Tag Archives: Staff

Office Reopening April 27, 2020

Office to Reopen Monday, April 27, 2020

On March 18th we closed our office, except for emergency dental care, due to the COVID 19 coronavirus pandemic. On Monday, April 20, Governor Polis announced that Colorado’s stay-at-home order would not be extended past April 26. He further endorsed a gradual reopening of businesses, including dental offices. Our office will reopen on Monday, April 27, 2020.

What to Expect When We Reopen

We are utilizing information from state health resources and also the Colorado and American Dental Associations. Suffice it to say that things will look different when you return to the office. In the reception room, reading materials and our mission trip photo albums have been removed.  This will help prevent inadvertent transfer of the virus. Some patients may choose to remain in their cars in the parking lot until notified to come in. We will request that you observe social distance seating in the reception area.

We are also working to identify patients with potential risk factors and discuss whether treatment should be postponed until we understand the virus better. High risk patients include, for example, those 65 or older, those with chronic conditions such as obesity, lung disease, respiratory conditions, or who live in nursing homes. There are additional conditions that might push someone into a high-risk category and we will want to discuss this with you in more detail.

The biggest change you will notice is the coronavirus screening questionnaire all patients will be required to fill out and sign before being treated. The screening form will ask questions related to your exposure/possible exposure to COVID 19, as well as symptoms associated with the virus such as a fever over 100.5 degrees, dry cough, loss of smell or taste, etc. We will also be taking patient temperatures before we treat patients and will likely not treat you if your temperature is elevated.

We have always adhered to rigorous sterilization and disinfection protocols, but we will be even more vigilant in keeping our office safe for patients and staff. During the initial relaxation of the stay-at-home order, we will be wearing masks during the entirety of your appointment. Staff will be taking their own temperatures several times per day.

We will also minimize contact during appointment checkout.  For example, we may ask patients to insert their credit cards into our credit card machine. When the virus first appeared, we started disinfecting pens in between use, and will continue this practice.

Reduced Staff

We have several staff members in a higher risk category or who have family members  at high risk. For that reason, you will not be seeing some of those familiar friendly faces when we initially reopen. We hope that scientists will quickly identify the best ways to detect and treat the virus.  We look forward to the day when everyone is back at the office providing the wonderful care our patients have come to appreciate.

Wear Your Masks Into Our Office

While the stay-at-home order has been lifted, Colorado is moving to a “Safer at Home” phase per the governor’s office.  People are encourage to wear masks when away from home.  We would encourage our patients to wear their masks when they come into our office so as to help contain spread of the virus.

Going Forward

We are in new territory as we return to work with this virus still circulating. Patient and staff safety is very important to us.  Dr. Albers is closely monitoring all new developments and will modify office protocols as best practices evolve.
Our entire staff values the relationships and friendships we have developed with many of you over many years. We are excited to reopen and look forward to seeing you in the office in the very near future.

2020 Rocky Mountain Dental Convention

It’s January, which means it’s time for the 2020 Rocky Mountain Dental Convention (RMDC). This is an annual trip for the staff and me. Last year, I was a little jet-lagged as Carla and I had just returned from a dental mission trip in Fiji and Tarawa Atoll. This year, I was well rested until I caught that bad cold…. The good news is that everyone except Judy A (hygienist) was able to make the trip.

Why We Attend the RMDC

First and foremost, the conference allows us to attend lectures on issues relevant to how we practice dentistry. For example, I was able to attend a lecture on cracked teeth and another on composite fillings. The way we approach these classes is to know that while some information we already know, there’s almost always a nugget of information that makes it worth our time to attend. Staff members attended classes on dry mouth, nutrition, and other valuable topics. Michele spent time on classes that will help her more efficiently manage the front desk. All in all, another valuable conference.

The Dangers of Sugar

Several of us attended the class on nutrition. One key take-away is the growing body of evidence as to the negative health affects of sugar. As dental professionals, we have understood for a long time that sugar is not good for teeth. Our 2018 blog post Limit Sugar in your Diet highlights how sugar can impact dental health. What we are seeing more of, though, is research showing that sugar can have a negative affect on more than just dental health. Our lecturer suggested that the only sweetener he would recommend is Stevia, something Carla and I switched to last year.

New Equipment?

Another important aspect of the RMDC is the chance to see the latest in dental products and equipment. Vendors have information and products for us to see. It’s very possible that you will be seeing a new dental chair or two the next time you visit our office! And, over the next month, we will be switching to a VOIP phone system that integrates with our practice management software. We think this new system will allow us to be even more productive at the front desk.

Our Staff is the Best!

Carla and I have attended conferences in the past where we’ve seen and overheard employees “skipping” classes. I appreciate that our staff is genuinely interested in continuing dental education and they happily attend lectures, anxious to see what new information/technology/techniques can be brought back to the office. This dedication to excellence by everyone in our office directly impacts our ability to provide patients the best dental care possible.  The Rocky Mountain Dental Convention is an important event in our ability to continue to meet the needs of our patients.

Dr. Albers at COMOM 2019

Each year, Colorado Mission of Mercy (COMOM) puts on an annual two day dental clinic. These clinics rotate among different cities in the state and usually take place in high schools or event centers. This year, it was time to visit the western slope. So, on October 3, Dr. Albers packed up his camper, closed the office, and set off for Glenwood Springs for the COMOM 2019 Dental Clinic.

COMOM Mission Statement

COMOM’s Mission Statement:  COMOM’s mission is to provide quality dental services, at no cost, to individuals of all ages who cannot afford and access dental care; eliminating dental pain, promoting oral health, creating smiles, and providing oral health education.

As noted above, dental care is provided for free on a “no questions asked” basis. Patients are screened and then receive treatment for their most pressing dental problems. Treatments provided include cleanings, fillings, root canals, and extractions. Importantly, patients also receive instruction in how to properly care for their teeth.

Dr. Albers and Staff at COMOM 2019

Dr. Albers picture in newsletterGiven the distance from Colorado Springs to Glenwood Springs and other conflicting events, we had a reduced presence this year compare to past years. Dr. Albers was joined by front desk person Michele, who served as his assistant, and hygienist Lee Ann, who helped in the oral cancer screening room. Carla and Indy also participated, although we’ll provide more information on that a little later.  Unfortunately, we forgot to get a group picture, but this one shows Dr. Albers featured in the local dental society newsletter.

To more efficiently treat patients, certain providers focus on one area. Some dentists do screenings all day. Others administer shots so that dentists doing the actual treatment don’t have to wait for patients to get numb. Dr. Albers typically works in the restorative section doing dental fillings. Other sections include pediatrics, oral surgery, and dental appliances, aka Flipperville! This segmentation of care provides the efficiency needed to see hundreds of patients each day.

This year, almost 1,500 adults and children received free dental care at COMOM 2019. Dr. Albers and his staff really enjoy this opportunity to help Coloradans in need.

Go Team Therapy Dogs at COMOM 2019

Indy surrounded by dental volunteersFor the third year in a row, Go Team Therapy, Airport and Crisis Dogs brought smiles to patients and staff alike. This year, Carla and Indy were the only team on Friday, when around 800 patients were seen. On Saturday, though, they were joined by Brinkley (handlers Debbie and Rich), as well as Pepper and Maya (handlers Lori and Steve). There are waiting lines both outside to get in, then once inside, to get into specific areas. Go Team dogs visit people in all these lines, which means a lot of walking for their handlers! While a lot of focus is given to patients, volunteers who watch the dogs interact with patients during the day also enjoy their time with the dogs.

Extra fun this year was an interaction Debbie had with a young man waiting for “teeth.”  Turns out he was a student of hers (she’s a retired teacher).  She remembers his bad bicycle crash.  Over the years, teeth damaged then and other issues caused her student to lose all his teeth.  After 5 years of going without, COMOM specialists were there to give him a new lease on life.  These clinics impact people in so many ways.

Go Team dogs and handlers

2019 Fall Staff Outing

Michele, Lee Ann, Jane and Susan in bubble wrapWhy did the staff show up at Garden of the Gods Visitor’s Center wrapped in bubble wrap? Because this year, our fall staff outing was a Segway tour of Garden of the Gods and they (the staff) love a good joke!

Fall Staff Outing

Yes, it’s that time of year again. We’ve had many fun outings over the years – sometimes outdoors such as the Royal Gorge or a drive for a casino visit in Cripple Creek, sometimes for lunch and shopping at the mall. But, this year’s outing may rank up at the top of the “most fun outing” list. It was actually two years delayed, as the first attempt found us at the visitor’s center with drizzly, foggy weather. This year, however, it was a spectacular sunny Colorado day.

Segway Training

Dr. Albers and staff doing Segway trainingFirst stop, Segway training. Guide Kevin gave a group briefing on what to expect. Next, he asked who everyone thought the most nervous participant was (Susan). So, Susan had first shot at getting on a Segway and learning to go forward, stop, and turn. Kevin left her to practice while he came back and started the next person. Once we were all on board, we practiced going up and down a hill. Then, back to the parking lot for a final form to sign saying we’d received the appropriate training.

Garden of the Gods Tour

Stop at an overlook in the parkStaff on Segways in the park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our staff includes three native Coloradans, and we’ve all lived in Colorado Springs for years and visited Garden of the Gods many times. But, none of us had ever had a formal tour of the park. We learned a lot of interesting information about the sandstone rocks, how they were formed, why some of the sandstone is red, some is white, and some is regular gray “rock” color. We also learned about names of some of the rock formations and how those names came about. Some we were familiar with (Kissing Camels), some we weren’t (Weeping Indian). We learned about the generous gift of the park to the City of Colorado Springs by the children of Charles Elliot Perkins, with the caveat that it will always be free and open to the public.

After our tour, we enjoyed a great lunch at The Grill at Kissing Camels with Judy B, who unfortunately broke her wrist (before our outing!) and was unable to join us on the tour.  It was a great way to spend time with each other outside of the dental office.

 

 

Dr. Albers at COMOM 2018

Dr. Albers with Michele, Carla and Indy, Jane and Susan.

COMOM 2018

Dr. Albers and his staff are active volunteers locally and across the state.  For a number of years, he and his staff have volunteered for COMOM.   What is COMOM, you ask?  Its website explains it best:

The Colorado Mission of Mercy (COMOM) is a large-scale dental clinic that is held annually in a Colorado community. With 125 portable dental chairs, dental services are provided to adults, elderly, and children, who cannot afford dental care.  An outpouring of nearly 200 volunteer dentists from across the state – along with hundreds of dental hygienists, assistants, lab technicians, and a myriad of lay volunteers and other health professionals – work in tandem with community groups and agencies to better the oral health of individuals who come to the clinic.

COMOM Mission Statement

The Colorado Mission of Mercy (COMOM) provides quality dental services, at no cost, to individuals of all ages who cannot afford and access dental care; eliminating dental pain, promoting oral health, creating smiles, and providing oral health education.  

This video from several years ago shows COMOM in action, including the impact it has on people: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GA50G0Ns0HY

Dr. Albers and Staff at COMOM 2018

Work space at COMOM 2018

Lots of volunteers

This year, Dr. Albers, assistant Susan, hygienist Jane, and front desk guru, Michele volunteered at COMOM 2018.  Susan assisted Dr. Albers.  Hygiene section lead, Jane, helped ensure the smooth flow of patients and otherwise helped trouble shoot problem areas. Michele helped in triage – where patients are assessed for dental health needs.

COMOM 2018 took place in Greeley, Colorado, with over 1200 volunteers registering to help.  Positions included obvious ones such as dentists, hygienists, oral surgeons, dental assistants, lab technicians and RN’s. Other volunteers set up portable dental units and hundreds of chairs for waiting patients, served food, helped sterilize equipment, etc.  All volunteers played an important role.   And, a few four-legged volunteers came to visit…

Go Team Therapy Dogs at COMOM

Indy visits kids at COMOM

Indy in the Pediatric Area

Indy with four volunteers

Indy with the Ladies

Last year, Carla approached COMOM about using therapy dogs to help distract patients and provide some much-needed love and affection during long waits for care.  She and Indy acted as a test case at COMOM 2017 in Pueblo, CO.  Indy was such a hit that they asked for more Go Team dog/handler teams this year.  On Friday, four teams provided some much needed “therapy,” and on Saturday, 5 teams were there.  Although a primary focus is always on the patients, it turns out that the dogs provided a lift to volunteers putting in long hours helping others.

 

 

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Mark T. Albers, D.D.S.
2155 Hollowbrook Drive
Suite 20
Colorado Springs, CO
80918

(719) 634-8458

Contact Us

To schedule an appointment, call:
(719) 634-8458

General Hours: Labor Day through Memorial Day

Monday – Thursday:
8:00a.m. – 1:00p.m., 2:00p.m. – 5:00p.m.

Summer Hours: Memorial Day through Labor Day

Monday – Wednesday
7:30a.m. – 12:30p.m., 1:30p.m. – 4:30p.m.

Thursday
7:00a.m. – 2:00p.m.