[1/4/22] Winthrop Needs Dentists

Posted in Business & Economy, Health

If you know a dentist who’s looking for a new place to set up shop, recommend him or her to Winthrop, because they need a new dentist, and probably more than one. That’s because longtime dentist Dr. Stephen Harrop of Winthrop Dental Care had his last patient Thursday, he retired after 25 years in the Methow Valley and 43 years total as a dentist.

Now that Harrop has closed his shop, Dr. John O’Keefe’s Sawtooth Dental Care in Twisp is the only local dental clinic, since Family Health Centers closed their Twisp Dental Clinic almost two years ago. And O’Keefe says he’s full and not taking any new patients, since he had 300 new patients last year, and that’s before Harrod announced his retirement. He says he now has about 50 patients on a waiting list, and cleaning appointments are scheduled through spring at least.

Harrop said he called out to Okanogan, Omak and Pateros to ask about referrals for his patients, and found out they were too full to accept new patients; O’Keefe has been referring people to dentists in the Wenatchee area.

As for the future, O’Keefe is planning to hire one or two new hygienists in the future, and has advertised for a sterilization assistant and an experienced dental assistant. Family Health Centers is planning to offer dental services at its Twisp Medical Clinic using its mobile dental clinic, and is planning to hire at least two more dentists and maybe returning to having a brick-and-mortar dental clinic as part of its long-term planning.