Long-time Dental Assistant Thanks Thousands of Patients Over 44 Years
CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Come May 30, Janie Bevevino Campbell is going to miss staring down at the mouths and teeth of thousands of people and generations of Clarion area residents at the office of Dr. Joseph McNamara on Route 68.
She first started her dental assistant career over 44 years ago in Clarion, and as she looks forward to retirement May 30, she is also going to miss the patients.
“I’m looking forward to my retirement only because I’ll get to spend more time with my grandson since we’re moving to North Carolina, but I love my job, and my patients are amazing,” said Campbell. “The reason I reached out for this article is I just wanted to thank my patients so much for allowing me to serve them for all of these years.”
Campbell even sees a few grandchildren of patients she saw when she started at William Bohlander’s practice when she was 18 years old.
“I’ve watched children come in as toddlers and follow them up through their lives, and now they’re parents and bringing in their children. I was 18 when I started working for Bill Bohlander, and that’s a lot of patients and a lot of mouths.”
Janie took the first steps in her career after graduating from Clarion Area High School in 1974, attending Rochester Dental Assistant School in New York as a 17-year-old leaving home for the first time.
Why did she pick a career as a dental assistant?
“My four-year high school sweetheart was going to college for pre-dental, and I thought I could go to dental school and then work as his hygienist. He ended up not becoming a dentist and breaking up with me, but I still pursued my plans.”
The dental assistant program consisted of classroom and clinical work, and she graduated in February 1975.
Her first job in Clarion as a dental assistant was in March 1975 with an older dentist, Dr. Alden Stahlman, with a small practice. Stahlman had an office on the corner of South Street and Fourth Avenue above the medical practice of his brother Dr. Frederick B. Stahlman, M.D.
Looking to use more of her training from Rochester, after a month on the job, Janie started to think about another job.
“Chris Space was going to dental school at Case Western and was working with Bill as an assistant, and he was going back to school. I ran into him at Gallagher’s Drug Store, and he told he was going back, and there might be an opening.”
Dr. Bohlander said he didn’t like to hire an employee away from another dentist, but if I was going quit and work at Riverside, he would make an exception.”
Dr. Bohlander’s office was originally located in a section of the Coca Cola building on Second Avenue, along with the Carpet Barn. In 1983, Bohlander moved his practice to a new building on Route 68, the current location of McNamara.
“I worked for him for 12 years and felt I was burned out and took a six-year hiatus to work at Clarion Area High School. I went back in 1995 to Bill. It was a full circle and where I belonged all along. It was my passion, and I loved it. It was my niche.”
The move to Clarion Area at the time seemed ideal for Janie. She was already coaching cheerleaders at the school and was asked about her interest in the retiring principal’s secretary position. It was ideal because her two children were just starting school and her schedule was more adaptable for the job and coaching cheerleaders.
The Bevevino family also served in many capacities with the school over the years, so she was no stranger to the school district. Her dad, David “Red” Bevevino, was a teacher and coach who left in 1969, brother DJ came in 1990, her sister-in-law Patty was there, and her niece Erica works there.
“It was for six years, and I really enjoyed it, but I was anxious to get back to dental work.”
When she went back to Bohlander’s in 1995, she noticed some changes.
“One of the biggest things to me is that when I had left the office, we did not wear gloves or mask or glasses. There was no protective anything, and when I came back, we wore all of that. I can’t believe I practiced all of those years without it. Other than that, it’s still very much as the same when I started working. Dentistry hasn’t changed that much.”
Starting as a chairside assistant in 1975, Janie continued continuing education at Pitt, CPR, and recertification in x-ray technology every couple of years.
“I’m ready to retire. It’s time. It’s time to get some new blood into our office. At this stage in my life, I will miss the job, I’ll miss the patients, and I’ll miss the staff.”
Janie and husband Mike are moving to Fort Mill, North Carolina, just seven miles away from her son Ross and wife Liz and Janie’s only grandchild Harrison in Charlotte. Ross is a financial officer for Bank of America.
Janie’s daughter Emily Gasior and husband Jason live in Fallston, Maryland. Emily is a Documentation Specialist at TIC Gums.
“I’m probably going to look for a part-time job in retail or maybe get back into a dental office if a job is available. Mike’s open to doing some umpiring down there — baseball has a much longer season down there than up here.”
Janie also served as song leader at Immaculate Conception Church, and there is still a chance she may sing at a North Carolina church.
But, make no mistake about her main job in North Carolina.
“My full-time job is going to be seeing as much of Harrison as I possibly can and be involved with his life and activities.”
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