Willis Family (2020)

Nothing could be better than living and practicing where I grew up. I moved to Delta Junction, AK when I was in 3rd grade. After I graduated high school, I went to back to Colorado for undergraduate and dental school. I graduated dental school in 2004 from the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine. Because I knew there was a chance I’d be back in rural Alaska, I did a one-year general practice residency. In that residency I gained a huge amount of respect in hospital dentistry and learned how to work with special needs, complicated surgery and IV sedation. From there, I worked for a non-profit dental organization, Dental Aid, in Louisville and Longmont, CO. After having our first child in 2006 and then a surprise kiddo in 2007, my husband and I set our sights back to Alaska. I took the Dental Director position at Interior Community Health Center here in Fairbanks in January 2008 and helped get their newer dental program up and running. I left ICHC in 2010 to buy Dr. Jim Cerney’s practice, which is now Spruce Roots Family Dentistry. Since then we have grown the practice from a 1+ doctor practice to a multi-doctor practice starting April 1, 2019 when I merged and partnered with a great friend and colleague, Dr. Jon Woller and also bought my neighbor’s practice, Dr. Patricia Bergdahl.

While the practice keeps me and my husband busy (he’s the Business Manager), we are also part-time kid expeditors for our two active kids, Hannah and Quinn. When we’re not at a soccer, hockey or volleyball event, I try to squeeze in my activities, both personal and volunteer. I picked up cross-country skiing when I moved back to Alaska to keep me going during the long winter days and I jam in running, hiking and gardening in the summer when I’m not out on the pitch watching my kids.

I believe strongly in my profession and am heavily involved in the American Dental Association (ADA). Having served in my local dental society as President and have made my way through nearly all of the officer positions in the Alaska Dental Society (ADS), serving proudly as the ADS President 2013-2014 and currently I represent Alaska as a delegate to the ADA.
I continue to grow in my clinical knowledge an am active in a local Spear Education Study Club as well as attend an average of 50 hours of yearly continuing education. And finally, I feel that one of the blessing I have in this profession is to give back to my community and provide dental services that others cannot. My husband and I have chaired and organized two Alaska Mission of Mercy’s (AKMOM) which have provided nearly $1.5 million of dentistry to the Interior of Alaska.

Thanks for taking the time to get to know who you are trusting your and/or your family’s dental health with.

Gratefully,

Heather Willis, DDS