Dr. C Family Dentistry opens West Plains location

By Matthew O. Stephens

Residents of Airway Heights and the West Plains, in general, can look to schedule their dental needs at the new Dr. C office located in Airway at 11919 West Sunset Highway in Suite C.

Josh and Amy Cochran opened this location as their sixth in the region on April 21.

According to Josh, the company’s chief executive officer, the building will eventually house separate companies that specialize in general medicine, vision care, and physical therapy services. Those will become available as construction is completed within each office. Overall, the building will provide the community with an outlet to be seen for various healthcare needs alongside the ones Dr. C provides: general dentistry, kids dentistry, and orthodontics.

“We want to make sure we have everything under one roof,” Josh said. “We want to reinvent dentistry and make sure our practice is centered around the patient. We are excited to be the centerpiece for this all-encompassing medical facility.”

The Cochran’s manage several other dental facilities in the region and have been building the Dr. C brand for several years now. The couple attributes their found success to the business model they have integrated.

“We simply put our patients first and figure out what each person needs and wants. We aim to deliver on our goal of having a lasting positive impact on our patients, team, and community,” said Josh. “I am driven to change and improve the service model for clientele.”

Putting the patients first means the company has to operate when people need them, and so far it has proven very beneficial for the company to offer hours of service outside of the general norm.

According to Josh, their practices offer hours of service that help people access the care they need without missing work or school. He explained the hours of operation fit well in the West Plains because there are a lot of residents in the area that work outside of a standard schedule. Before starting the facility in Airway, they performed a needs assessment and found later hours to be the greatest need for families.
This need was a significant reason they built the Airway Heights facility. Josh explained that the data showed how underserved the West Plains is in terms of dentistry. With the area being medically underserved in general, helped influence the decision to make it a one-stop health shop.

The Cochran’s also operate a dental facility in Cheney and the Spokane Valley along with several others they oversee in the region.

Dr. Amy, who works as the children’s dentist, said the alternative hour requests became popular at their Valley office because people were working nine to five, or their kids didn’t get out of school sports until later. People had all manner of reasons for needing later appointments, and she felt it was important to highlight that specific need.

Dr C Dentistry Team
left to right: Dr. Mark Bradle, Dr. Kirk Bean, Chayla Adder, Lauryn McAndrew, Dr. Amy Cochran, Audrey Echeverria-Torres

“That’s when we found our niche for the evening and weekend hours,” Dr. Amy said. “It became a really hot commodity for people.”

According to Josh, having active community alliances is essential for their business model, which is one reason they joined the West Plains Chamber of Commerce.

The company’s Marketing Specialist, Bridget Plese, explained that developing those community partnerships is crucial to newly opened offices.

“Everything revolves around those connections and how we can better serve this community,” said Plese.

“What is special here is that the community members really want to help each other,” she continued.

Plese explained that she has been with the company for a year and a half, having started as an intern in the Spokane Valley office. She described that being with the company for that long has allowed her to learn a lot about the industry in general.

“It’s been fun to see how much work and thought goes into a new practice,” Plese said. “It’s been nice to see all of the hard work be put into action so we can continue to better serve our patients. Everything we do is for them.”

The Cochran’s described a few of the setbacks they had to overcome but agreed that it helped them be more prepared with each facility they opened.

Dr. Amy explained the main issue they faced was being able to maintain consistent staffing, and how COVID impacted that.

“When we started in 2014, we only had one doctor and we grew from there. We noticed a huge change when COVID hit,” said Dr. Amy. “We were cut down to just providing emergency care and saw an increased need for alternative hours due to the changes in the school systems. It’s taken a lot of work, and there have been a lot of setbacks. We just never lost sight of our goal, and we wanted to make sure it would be a place we would want to take our own family.”

During the COVID pandemic, supplies also became more expensive, and that also directly affected their practice as medical supply costs went up as well. According to Josh they simply had to stay the course and make needed adjustments to keep going.

Since things have started to come back together in society, the couple said they have put together a team of “dental rock stars” that have made an incredible foundation for the Airway Heights office.

In the end, it paid off, and the couple explained the office has been bringing in a lot of new patients week to week, and Dr. Amy said, “I think people have been waiting for an office like this in the West Plains, and they are ready to come see us.”