Spotlight on MAHEC’s Dental Hygienists

Celebrating the hard work of three Dental Health Center employees

October is National Dental Hygiene Month, so we’d like to take this opportunity to learn more about our amazing dental hygienists here at MAHEC!

Ali Bunch, dental hygienist at MAHEC’s Dental Health Center at Biltmore, says she’s always loved visiting the dentist and orthodontist. She attended AB Tech’s dental hygiene program and worked in a few private practices before coming to MAHEC in October of 2018. “The transition from private practice to a residential clinic was very challenging, but I don’t think I would ever go back to private practice after working in this environment,” said Ali. “I have learned so much here and love working with residents.”

Ali grew up in Asheville and moved to Keystone, CO, after high school. She worked at a ski and snowboarding school but soon wanted to pursue a more stable career. “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I knew it was something medical,” said Ali. “I had a dream one night I was a hygienist and woke up and applied to A-B Tech immediately.”

When she’s not working, Ali enjoys gushing over her (almost) three-year-old daughter, and she’s currently attending school at ETSU to get her bachelor’s degree so she can have the option to teach in the future.

Megan Cochran, dental hygienist at MAHEC’s Dental Health Center at Biltmore, was born and raised in Asheville. Megan graduated from A-B Tech in 2006, was immediately hired by MAHEC, and has been here ever since. “It’s very rewarding to see someone that came in with low confidence because of the poor condition of their teeth and then help them turn that around,” Megan shared. “I really like being able to play a role in that improvement.”

In high school, Megan enjoyed working with students with physical and mental disabilities and was considering becoming a special education teacher. However, she eventually decided to pursue a career in dental hygiene because of the excellent job opportunities and the great things she heard about A-B Tech’s program. At MAHEC, Megan enjoys the opportunity to see a good number of special needs patients that she might not be able to work with elsewhere.

In her free time, Megan likes to read, go hiking with her husband and 10-year-old son, and try out new recipes in the kitchen.

Amy Corrigan, dental hygienist at MAHEC’s Dental Health Center at Columbus, came to MAHEC in August of 2019, but has over 30 years’ experience in multiple general dentist practices and one orthodontist practice. Amy was excited to come to MAHEC because of the great benefits package and opportunity to work with the residency program. “I liked the idea of being in a teaching and mentoring position in the last part of my career,” said Amy.

Having worked through the AIDS epidemic, along with multiple other outbreaks, Amy has been well-prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that MAHEC’s dental practices are open again, Amy’s confident in her abilities to keep herself and her patients safe.

“I love being a hygienist and seeing the look on a patient’s face when they realize how much better their teeth look and feel,” exclaimed Amy. “It sustains me and has sustained me for over 30 years! I am very blessed to be able to do what I love.” Amy also enjoys gardening, fishing, reading, and traveling to the Caribbean.