From training dental assistants and ordering supplies to jumping in chairside and coaching dentists, there’s a lot that Sherri Cox does to keep our five Tulsa Metro offices running smoothly on the clinical side. As our Clinical & Compliance Administrative Assistant in Tulsa, Sherri travels between our offices to make sure that the support and supplies they need to keep themselves and our patients safe and well cared for.
But before she became a clinical wonder woman, Sherri started with Dental Depot in September 2014 as a dental assistant. In her time with Depot, Sherri has seen a lot of changes and growth, including her own personal development. We sat down to catch up with Sherri and celebrate all of her hard work:
SC: My title is Clinical and Compliance Operations Administrative Assistant. I feel like I do a little bit of everything. Like really everything. Assisting – I help train assistants – anything that they need or any areas that they need to improve in, I can help with that. I help with all of our ordering for Tulsa, make sure that they have everything that they need. I help with our doctors and train them up to kind of getting them up to speed, like with our new doctors. We have four or five new doctors in Tulsa this year and I also help with their schedules. It’s a little bit of everything.
DD: And how did you get started with Depot and with dentistry to begin with?
SC: So when I was a kid, I just had really bad experiences at the dentist and I’ve kind of always been a teeth person. So I just wanted to try to make somebody else’s experience better than mine. So that’s kind of how I got into dentistry. Originally, I think I wanted to be like a pharmacy tech. But then I chose dental because it just pulled at my heartstrings a little bit more.
DD: So you came in as a dental assistant?
SC: Yeah, fresh out of school. I had taken about six months between finishing school and looking for a job because I had just had my baby girl. I did an interview and they hired me on, and then I’ve kind of just moved up from there.
DD: What is a normal week like for you?
SC: Oh gosh, a normal week for me… I don’t know that I have a “normal” week. I kind of try to set my schedule the week before, so I’m already planning next week on kind of what I’m going to do. If I can just try to hit all of the locations here in Tulsa, it works out best. Thankfully, we only have five right now. So I can hit one each day, or that’s my goal. Sometimes I get pulled to assist when other assistants call out and we don’t have anybody. I’ll switch whatever I’m doing and go over and work with them. So, I wouldn’t say that I have a normal week.
DD: Tell us a little about your six years that you’ve spent with Depot.
SC: I’ve worked with every doctor that’s been in Tulsa for the last six years. It’s been good, a little bit crazy sometimes, but in a good way. I just try to figure out what every doctor likes and adjust for that. We’ve seen Tara [Hill] rise from her clinical position to COO. It’s just been crazy and the best kind of crazy. I wouldn’t go anywhere else, I love Depot. This is it. This is the place I’m meant to be. Depot feels like family. Six years have flown by so fast.
DD: What are some of your favorite things about Depot?
SC: My favorite thing about Depot would be how family-oriented it is. If I needed to leave right now and go do something with my kids or if I got called out, I wouldn’t get in trouble. I love that. I don’t call out very often. I’m here every day. But if I needed to leave, I’m not going to get in trouble. Because we’re just such a big office and like we have such big staff. And I love that. I love that we’re patient-focused. I like to have our patients leave and they’re excited about their smiles. That makes me happy – knowing that we’re making a difference in their lives.
DD: How have your clinical teams in Tulsa had to adapt since COVID-19 began?
SC: We’ve taken our existing PPE (personal protective equipment) and do a little extra. I feel like we were already doing what we needed to do just to protect us from our patients. The really big difference is just that we’re wearing masks all day and the face shields are new. There’s a lot of protocols and stuff, but I feel like we were doing a good job trying to protect us and our patients before this. It slowed down there for a while but they’re slowly starting to pick back up and get going again. Most of our Tulsa offices were still seeing patients [throughout 2020], so we had a lot of dental emergencies.
DD: Have you always been so helpful and adaptive?
SC: Most of the time…
DD: Did you have to learn it the hard way?
SC: Yup. I’m a doer. I like to do things and get it done. And it’s been hard to kind of delegate to other people instead of just doing it all myself. Yeah, like that’s kind of that was my biggest lesson, was that and then, kind of learning to think before I speak. I like to grow people and help them and I’ve learned a lot through Mona and Kristen, our doctors, Russel, and I’m just…well-rounded, and there’s so much knowledge I like to pass on to people. And I’m still learning something new every day! It’s been good, I love it here.
DD: How did it feel when you got Employee of the Month?
SC: It was a surprise! I really felt like something was going on but I didn’t know what. I wasn’t expecting it. Brandi had gone with me to lunch so she could make sure I got back in time. [We came back] and I was at the table eating and she kept pulling people into the office and she pulled me in there like, ‘Hey, can you finish that bite and come here for a second?’ It was really nice. We did it at Broken Arrow. It’s a good group of people over there, I’ve really enjoyed them.
DD: And you got to see why everyone nominated you?
SC: Yeah, there was a letter in the card that had everybody’s nominations on it. Mona, Brandi, Christy, Macie – I don’t know why but Macie’s just touched my heart so much that it made me cry. I don’t get to work with her very often, so it meant a lot. She said I was her number-one supporter when she got into her new position and she was coming out to Tulsa every couple of weeks and I just wanted to make her feel welcome here. It just touched me so much. And then our new doctor gave me a shout out, so that was kind of unexpected, too. It was very good to hear. It’s good to not only be recognized by your peers, but by people who’ve been in this forever.
DD: What are your next steps from here?
SC: You know, I feel like I’m good where I’m at. I’m always willing to learn and help out anywhere I can. Brandi [Hatley] is up here now, so I’m getting a lot more interaction with her and getting more hands-on with the management side of things. I’m excited about that. I feel like I’m in a good place. I enjoy what I do, I’m not stuck in [chairside] all day, every day. But I’m also not tied to a desk every day either. I get the best of both worlds. I feel like I can help out really anywhere in the office except for the front desk – I have no clue what’s going on there or how to do it! [laughs] But I’m really comfortable with where I’m at and I’m always willing to grow and learn new things and change with the company in whatever they want me to do. Obviously, I’m going to do it because yeah, that’s the kind of person I am.
We couldn’t be more grateful to celebrate Sherri Cox as our Employee of the Month! She’s been a major part of our growth in Tulsa over the last several years and her willingness to learn and help out wherever she’s needed has made her an invaluable asset. We hope you’ll join us in congratulating her for a job well done. Here’s to many more years!
When Sherri isn’t in the office, she loves spending time with her children and her partner, Matt. They have two dogs, Drake and Buddy. As a family, they enjoy hunting, fishing, and riding their bikes around their small town outside of Tulsa. To learn more about Sherri, check her out on our Instagram, @PeopleofDepot.
Dental Depot is a locally owned and operated family company. As such, we believe that the incredible group of doctors, hygienists, assistants, and staff that make up Dental Depot are more than their job titles; they’re members of our extended family. In our family, we like to recognize when someone goes above and beyond, living the Dental Depot values. We are proud to shine a spotlight on Employee of the Month Sherri Cox.