of all the DSOs out there and all the providers, that’s really a small number. So as we wrap things up, Katie, if people want to find out more about DLN or they want to get in touch with you, how do they do so?

Katie Wienecke : The easiest way is to either visit our website or just email me. Do you want me to spell it out?

Bill Neumann: Sure, go for it for the people that are listening. And then we’ll drop your email in the show notes for sure.

Katie Wienecke : Okay, great. So it’s KWIE and ECKE at dental And I will be happy to talk through any of our staff here is always happy to talk through our program, how we can work with you. Something we didn’t really touch on or have time for is partner recognition is also really important to us. We wanna make sure that we are helping tell your story and helping people know who are these dentists with heart, who are these organizations like PDS with that drive and mission to serve. So that’s also really important and we can talk through with our groups what that looks like. And then just one more thing, I really wanna emphasize, there are a lot of great ways to give back. when you give back through DLN, you are changing a life. You’re changing so many lives. You’re not, you know, it’s so much more because you are giving people back their health. You are giving people back their smiles. And we get to hear in our office stories all the time. I think Carly gets them too. Letters from people who have participated in our program that’s lives were completely changed and whether that means they were able to get the treatment that they needed. Or, you know, one of my favorite stories when I first started, there was a grandmother, I got to see the whole case report, and she had, you know, talked about being a grandmother on her intake form. But because her teeth were so poor, she was embarrassed to smile. And so she hadn’t smiled in years. And I can always remember this one, because I just thought, could you imagine not seeing your mom smile for years, and not being able to fix that for her because you don’t have the means. Like you can’t solve this problem for your grandmother or your mother. And so we got her patient, she got taken care of, and then she sent this picture with her and the dentist with these huge smiles. And I don’t know, you know, it’s just that reminder that you can do something so amazing just using the skills you already have.

Bill Neumann: I think that is a great point. And we will make sure that people know how to get in touch with you, Katie. And Carly, there may be some people that want to find out a little bit more about the PDS’s relationship within a Lifeline network and what that’s like, and maybe just find out more about a partnership with PDS. I mean, if some clinicians are looking to join join a group practice like PDS or maybe own a practice. There’s that opportunity to own a practice as well at PDS. How can they get in touch with you or find out more about PDS?

Carli Casey: Yeah, if you’re looking to learn more about building a culture of service, being a part of a culture of service, you can find me on LinkedIn at Carly Casey, not Casey Carly. I’m now in the world of two first names. So Carly Casey. Or you can email me at I’m sure Bill will throw that down in some kind of notes or comment section. But I love, Katie, what you said, the power of a smile. Mother Teresa has this beautiful quote. I’m not going to attempt it, but essentially it talks about how smiling is really that entry point to leading with love. And I think so frequently, this world needs so much more love in it. And there’s so much power in a smile and what that end result can be, not only to a clinician, but to the world. And I just love that you shared that story.

Bill Neumann: Yeah, that’s some great, great points. And I mean, if you can’t tell by watching this or listening to this, you’ve got passionate people here that really are making some changes in the dental industry, but need your help. So as providers, as executives at DSOs, looking for a way to give back or give more back, There’s such an opportunity here where, and it’s not going to take away from really the things that you’re doing day to day, because Dental Lifeline Network will handle just about everything except providing the dental care. That’s where you come in. So with that, great conversation. We’ll drop all the contact information in the show notes. Thank you, Katie. Thank you, Casey, for joining us. It’s been great. Carly, oh my gosh, I just, you just, the two first names. Great, up until the end. Carly, Casey. So with that, we appreciate you both joining today. All the contact information in the show notes, and thanks everybody for listening or watching us. Until next time, I’m Bill Newman, and this is the Group Dentistry Now Show.