Employees and patients of an East Setauket dental office are bidding bon voyage to a familiar face.
On Dec. 12, after more than 25 years with Koeppel Dental Group, office manager Marie Marsh is retiring. Dr. Ira Koeppel, the director of the dental group, said she gave her notice a few years ago but stayed on to train her replacement, Alexandrea Kizenberger. Koeppel said he remembers meeting Marsh when he asked a former office manager to have someone look at financial information. He was so impressed with how Marsh interpreted the information and did everything with such care, that he knew he had to hire her.
“I told my office manager back then ‘I don’t care what it takes, hire her,’” he said.
Marsh started as a receptionist at the office and later became office manager.
Koeppel described Marsh as a caring person with an unconditional love for everyone.
“Marie cares how she helps people, whether it’s fellow employees or patients,” the dentist said. “She walks on this planet helping others.”
Koeppel said Marsh has been integral in helping the office raise more than $160,000 over the years for nonprofits such as Little Flower Orphanage, the Fortunato Breast Health Center, Carol M. Baldwin Breast Center, Stony Brook Children’s Hospital, Long Island Veterans Home at Stony Brook University and the Ronald McDonald House.
“I’m so grateful and thankful to have met her and her family, and for letting us be a part of her life,” Koeppel said.
Patient Michael Horney, who is also a chiropractor, said when he heard about Marsh’s retirement, he felt bad for the dentist as he understands the importance of a good office manager. Horney said Koeppel could focus 100 percent on patients with Marsh there.
“He knew that Marie did everything else in the office,” he said, adding that the manager not only possesses the know-how to run a business but also has the personality to interact with patients.
Horney wished Marsh, who is a St. James resident, well with her retirement and knows she will keep busy.
“She’s going to have a fulfilling retirement for sure, because that’s the nature of the person she is,” he said. “She’s a giver. Wherever she moves to, she’ll get involved in the community.”
In a letter to patients, Marsh said the relationships she developed during her time with the office changed her immensely.
“I have watched the ‘practice’ children grow into some of the finest people that I have ever met,” she wrote. “You all made me a better person. For all the times that you let me be part of your life, I will forever be grateful.”