Provider Spotlight: Dr. Beverlee Cutler

by User Not Found | Mar 26, 2018

Beverlee Cutler has been devoted to public health dentistry in Portland for almost 40 years. She graduated from OHSU’s dental school in 1979 as one of 10 women in a class of 80. Two weeks before graduation, she gave birth to her first child. She then began a part-time practice at Geriatric Dental Clinic, which provided mobile dentistry to home-bound patients. It was in this setting that she learned the benefits of thinking outside the box to serve her patients’ special needs. Back then she decided to use IRM (Intermediate Restorative Material) as a final restoration in certain situations, instead of using it as a temporary filling. She calls this awareness “practical dentistry,” and this is still her philosophy today as she touts the benefits of Fuji IX to dental students going through clinical rotations.

This practical dentistry served her well as she moved on to open her own private practice in downtown Portland and began working part-time for Multnomah County. In 1988, during her interview with Multnomah County Health Department (MCHD), she noticed the front desk had seven spiral paper appointment notebooks. As the scheduler answered a phone call, she had to flip through all seven books to find an appointment time for the caller. Beverlee asked out loud, “Why don’t you just have one book with seven columns?”  Needless to say, she got the job and MCHD eventually made the seven-column, single notebook for the schedulers.

During her tenure at MCHD, Bev has been Interim Director twice and worked in multiple clinics, while maintaining two days a week at her private practice.  And even as she leaves MCHD, she’s not slowing down. When she heard rumors that OHSU’s Russell Street Clinic was without a Dental Director and could potentially close, she reached out to the Dean of the dental school. She explained that Russell Street is a valuable resource for the community and asked what she could do to help keep it open. The answer was to apply for the job.  And so, she did. She wrote a letter to the Dean outlining how she could help the clinic and do it with part-time hours. And here she is in her retirement, the new Dental Director of OHSU’s Russell Street Clinic.

Thank you, Beverlee, for your love of practical dentistry and your many years of serving the people of our community.

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