By Beth Volpert Johansen
"I literally grew up in my mother's office," says Dr. Erin Pickwick. "After I was born, she was back in the office in 3 or 4 weeks-she balanced it all...naturally." And now, with a 13 month old of her own, Dr. Erin is working her way into the role her mom, Dr. Kathy Huber has managed since she first opened her practice in 1981. "I found out two days before I opened my practice that I was pregnant with Erin," says Dr. Kathy. "There must be a connection as to why she's a dentist today."
The office grew, as did the family Dr. Kathy Huber and her husband, David Sitz, raised. Life with three kids and a busy dental practice in Snellville went along as most families go. Church, vacations, and kid stuff filled their days and night. Eventually, the office in Snellville seemed to shrink with the addition of the children of patients, sometimes three generations of patients in the dental practice that grew right alongside of her family. As the practice grew, Erin spent more and more time in the office during school breaks and to fill in for staff members on leave.
In September of 2008, Dr. Huber took advantage of an opportunity to build a new office in Grayson. The new office, located in Parkside at Grayson, represented her connection to nature. "I've always been close to nature...it has always been my safe harbor," says Dr. Kathy. "I wanted the office to offer a sense of tranquility and peace with the candle wall and the earthy tones in the decor." To achieve the tranquil atmosphere, Dr. Kathy drew on lessons she learned from a consultant who assigned her exercises designed to reveal her ideas and visions for the new office. "Part of that exercise also helped recently in developing a new brand and logo showing the family connection," says Dr. Kathy.
Dr. Kathy Huber and Dr. Erin Pickwick are renaming the practice Heritage Family Dentistry. That transition is underway and will be completed in the coming year. The logo Kathy envisioned will be centered around a tree to represent family, nature, and heritage. The idea for the logo came from a picture Dr. Kathy drew during a practice management exercise that represented who she was at her core. "Faith, family, education and nature were all a part of that drawing," says Dr. Kathy. "It has come full circle for me with family coming into the practice."
For Dr. Erin, joining the practice she grew up in took a few twists and turns in school. "I don't think I realized I liked and enjoyed dentistry as much as I do now," says Dr. Erin. "It was sort of a fall-back idea, but then it became so much more." With a 2010 degree from The Medical College of Georgia, Dr. Erin has found a home in a familiar place with her mom. "I am easing into every day with mom," says Dr. Erin. "She is my mentor-I mean, she has been doing dentistry for 30 years and has come across just about everything you can see in dentistry."
While Dr. Erin enjoys what she learns from her mom in dentistry, she also has found value in the love her mom and dad show as grandparents. "We live maybe 15 minutes away from them and from my husband's parents, so family is very important to us," says Dr. Erin. "It is something about being connected to generations that gives us an appreciation for being close." Dr. Kathy agrees and time spent together is valued and cherished on all levels-and they leave the office behind.
Blending into the family business is a rite of passage across the board in many types of work. For Dr. Erin and Dr. Kathy, providing continuity of the care patients have come to expect is absolutely of the highest importance. "My mom really is an exceptional dentist and her patients love her so much," says Dr. Erin. "I am looking forward to continuing the personal relationships with all of the patients in our family-oriented practice for many years to come."
Join Dr. Kathy Huber and Dr. Erin Pickwick on January 14th from 5-7 for an Open House welcoming Dr. Erin to the practice.
For more information visit their website at: www.kathyhuberdds.com or call: 678-226-4466.