Growing up in suburban Wisconsin, dentist Tracy Schroepfer, DMD, longed for the simple life. And after graduating dental school, she moved to Arkansas where she could enjoy the things she loves: hiking, kayaking, and hunting to start.
“I was definitely looking for more stars, less cars,” she said of her move to Mena.
“I always wanted to live in a small town. When I was in dental school, I took a couple of road trips and hiking trips down in Arkansas. I fell in love with the state because it’s super pretty and decided I wanted to find a job there,” she said.
As she started doing interviews she thought the more rural the better. Now she’s excited to be based in Mena.
“It’s been great so far,” she said.
She grew up in New Berlin, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee, as the sixth of eight children. A bad experience with a dentist as a kid fueled her interest in teeth.
“I was a dental assistant, then a hygienist and now a dentist. So I feel like I was made for this,” she said.
She attended A.T. Still University’s Missouri School of Dental and Oral Health (MOSDOH), a school that specializes in training dentists to work with Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) like Healthy Connections.
“We dealt with a very similar population and very similar treatment plans that we had to work through,” she said.
When not working on teeth, you’ll find her in the outdoors or perhaps working on building projects she finds on Pinterest. She also owns a pig.
She’s also got a biting sense of humor that should put her patients at ease.
“I grew up as the best looking, smartest kid. I won the genetic lottery,” she said, unable to hold a straight face as she joked.
Healthy Connections is a Mena-based nonprofit organization serving the needs of children and adults throughout West-Central Arkansas. Since its founding in 1998 as a home-visiting program, Healthy Connections has been able to provide much-needed health, dental and social services to families of every lifestyle.
Healthy Connections accepts Medicaid, including ArKids First, Medicare and most forms of health and dental insurance. However, no person will be turned away for lack of insurance. Qualified families will be charged according to their total family income and total persons living in the household. This sliding scale fee allows many to receive treatment who otherwise would not have been able to afford it.
There are currently 10 clinics located in Mena, Hot Springs, Malvern, Arkadelphia, Mount Ida, and De Queen providing primary care/family medicine. Depending on location, Healthy Connections also offers dental, behavioral health, cardiology, pediatrics, podiatry, chiropractic, physical therapy, and OB/GYN women’s services.
Learn more at www.healthy-connections.org/dental.