Meet Our Team - SHAWNEE, OK​​

Meet Our Team

The Hopkins Dental Clinic Staff

 

Terry - Hopkins Dental

We have been so very fortunate to have had Terry as our hygienist and intergral part of our team since 1997. She graduated with her hygiene degree from Rose State College back when it was still called Oscar Rose.  She thanks her dad for pushing her to go to college and her childhood dentist for telling her she had nice teeth.  Her dentist had shown her a picture of a young man with severe dental problems and it left a profound impression.  She thought maybe she could help others take care of their teeth.  She has since been starting our youngest of patients on the path of good hygiene habits, transforming diseased mouths to a better quality of dental health, and maintining the smiles of everything in between.  What began as a mission in a young girl’s heart by merely seeing a picture of dental need has evolved into a hygiene approach that has changed the dental health of thousands.

She has a dedicated following of patients earned through her friendly personality, vast dental hygiene knowledge, gentle hands, and thorough techniques.  So many have learned through her that getting your teeth cleaned doesn’t have to be uncomfortable or scary.  Just the opposite tends to happen in her dental chair.  There has been lots of laughter, hugs, and a few compassionate tears shared amongst the advice on toothbrushing techniques, flossing instruction, and conversations on sugar consumption.  It is her goal to make a real connection.  She has enjoyed watching many of her patients who started as children grow up and is now seeing their children.  She tends to unconsciously provide several reassuring pats on the arm of her patients during the course of treatment. She truly strives to make her patients comfortable both mentally and physically.  She puts those nice clean teeth to work smiling!

She was the third child born into a military family that moved often.  They lived in a lot of states from Alaska to New Mexico.  She enjoyed the cold climate states learning to snow ski and ice skate  and the warm ones learning to water ski and spend time at the lake.  Her dad retired in Oklahoma and this has been home since.  She still loves to travel, but her roots are firm.  She is a wife, mother of two and grandmother of three.  It will come as no surprise to those who know her that most of her extracurricular activities are faith led.  She is very active in her church and has reached out internationally through mission trips to Guatemala and Mexico.  She supports the Alzheimer Association having been affected by this tragic illness through a family member.  She also supports the International Outreach Ministries, which rescues young girls in Cambodia from sex trafficing.  She not only builds friendships, she also values and maintains them.  She still attends monthly dinners with a group of her highschool girlfriends.  She is definately one of the good ones!

Whitney joined our dental team in 2015 and is an impressive addition.  She came to us not only as a licensed hygienist, but also a veteran of chairside procedures and patient interaction.  She had worked as an assistant after completing Rose State College’s dental assisting focused Associates degree in Applied Sciences in 2011.  While working as a dental assistant at a pediatric and an orthodontic office, she continued her college education receiving her hygiene degree from Rose State in 2015.  She is a member of the American Dental Hygiene Association as well as the Oklahoma Dental Hygiene Association.  She is knowledgeable, thorough and combines a fun personality with a heartfelt duty to improve her patient’s dental health. 

She enjoys one-on-one interaction with patients asking not only intuitive dental questions, but also friendly inquiries to get to know you as an individual.  You will find her helpful and informative in the evaluation process.  She translates what seem like a casual conversation on toothpaste, floss options, and brushing techniques into a personalized maintenance routine to ensure homecare is successful.  Or, she may simply ask about your family because she herself comes from a large family and completely identifies with sibling rivalry and close-knit bonds.

She never approaches her profession in the light as some patients as “just a cleaning”.  It could be she is providing the first opportunity to break the cycle of generations that had never been taught the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene and the skills that allow the ability to enjoy a lifetime with natural teeth.  Also, people tend to forget that the mouth is not isolated from the rest of the body.  Health studies link many of society’s major systemic health concerns, such as hypertension (a blood pressure above 130/80), cardiovascular disease and strokes to periodontal disease and oral calculus build up.  It is extremely rewarding as a clinician when a patient is able to recognize the improvement of gum tissue health and tooth restabilization through successful periodontal care.  If it helps avoid a possible stroke or heart attack, she will never know, but she is confident it is statistically probable.

She is a typical Okie gal enjoying time at the lake in the summer, a proud OSU (Hopkins Dental Clinic is quite the house divided) and Thunder sports fan, as well as participates in various sports herself.  She grew up on the family farm near Davenport and can hold her own in a conversation on pig raising and showing.  Most people say TGIF, but her favorite day of the week is Thursday.  On Thursday you can reliably find her celebrating TGIT from her sofa watching Grey’s Anatomy and she has done so since it first aired in 2005.  She is a member of Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic church.  She enjoys volunteering with various organizations such as the annual OKC Mission of Mercy.  A close relationship has led her to the website LifeShareOk.org and she encourages families facing heart/organ transplant challenges to also seek information and solice.

 

Hopkins staff member photo, Shawnee, OK

Nichelle is proud of her born and raised country roots.  She is continuing that tradition with raising three children, two dogs, one cat and, from time to time, a variety of livestock on a small family farm.  Three generations live just across a pasture in a couple different directions of one another.  She says she “fell into” dentistry just out of high school and has loved it since.  She has been Dr. Hopkins primary dental assistant since1994 and they have developed into an incredibly well synchronized team that can confidently achieve the simplest to the most complicated of dental procedures.  Between her years of experience, holding all the State of Oklahoma general dentistry assistant specialty certifications, and having completed hundreds of hours of elective continuing education, we consider her one of the very best in her field and wouldn’t trade her for anything.

Having a child with autism, Nichelle has had many years of personal experience and training in the autism field from therapies to legal rights and everything in between.  In our practice we encounter a good number of patients with some form of diagnosed autism, but our team is also more intuitive to undiagnosed behaviors that parents have chalked up to difficult, exasperating, and bewildering.  Our doctors encourage parents to talk with their pediatricians to seek early diagnosis, treatment, therapy, and/or support for the vast range of symptoms and degrees of severity that make up the autism spectrum.  The earlier the diagnosis, the more productive the expectations over a lifetime.  Her experience also give her a tender heart and additional consideration for our patients with any form of special needs.

The enhanced autism awareness Nichelle has shared serves our office very well in care for patients with or without spectrum challenges. Many of the behaviors associated with autism are triggered by fear, anxiety, and/or misperceptions.  These are the same basic human emotions that plague the dental field in general.  Calming interactions, reassuring communication, breathing techniques etc. are beneficial regardless of the source of the dental anxiety to help a dental fearful patient transition into a dental confident patient.

Her kindness and helpful hands extend well beyond the dental office.  She and her husband have accompanied Dr. Hopkins into the mission field of Guatemala to perform dentistry in areas that don’t even have electricity or running water.  She is continually involved in various comminity service projects.  She teaches Sunday School and is an annual sponsor to Falls Creek.  Nichelle enjoys being involved with her youngest daughter who is active in dance and softball, being involved in the Special Olympics with her oldest daughter, and family activities with her son has served our country and is now a firefighter.  Be it the missions field, the playing field, or the dental field, all are an opportunity to improve the lives of those around her.  They are a remarkable family.  We are truly fortunate to have her as a member of our staff.

Kristin is our Texas transplant.  If you are from anywhere in Texas, she considers you a close neighbor of her hometown of Pearland and can usually find some connection after a brief conversation.  Regardless of where you may call home, she makes a concerted effort to have a personal conversation with every patient and takes it to heart.  She considers being able to talk all day long one of the best things about her job.  As our Receptionist since 2014, her taking the time to get to know our patients allows her to customize our patient’s appointment needs.  She strives to streamline treatment times and reduce trips for families, attempts to find the best times for our business or student patients to minimize absenteeism, she usually remembers if you prefer mornings or afternoons, and will do so while probably remembering to ask you about your recent travels, status of the kiddos, and possibly share a recipe she found because you mentioned you like a specific style of food.  The bottom line is that she cares. 

She constantly reviews hundreds of insurance coverages to try to prepare you in advance of the anticipated out-of-pocket expense, offer suggestions to maximize your benefits, and attempt to provide budget friendly solutions.  She can put an octopus to shame in her ability to multitask.  She can answer the phone, check a patient in, update staff on a chart, and share her confidence in our dental staff to alleviate a patient’s dental phobias, all while possibly bouncing a baby on her knee so it’s parent can still receive dental treatment even though the sitter fell through.  Always with a smile and a positive attitude.  She is much more than her modest declaration that she is “just a receptionist”.  Her official title is Administrative Assistant, but she is the second brain for each staff member.  She has a vast knowledge of almost anything that affects the front desk, but will promptly find the answer on the rare occasion you stump her.  If it runs smoothly and seems effortless, it usually means Kristin has been busy behind the scenes.

Her dedication to service doesn’t end at the close of the workday.  She has volunteered her time to several organizations such as Special Olympics, Relay for Life, and Mission Shawnee.  You might know her from her having served as an officer for CTSA Headstart Parent Committee.  She loves Mexican food, Braums ice cream, and Sonic’s happy hour.  She is a great baker and our dental team benefits from her regularly trying new recipies and sharing samples.  She is constantly throwing out random movie trivia and you might choose to challenge her at your next appointment.  She and her sweet little family are active in their church and enjoy multiple outdoor activities.  If you don’t already, you will enjoy getting to know this gal with a heart as big as Texas.

 

Loree - Office Manager

Loree Hopkins has been Dr. Hopkins’ sweetheart since high school, his wife since 1982, the Office Manager since the beginning of his private practice in 1993, and a Certified Dental Assistant since 2011. Just like Dr. Hopkins is a second-generation dentist; she is a second-generation office manager following in both her mother and mother-in-law’s footsteps. 

Loree is familiar with all aspects of the dental practice. She either knows the answer or knows who to ask be it someone within our practice, national dental affiliation offices or government agencies. While her primary responsibilities are addressed in the front office, she can also be found at chairside from time to time. She diligently reviews the latest office management practices, dental materials, technology, safety protocols and studies to enhance keeping the practice current & our staff informed of the latest advances. While she would never profess to be an insurance expert, she will do everything possible to serve as an advocate for pursuing the full benefits of your insurance coverage and helping maximize your benefits for your dental treatment. Any of the front office staff can address your billing, scheduling, and even most dental procedure questions; but our Office Manager oversees your satisfaction of all aspects of your dental care. Please do not hesitate to ask to speak directly with Loree if you have concerns.

Loree was born in Shawnee and her family returned to her roots during her high school years where she met Dr. Hopkins. She is the proud parent of three and grandparent to an ever-expanding group of beautiful grandchildren. Her faith is her every guiding force. Her weaknesses are ice cream and almost anything chocolate. Her hobbies include being a silly grandparent, travel, painting, creating stain glass windows, craft projects, scuba diving, reading, photography and outdoor activities. You might know her as a Junior Service League Sustaining member, Zumba, cheerleader when Dr. Hopkins’ is teaching scuba, or occasional Shawnee Little Theatre involvement.  

Brook Gates - Dental Assistant

Brook Gates has been with our office since 2017, fresh after graduating from Wewoka high school. But don’t let her youthfulness or lack of previous experience fool you. She has tenacity and a commitment to excellence well beyond her years. She applied for a front office position opening, but she made it very clear her life goal was dental assisting as a position became available. She provided a heartfelt and intelligent interview that convinced us she would prove worthy if we would just allow her to get her foot in the door of the dental field. She has proven determined to learn everything she could and quickly became an asset.  

Fate has rewarded her diligence and she has transferred from front office to chairside assistant. There are dozens of skillsets that the average dental assistant must master to be adequate. There are at least that many more over required to excel. But there is also a rare undefinable something that a handful of those in the health care field possess that makes them something truly exceptional. Brook is one of those who have that “something”. She has found the field that fuels her heart.

Maybe her dedication and drive come from her having started dance at age two, competitive dance at the age of 10 and sticking with it until graduating. Maybe patience comes from her enjoying hunting and fishing. Maybe her team commitment initiates in her strong family values. Her strong faith, especially when times have been challenging, has impacted her positive outlook. And in addition, she is fun, spunky and pleasant.     

Clint Hopkins - File Clerk

Clint Hopkins’ last name is no coincidence; he is Dr. Hopkins and Loree’s oldest son. How he came to be a member of our staff is a bit of a coincidence. He came into the practice to help out for only a few days with a recently vacated front desk position during a time we were temporarily short staffed. He quickly proved himself to be exactly what we had been seeking in interviews and hopeful to hire. He applies himself with the combination of friendly professionalism, a compassionate heart, and keen attention to the often-overlooked details we seek that set our employees apart for the benefit of our patients. We knew he had these skills, but neither he nor we had previously considered him for the family business until this fortuitous juncture. Sometimes the obvious is right under your nose.     

Clint juggles a full-time position at Hopkins Dental Clinic, attends Rose State College with an interest in business and science, and has four beautiful children. He is very active in LifeChurch and their LifeGroups. He enjoys pretty much all forms of sports and athletic opportunities he can squeeze in, be it for himself or with his kiddos. He challenges himself in expanding his culinary skills with varying degrees of success, just like competitors in cooking show competitions. With a house full of kids, he knows the words to almost every Disney song and movie. And, while he drives a practical family vehicle, he has an appreciation for classic cars.  

We believe a soothing baritone voice occasionally answering the phone, a firm handshake greeting and a charismatic masculine personality contributing to our office’s patient care has proven to add a diverse dimension to our dental team.

 Accounts Receivable & Reception - Karen Johnson

Karen Johnson has been a friend of Dr. Hopkins since they were in the second grade and lived a block apart in the same Shawnee neighborhood, friends with Loree since their junior year at Shawnee High School, and a valued member of our staff since 2018. We are fortunate to have attained her vast business experience to complement our front office team with her primary responsibility being our account receivables. 

She also brings her bubbly personality, spirit for celebrating life and generous heart to our team. She enjoys people – the people who make up our staff, the people who are our patients, and the people who simply cross her path. She loves when someone comes in anxious about dental treatment but leave with a smile after having had a great dental experience. You can pretty much count on her to say something friendly when you arrive, possibly something goofy sometime during the visit and an occasional a heartfelt conversation or a hug by the time you leave. She personifies small-town friendliness of always trying to make you feel comfortable from the start and end on a positive.

She was raised an air force brat therefore has the utmost respect for our men and women in uniform. She is a graduate of Shawnee High School. Married to her high school sweetheart since 1984, they have two daughters and a son, two sons-in-laws, two grandsons, two dogs, two cats, and one part time dog that roams their area. You may know her from her years at Prague Schools or seasonally managing Eskimo Joe’s holiday store at the Mall, her years coaching little league softball & basketball teams, or her years cheering and supporting any of her three children’s extracurricular activities. She is an advocate of organ donation having personally experienced additional years with her mother due to someone’s generous gift of life extended beyond their death. She loves her time with those sweet grandbabies, enjoys reading, flower gardening, and craft projects. She enjoys camping and lake activities with family and friends. She is always the one up early to cook a big hearty breakfast to take on the great outdoors. While it may not be biscuits and gravy, we can pretty much assure you she will serve up a big helping of laughter if you are lucky enough to spend a little time in conversation.

Kayla Berryhill - Dental Assistant

Kayla added her chairside talent to our team as a dental assistant shortly after she graduated from Platt College’s dental assisting program in 2014. Unfortunately, her interest in the dental field began with a personal dental trauma when she was a teenager that required extensive dental treatment. The dental assistant throughout her personal restorative process explained what dental assistants do and inspired Kayla’s desire to do the same for others. She is proof that very good things can come from a difficult experience. Her ability to compassionately relate to a patient’s concerns and help them overcome their fears is one of her greatest strengths. She is both a reassuring voice and visual encouragement for any of our patients whose natural teeth have been lost that a beautifully restored smile is in their future every time she flashes her own.  

In addition to her compassionate heart and gentle chairside manner she really knows her stuff. Dental equipment has advanced rapidly from mostly mechanical to highly computerized and digital. Kayla manages many of the complicated systems that happen in the background that must occur with precision for the magic to happen with a patient’s dental care. Plus, she takes her show on the road with her annual volunteerism at Oklahoma Mission of Mercy.   

She is a small-town girl with a big personality who proudly hales from Hooker, America. She and her family are active with Life Church, enjoy camping and outdoor activities, taking road trips, and playing board or card games. Just like both our doctors, she enjoys singing and her lovely voice can often be overheard while performing her duties around the office. She is a proud Sooner fan and enjoys friendly competition among those of our staff that sport various shades of orange. She has an affinity for all things elephant from the earrings she often wears to visiting the real thing at the Zoo. We truly love the combination of fun and talent she brings to our team.  

Looking for a new dentist? We invite you to Hopkins Dental Clinic!