The brief descriptions below are designed to familiarize you with our staff's training, professional credentials and work experience.
Meet our Doctors
Dr. Catherine E. Nelson
Dr. Cate Nelson started at Oshtemo Family Dentistry in 2013 as an Associate Dentist, and in 2016, acquired OFD from Dr. Kevin Bannow. This came after earning a Bachelor of Science degree at Hillsdale College, a doctorate degree from SUNY Buffalo School of Dental Medicine and after completing a one year residency in Advanced Education in General Dentistry from the University of Michigan. Originally from Northwest Michigan, Dr. Nelson was excited to land back on the west side of the state!
She is passionate about furthering her education, taking advanced courses on a variety of dental procedures, and most importantly her patients. Dentistry and technology are constantly evolving and she is focused on offering our patients the best and latest care available.
Dr. Nelson is also heavily involved in multiple levels of organized dentistry. This participation is a priority to continue to move the profession of dentistry in a forward direction and to ensure she is up to date on the latest technologies, techniques, and treatment solutions. She is an active member in the following organizations:
- Kalamazoo Valley District Dental Society,
- Delegate to the Michigan Dental Association
- Interim New Dentist Committee Chair
- Michigan Dental Association
- Peer Review and Ethics Committee Member
- New Dentist Committee Member
- House of Delegates Reference Committee Member
- American Dental Association
- Academy of General Dentistry
- Spear Education
- Study Club Member
Dr. Nelson believes that each smile is unique and loves working with her patients to provide the best care possible, focusing on their comfort. Her goal is for each patient to walk out of our office confident, happy and healthy.
- Dr. Nelson recently picked out a puppy, but she could not separate him from his brother. So, you may see her TWO Great Danes, Boss and Samson, around the office from time to time.
- Dr. Nelson is a big foodie and loves to travel! She often attempts to recreate her favorite meals in her own kitchen.
- Community outreach is a passion of hers. She regularly volunteers in the community and with her alma maters, even if it is not dental related. She has been blessed to travel internationally (usually to Africa) to donate equipment, time and her skills to help those in need, while educating others.
Dr. Sai Prathika Vedururu
Dr. Sai Prathika joined the OFD family in July of 2018. She is a native of India and graduated from NTR University of Health Sciences, India with a Bachelors in Dental Surgery in 2010. Upon graduation, she joined a private practice for two years. In addition to her time in private practice, she also organized health awareness camps in local schools and communities to share the importance of oral health especially as it relates to the general health of an individual.
Dr. Prathika moved to the United States after her marriage in 2012. She began her dental career, here in Kalamazoo, at the Health and Community Services Dental Clinical. While in this role, she used her expertise to inform our community and advise the WIC program in matters of oral health. She continued her education in the U.S. and completed her Doctorate of Dental Surgery degree at SUNY Buffalo School of Dental Medicine in 2018. In addition to the required dental curriculum, she chose to take advanced courses in prosthodontics and lasers in dentistry.
Dr. Prathika strongly believes that continuing education allows her to give our patients the best care. She strives to learn and adapt the constantly evolving advancements in dental treatment to our practice. She recently completed 300 hours of education in the study of Implant Dentistry, all while maintaining her regular practice schedule!
She is an active member in the following organizations:
- American Academy of Implant Dentistry
- American Dental Association
- Michigan Dental Association
- Kalamazoo Valley District Dental Society
- Prathika loves to share her Indian culture and traditions, and is very enthusiastic to learn about customs of others. She loves cooking Indian food and brining the flavors to OFD! She also has danced in a few performances at the Indian Cultural Festivals in Kalamazoo.
- She loves to spend her free time with her family and her favorite pastime is canvas painting.
- She loves to travel and explore. She has visited 21 states and 1 union territory over the last 5 years and hopes to cover the rest in the next few!
Our Front Desk
Paula: New Patient Coordinator
I’ve worked at OFD since 2006. Everyone here is so fun, positive and caring. I couldn’t ask for a better place to work.
- I like to read, especially mysteries.
- Country music is my favorite but I’m open to listening to almost anything.
- My favorite thing to do is getting together with family.
Tracie: Recall Coordinator
I joined OFD in 2012. I enjoy working here because I love talking to people and getting to know them on a personal level. Plus, I work with an amazing crew
- I love spending time with my family and my crazy cats and dogs.
- I love horror moves old and new.
- I love hard rock, metal and punk music. I always make time to find a Korn concert each year
Julie: Office Manager
Working at OFD, since June 2016, is basically an extension of my family life. We have such a great time with our patients and with each other. So many fun memories and the promise of more to come. I am blessed to be a part of the OFD family. They make my world complete.
- I am trying hard to be “Pinteresty.” My motto usually is “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” but eventually may default to “have someone that is actually crafty make it for you.”
- I married my high school sweetheart. Who would have thought back in the day of mullets and big hair we would be here? 3 beautiful daughters, inside and out, and a goldendoodle named Milo.
- I am the worrier of the family! Thankfully, I enjoy having fun colors in my hair to cover all that worry up.
Rebekka: Financial Coordinator
I joined OFD in the fall of 2020. I feel as though I won the “Golden Ticket” joining this team. Everybody is wonderful, and they are all passionate about their job!
- I love spending time with my husband and 3 daughters.
- I enjoy being outdoors fishing, hunting and slow-pitch softball are some of my favorite hobbies.
- U of M fan for LIFE! GO BLUE!!
Our Dental Assistants
Austin: Dental Assistant
In 2017, I was welcomed into the best work family ever! We all have a pretty great time working together!
- I love anything outdoors, camping, backpacking, or just hanging out around a fire.
- I am very easy going and just a big ball of positive energy.
- My wife is a dental hygienist and we have a very handsome dog, Kooper (Instagram K9_Kooper, you won’t be disappointed!)
- Aka: Fancy pants!
Heather: Dental Assistant
I started dental assisting in 2014 here at OFD. I always wanted to go into the dental field and quickly found dentistry to be so fascinating and rewarding. I am always learning something new and love taking care of patients. I love working at OFD!
- I’m a Georgia Peach! (was born in Georgia)
- I have been known to have a slight Chapstick addiction.
- I love the outdoors and adventures.
Lisa: Dental Assistant
I’ve been a dental assistant for 20 years. I joined OFD in 2019, I’m super excited to be a part of this Amazing team everyone here is great!
- I enjoy spending time in the kitchen cooking with my soon to be hubby.
- I love Popcorn!!
- I love when my 23 year old son comes to visit and I love my Ferret Bella.
Brandy: Dental Assistant
I absolutely love the group of people I’ve been blessed to work with every day. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive team.
- I have a 2-year-old daughter that is my best friend and looks just like me.
- I love to travel and I’ve also been to 3 different countries. Germany, Italy and London.
- Yoga is my favorite thing to do in my spare time.
Our Dental Hygienists
Jessica: Dental Hygienist
Oshtemo Family Dentistry is like a second family, and I feel lucky to work with some of my best friends. I love being part of such a hard-working, fun-loving and passionate group of people.
- I don’t know who I am more like: Monica Gellar or Joanna Gaines
- Maize and Blue are my two favorite colors – GO BLUE!
- I am either on the go or at home with my dog and Netflix. I’m always up for anything as long as it’s planned.
Lindsey: Dental Hygienist
Whether it is professional or personal, everyone here pushes each other to reach higher!
- My happy place is walking up and down every aisle at Target!
- Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m terrible at making decisions!
- We recently got chickens and they have brought so much entertainment to us!
Jodi: Dental Hygienist
OFD brings such a large amount of diversity! Each team member has something unique to offer to complete our team. This truly helps us make every patient experience that much more special while they receive the upmost quality of care!
- I have a passion for all thing’s health and fitness- distance running, cycling and weight lifting.
- I love to travel! I went skydiving at 15,000 feet over Rottnest Island in Australia and went snorkeling in Manta Ray Bay with Manta Rays. I have even bathed Asian Elephants!
- U of M fan!! Go BLUE!!
Jenn: Dental Hygienist
2020 brought me to OFD and I couldn’t be happier! Being a part of such a fun, caring and hardworking team is amazing!
- Spending time at home with my husband, daughter and dog is my ideal weekend!
- I love a good thunderstorm.
- From beach vacations to hiking in Alaska, I love to travel! I even spent some time in Japan as an exchange student.