Defying the odds: Oral health provider part of revitalization in Maine

“Walk those rich lines, defy the odds, push the envelope — because you never know who you’re inspiring,” said Katti Webb Simpson, IPDH, of Foxcroft, Maine, during her acceptance of the Lucy Hobbs Project® Clinical Expertise Award in 2014.
Evidently, she keeps company with those who share a similar philosophy.

One month ago, Simpson (shown above) joined an effort to revitalize a portion of her community by taking a leap

Katie Webb Simpson relocated her successful practice, Dental Hygiene Associates of Maine, to The Mill at Dover Foxcroft in September.
Katie Webb Simpson relocated her successful practice, Dental Hygiene Associates of Maine, to The Mill at Dover Foxcroft in September.

of faith.

The Independent Practice Dental Hygienist relocated her successful office, Dental Hygiene Associates of Maine, from her 19th-century farmhouse in central

Maine to The Mill at Dover Foxcroft, a 60,000 square foot historic mill complex that was renovated in 2015 into a mixed-use building with residences, office space, a cafe and a boutique inn.

“I was energized and excited when I first stepped foot into the Mill. It has such wonderful history and brings back great memories to so many in our small town! The Mill was a huge asset to the community and even bigger source of pride,” said Simpson.
After a renovation that began in 2014, The Mill at DoverFoxcroft features more than 25 apartments and nearly 12 rented office spaces.
After a renovation that began in 2014, The Mill at DoverFoxcroft features more than 25 apartments and nearly 12 rented office spaces.

She shared a bit of history: Moosehead Manufacturing was founded in 1947 as a furniture maker. At their peak, they employed 250 and shipped Maine-made products all over the U.S. and Canada. In the 1990s, the growth of  “big box stores” and demand for inexpensively made furniture expanded. By 2007, the resulting drop in sales of domestically- made products forced the mill to close, leaving the building abandoned.

Spoiler alert: This tale has a happy ending.
“Luckily, a group of investors from Kansas City, Missouri, took a huge interest and saw great potential in our small town,” said Simpson.”They began renovating the mill in 2014 and already it features more than 25 apartments and nearly 12 rented office spaces. A cafe and hotel have also opened in the complex, with plans for a restaurant and indoor farmers market to follow in the near future.”
Like any visionary worth her salt, Simpson channeled her belief into action.

“I knew I wanted to be a part of its rebirth, and I have high hopes of it becoming a prosperous point in our community

Katti Webb Simpson designed a "spa- like" dental oasis, shown, to ease patients dental anxieties.
Katti Webb Simpson designed a “spa- like” dental oasis, shown, to ease patients dental anxieties.

yet again!”

Acting on good instinct is nothing new for this oral health pioneer.
 In 2008, the Pine Tree State became the second in the country to pass a law permitting dental hygienists to practice independently of supervising dentists so long as they meet criteria. Simpson began doing her part to offer access to care by treating Medicaid patients in central Maine.
View a video of the Mill’s renewal: https://youtu.be/rFy8yD4chEk

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