Just a couple of blocks from where Dr. Jerry Hu now practices family dentistry in a beautiful new building on Binkley Street, is the Redoubt Elementary School playground where he played as a young boy, which is next door to Soldotna Middle school where Dr. Hu attended junior high school, and only a short walk away is SoHi, where Jerry graduated from high school in 1991. Jerry's parents own and operate the Golden International Chinese restaurant on the Sterling Highway in Soldotna. At a time when Alaska's leaders are being pressured to plug the "brain drain" and create opportunities for the next generation of Alaskans that want to come home to raise their own families, Dr. Hu's new clinic is an example of why: The dentists that took care of Jerry's teeth when he was growing up are getting ready to retire, local architects and contractors are eager for new work, and the future of Alaska depends on the new ideas and commitment of the next generation.
Talking with Dr. Hu is an encouragement for parents, teachers and local business people that have diligently participated in youth opportunity programs, "In high school they had a career exploration day and I went to visit a dentist. Ever since that day, I have wanted to be a dentist and it seems like everything through college and dental school reinforced that choice. The doctor that came down explained about doing volunteer work in rural Alaska and said that some of the most priceless rewards that you can have in life can come through practicing dentistry. Today I believe that is more so then ever. Everything you want, art, architecture, business, everything you can think of is involved with dentistry, and I feel very lucky to have that, and am really happy to be back where I want my home to be for the rest of my life, but I have to say, that I am who I am today because of my parents and this community," said Dr. Hu.
Left: Dr. Hu and his staff in the waiting room of the new dental office.
Dr. Hu's new Family Dentistry Clinic was designed by Bill Kluge and built by Blazy Construction. "They have been instrumental and very helpful during the whole process and sensitive to the special requests that we have had," added Dr. Hu. On staff at the new clinic is Carmen Stephl, an oral hygienist, dental assistants Kim Morgan and Devin Zyer, and receptionist/insurance specialist Michelle Morman. The Clinic offers dental services for all ages from children to geriatric, "We mainly see everyone from dentures to fillings on children, and if we see something more complicated we will always refer to a specialist," said Dr. Hu adding that he is very thankful that business has been very good since he opened earlier this month.
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