New dentist sets up shop

Virginia McMillan

JOHN DAY - Virginia McMillan, Doctor of Dental Surgery, has opened up shop at 150 Ogilvie Dr. off Ford Road below the new hospital project.

McMillan received a two-year art degree from Fullerton Junior College. She married her high school sweetheart and both served four years in the United States Air Force as communications specialists, three of those years in England. In 1979, they settled in the Puget Sound area of Washington.

She received a bachelor's degree in microbiology from the University of Washington and was employed for seven years at Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department - as a clinical lab technician for 18 months and in the Environmental Health Section for 5 1/2 years as a Washington State registered sanitarian who studied soils and planned/evaluated septic systems.

Of her switch to dentistry, she said the careers both basically deal with problem-solving. Her experience in serving people during previous jobs played a role in leading her to dentistry, she said. And also, since she was fearful of dentists as a child, she has empathy for extending a positive experience to children (and adults) today.

In 1997, she graduated from dental school at the University of Washington. Since then, she's been in private practice, and worked for several community health clinics including Native American clinics at Taholah and Pendleton, and the Northwest Medical Team's Mobile Dental Van that served low-income families in Western Washington, and she also provided service through the Smile Savers Mobile Unit. In addition she volunteered at the Union Gospel Mission, a Seattle men's shelter. Diversity in training also came from working locum tenens, which is on a fill-in basis for clinics and practices that have vacancies.

She came to Grant County at an invitation extended by Chellie DesJardin during a 2002 Christian Medical and Dental Association Conference. She and her husband, Craige, a writer and computer technical support person, are currently preparing the new dental office on the ground level of their home. Virginia enjoys weaving, spinning and knitting in addition to pottery, geology and gardening. She also is an avid reader.

A grand opening is planned at the new dentistry office in late February and appointments can be made beginning Feb. 10 by calling 575-0550. McMillan can also be contacted at 575-4387.

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