Fighting Tooth and Nail for Access to Dental Care

Bridge Society: DR. MICHAEL VERBER
Verber Dental Group pledged $100,000 over five years

Dr. Michael Verber
Dr. Michael Verber

Dr. Michael Verber recounts the story of a high school friend who was distraught over a six-month wait for her five-year-old to receive urgent, pain-relieving dental care. After a change in the family’s insurance, that six-month wait morphed into an interminable 12-month lag.

“The system is broken,” Verber stated emphatically. Seeing that scenario repeated time and time again in both children and adults, the fixer in him dug in for a systemic repair.

Hoping to make a difference, Verber has partnered with Dr. Linda Fedrizzi-Williams and Central Penn College to educate and train a new generation of Pennsylvanians to enter the dental workforce. Central Penn’s newly unveiled programs include dental assisting, dental treatment coordination, expanded function dental assisting, and, ultimately, dental hygienist.

Dr. Verber has appeared on WHTM-TV’s GOOD DAY PA with Michael Fedor and state Sen. Greg Rothman to raise awareness and recruit the next generation of dental professionals.

As the CEO and Chairman of Verber Dental Group, he has now expanded his practice to include an oral surgeon, a pediatric dentist, an endodontist, cosmetic dentists, a dental lab, a training institute, a marketing firm, a property management firm, and more.

But he is not all business.

He proudly displays his custom-made Central Penn Knights sneakers like most kids display their back- to-school kicks. The sneaks were hand-painted by his talented wife Kelly, who he met at a concert in Dewey Beach. The growing Verber Dental empire started when his dad Stephen opened a small dental office on Main Street in Mechanicsburg, which was crowned by their family apartment on the second

floor. Michael was in diapers in those early days, but became his dad’s business partner years later.

The elder Dr. Verber–also an active community servant—then opened his Camp Hill office in 1994, which still operates, and was artfully renovated in 2007. Today, Verber Dental Group has 25-26 dentists, and 13 practices.

The second floor of the group’s contemporary Enola office, on Millennium Way, by the Weis Market off Valley Road, is now an active construction zone, as he converts the second floor to add five more treatment rooms, bringing the total in the structure to 18. A Knights’-orange classroom rests right off the elevator, where he offers continuing education to dental professionals.

Now, the bustling Enola office features a sign for Verber Advanced Dental Institute, with the Central Penn College logo.

Less than two miles from Central Penn’s campus, two students from Central Penn have already donned scrubs and are working in his office, receiving hands- on instruction. Through the “Learn and Earn” program, students can earn $350 a week while going to school.

When he attended his first graduation ceremony for Central Penn students in May, as a newly appointed board member, he marveled at the jubilation and pride on display. He readily admits he had many advantages in life that many young people don’t, including a strong family support network and financial security.

At his college graduation at Dickinson, the graduates’ parents expected them to graduate college; at Central Penn, that may not have been the case. Watching parents and spouses–even small children— rejoicing in their graduate’s accomplishment was a genuine feel-good memory, he said.

“Their family is one who had beaten the odds. They appreciate the education they are getting.”

“We are facing an access to care crisis in dentistry, but the silver lining is the opportunity it is creating for students to make a very good living with very little student debt,” Verber said. “I believe Central Penn is the pathway to connect students looking for opportunity to meet the community’s needs.”

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