Connor Casey and his son, 5-year-old Nolan Casey, hold the Greenbranch logo in front of the new clinic location. The building is being redeveloped for Greenbranch by Memorial Medical Center under a terms of a long-term lease.

A pair of health care professionals who took a risk to come back home to Wisconsin had that gamble pay off for both of them.

Dr. Conor Casey owns and operates Greenbranch Dental, which operates in Ashland and Hurley, and specializes in prosthodontics, the aesthetic replacement of teeth using veneers and crowns, implants and removable dentures.

He’s originally from the Bay area, a 1997 graduate of Washburn High School who attended St. Thomas College in St. Paul then dentistry at the University of Minnesota and prosthodontics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

After that training, Casey and his wife Dr. Beret Casey, an endocrinologist originally from Wisconsin Rapids, moved to a community near Denver. But they found the city wasn’t a great fit and ultimately yearned to return to Wisconsin.

“We moved to Colorado kind of thinking that was going to be home, and just the big city, the dryness of Colorado, it just wasn’t for us,” he said. “Being from here, I’ve always loved it and I also never wanted my work to dictate where I was going to live.”

The choice raised eyebrows.

“You are going to go where?” Casey recalled some doubters saying.

He admitted it was a tough decision to make.

“I planned on starting my own business, but for us to come, my wife had to be employed,” he said.

Casey established Greenbranch Dental at 300 Ninth St. W. where he has operated since October of 2014. Solving the second half of the puzzle, Essentia had the foresight to take a chance in taking on an endocrinologist full time, replacing a part-time physician who made regular trips from Duluth.

“The hospital has been very good to her, and now I am moving on to their campus,” he said.

Casey will soon be joining his wife at the MMC location, moving to a new clinic under construction on the northeast corner of the main MMC complex, next to Regional Hospice Services. Casy said the new clinic will be a vastly improved facility with better care for patients.

“This was a great place to start,” he said of his current location. “But with only two chairs, it is extremely inefficient.”

 “This new facility will allow our associate dentist, Dr. Erin Cutler, and I to work together,” he said.

The move will also allow both of the clinic’s hygienists to work at the facility at the same time.

Casey said MMC’s willingness to work with him helped make the move possible.

MMC Chief Executive Officer Jason Douglas said the addition is a big plus for the hospital. He said MMC had been in the process of acquiring the building from another physician who was retiring when Casy contacted them to ask about obtaining and expanding the structure. The two parties came to a long-term lease arrangement that included redevelopment of the building by MMC, with design for the project coming from Casey and his architect.

“We feel that he will be a terrific on-campus neighbor and we are happy to be able to support him in finding a new location for his practice,” Douglas said. “We think they are a great complement to what we provide as a health care campus.”

The new clinic will open to patients in early July.

(Copyright © 2019 APG Media)

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