A new dental practice has opened its doors in Kamsack.
Dr. Lena Raya began seeing patients at the River Valley Dental clinic located on Queen Elizabeth Boulevard East in the building many residents will remember as the former Doukhobor Prayer Home.
Prior to accepting the posting in Kamsack with River Valley Dental owned by Dr. Sam Mazahreh of Ontario, Dr. Lena, who is of Regina, was working at the Calling Lakes Dental clinic in Fort Qu’Appelle.
She graduated in 2007, obtaining her DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry or Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree from the Faculty of Dentistry at Université Saint-Joseph in Beirut, said her biography.
In 2010 she graduated as a prosthodontist, which includes dealing with crowns, bridges, dentures and partials, from the same university. Since then she has been practicing dentistry in several clinics in Beirut.
Dr. Lena arrived in Canada in 2015, for what she described as “the opportunities and a better life.” She was in Montreal, taking training, until she arrived in Regina and assumed her first dental practice in Fort Qu’Appelle in September of this year.
“Since being in Canada, I prefer the colder temperatures to the heat of Beirut,” she said.
Dr. Lena is from Lebanon, but says she is half Russian. She is excited to be in Kamsack, working in the building which was once the Doukhobor Prayer Home, and is looking forward to sampling the local ethnic foods. “I came to Kamsack for the food,” she said with a smile, indicating that she had heard people mention the “shishliki” in this area and it reminded her of Russia.
Having practiced dentistry in Lebanon for eight years, Dr. Lena is ready to take on the challenge of a new practice in an area that has not had a dental practice for 21 years.
“My husband, the late Dr. Cedric Dey, was forced into retirement when his dental office on Main Street burned to the ground in May of 1997,” said Myrna Dey of Kamsack.
Dr. Lena will be working part-time for the month of October out of the Kamsack office until the practice opens full-time in November. “I have just arrived here, but so far I like the clinic and the town very much.”
Single with no children, Dr. Lena indicated that outside of her dental work she enjoys reading, swimming, hiking and travelling, and she “adores pets.”
Mandi Kuculym (nee Hellegards) of Regina, a former Kamsack resident having grown up here, is the Director of Operations for group practices in Saskatchewan and was at the River Valley Dental clinic on opening day.
New staff at the clinic are: Lauren Poehlmann of Kamsack, receptionist; Jennifer Predinchuk of Canora, dental hygienist; Lynette Strom of Yorkton, dental aid, and Chelsea Hoffart of Weyburn, who will be temporarily helping at the clinic.