Local dentists merge as Jones Co. Family Dentistry

The Monticello Ambassadors welcomed new dentist Dr. Katie Nagel (third from left) at Jones County Family Dentistry, Aug. 14. From left are Ambassadors Suzan Ehlers and Cheryl Dirks, dentists Dr. Katie Nagel and Dr. Kevin Stingley, and Ambassadors Gerald Retzlaff and Ashley Faust. (Photo by Pete Temple)
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     After being in business as The Dental Center in Monticello for 30-plus years, as of Aug. 1, Dr. Kevin Stingley has merged with Warner Family Dentistry in Anamosa to form Jones County Family Dentistry.

     “We are both local Jones County boys,” said Stingley of the natural connection with Warner. “It just made the most sense with our history here.”

     Warner also started his practice at the same time, in 1985.

     Aside from the joint business venture, both long-time area dentists have hired new associates: Dr. Katie Nagel and her fiancé Dr. Chong Shao. Nagel is working in Monticello, alongside Dr. Stingley. Shao is working in Anamosa with Dr. Michael Warner. Both new associates moved back to Iowa in late July, their roots, after several years in South Carolina.

     Stingley said the merger was precipitated by several things.

     “I have been referring with Dr. Warner for a number of years,” he said. “Our relationship has been on-going.”

     Warner offered, “We have a similar philosophy in treating and caring for our patients.”

     He said he was also looking for dentists who were interested to really becoming part of the community in bringing associates on board.

     “They are from Eastern Iowa and wanted to get back to the area,” Warner said of Nagel and Shao’s four-year absence.

     After two bouts of cancer (melanoma and lymphoma), Stingley said he wanted to be proactive more than anything when thinking about the future of his dental practice.

     “I wanted to have a way to deal with things and not be caught off guard,” Stingley said, not knowing whether his cancer could return.

     After multiple conversations with Warner, both saw a merger in their future.

     Then, Nagel and Shao showed interest in moving back to Iowa and working locally, which seemed to rapidly move the conversation along.

     “It was a unique situation,” shared Stingley. “One thing led to another and just evolved.” He said it was almost a serendipitous series of events that seemed to all lead to the creation of Jones County Family Dentistry.

     “It just felt right,” he said.

     Stingley shared he wanted to bring an associate in with Iowa roots, someone who received an Iowa-based education.

     “For me that was important,” he said. “And that it wasn’t a recent graduate.”

     Stingley said Nagel was the perfect candidate. “She’s just so warm with people.”

     Nagel, originally from Cedar Rapids, attended Mount Mercy University and the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. She worked at a dental practice in South Carolina for almost four years, where Nagel was the only dentist on staff.

     After getting engaged to Shao, they both decided they wanted to put down roots in Iowa.

     “We like the small-town feel,” she said. “Iowa is where our families are. It’s where relationships mean something, and you can form a bond with your patients.”

     Nagel said it was a great experience working on her own in South Carolina, but she’s excited to be in Iowa.

     “I’m able to spread my wings here and reach more people,” she said.

     She’s looking forward to becoming more familiar with Jones County as the couple plans their wedding for next fall.

     “This community has a lot to offer,” Nagel said.

     Warner said adding “young, energetic, quality professionals is needed in our communities.”

     Both Stingley and Nagel want to have a smooth transition for the patients.

     “There is so much I can learn from him (Stingley),” she said of his longevity in the dental industry.

     Stingley said having a good relationship with Warner, Nagel and Shao are just as important as maintaining good relationships with their patients.

     “Relationships on every level are so important,” he stressed. “We communicate and work well together, and that fosters good relationships.”

     With the merger and new name, Stingley said they are also working through the challenge of bringing all of the staff in both Monticello and Anamosa together and on the same page, as well as a new computer system in Monticello.

     “It’ll take a while to upgrade,” he said. “But we want to make sure everything meshes.”

     With Nagel on board, Stingley said they’re able to extend their hours to see more patients. He admitted he plans to “work on a more limited schedule.

     “I am not retiring,” he said, putting that rumor to rest. “My goal is to slow down and do more things with my family.”

     Warner also stressed the fact that he has no plans to retire either. “In fact, I am busier than ever.”

     He said patients really wouldn’t see much of a change in the practice other than more dental coverage.

     With the additional associates and merger, Stingley said if he or Warner were ever gone due to an illness, they have the staff to step in.

     “That wouldn’t exist if we were by ourselves,” he said.

     Warner agreed. “We felt the need to add more patient-contact hours and more procedures to better serve our patients.”

     Nagel said she has a very similar philosophy to that of Stingley.

     “It’s all about patient care,” she said.

     Stingley, who’s been practicing since 1982, said he still enjoys having great conversations and really getting to know his patients.

     “I want people to feel good about their dental health and overall health,” he said, utilizing his background in physical therapy. “It’s about treating the whole person, because oral health impacts the whole health system in more ways than people often understand.”



Subscriber Login