Apple Tree Dental was established in 1985 with big goals in mind. Dr. Michael Helgeson, Apple Tree’s CEO and one of its co-founders, has consistently supported initiatives with various dental educational partners to provide educational experiences for students at Apple Tree while expanding dental access. In 2016, Apple Tree began a collaboration with NYU Langone Health (NYU) to establish the only Advanced Education in General Dentistry program in Minnesota. Apple Tree subsequently welcomed its first two AEGD residents to its year-long program on July 3, 2017.
Drs. Teresa E. Johnson and Erin Guttormson guide the program as the AEGD Dental Director and Assistant Director, respectively. They are supported by exceptional and experienced faculty (Drs. Nathaniel Cook, Rebecca DeWolf-Felices, Christine Foulkes, and Ali Mohebbi) and by outstanding personnel who make up Apple Tree’s AEGD administrative team (Karen Engstrom, COO, Melissa Herbst, Center Director, and Chandra Stapher, AEGD Program Coordinator). The broad and ambitious didactic educational topics provided to residents by NYU coupled with the comprehensive clinical experiences afforded the residents at Apple Tree result in a very successful residency experience.
Dr. Oksana Somchenko, a dental graduate of Midwestern University at Downers Grove, IL, and Dr. Krishna Katira, a graduate of the University of MN School of Dentistry at Minneapolis were the 2017-2018 inaugural residents. The current 2018-2019 residents include Dr. Madalyn DuPlessis, a graduate of the University of Kentucky School of Dentistry at Lexington, and Dr. Xuan-Binh Nguyen, a graduate of the University of Nevada School of Dental Medicine at Las Vegas.
“There are many strengths here at Apple Tree,” Dr. Katira said in an interview before completing the program. “This residency has really helped me gain confidence and strengthened my resume.”
Dr. Somchenko noted that Apple Tree’s Mounds View Center for Dental Health is “very fresh, new, innovative…the people here are friendly. And you’d see that when you walk through. It’s very patient-friendly.”
“[The residency] fit my goals of all-encompassing patient care, learning every day, and working with people who may face barriers to care,” Dr. DuPlessis explained when asked why she decided to apply for the Apple Tree residency program.
“My favorite part of the residency is learning something new every day,” Dr. Nguyen said.
To find out more about Apple Tree Dental AEGD residency, view the video below.