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
Sina: Office Manager
I joined the amazing OFD family in 2006. In that time, I have made so many friends, friends that are more like family. I am so thankful for my coworkers and our patients. I love helping people in any way I can, this OFD family allows me to do that every single day. I couldn’t be luckier!
- I love spending time with my husband and daughter traveling or just hanging out at home.
- I enjoy baking, cake decorating, crafting and going to Indy car races.
- My blood runs Maize and Blue, GO BLUE!
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: Financial Coordinator
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.
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.
Kristie: Dental Assistant
I have been in the dental field for 10 years. I take pride in making sure that my dental patients are comfortable during their entire appointment, and I especially love to make people laugh and smile. My favorite thing about dentistry is the reconstruction of peoples smiles. Their reactions once finished is priceless!
- I have 3 amazing dogs, Monty, Meyah, and Timmy (saurus)
- I’m a huge Aerosmith fan! It’s Aerosmith or nothin’
- Pineapple pizza is life
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.
Our Dental Hygienists
Marie: Dental Hygienist
I have been working at OFD since 1992, so I must like working here (or I’m just crazy!) In those years, I’ve seen much growth and many changes. The one thing that remains constant is the high quality of care and genuine concern the staff gives to every patient. We all do our best and I enjoy being a part of such an amazing team!
- I love going to my weekly Zumba class.
- My wonderful husband always makes sure there’s some form of chocolate in the house.
- What keeps me busy, and my favorite thing, is hanging out with my family - 4 daughters, son in laws and 3 precious grandkids!
Shannon: Dental Hygienist
I first started at OFD in 1995, as a dental assistant and became a dental hygienist in 2006. I love working at OFD because our staff and patients are just like family, and it’s a healthy work environment.
- After 15+ years of marriage, I’m still head over heels in love with my amazing husband. We have 3 boys (grown) and a golden retriever, Maui.
- We travel to Maui every year with my amazing parents.
- I enjoy working out, vegan cooking, and am currently training for my first half Ironman.
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.
Kyra: Dental Hygienist
I joined OFD in Nov 2017. It has been so great being able to meet all the patients and help them improve their oral health. OFD has the best patients and staff and I am so blessed to be here.
- I have a four-legged son, Riggins.
- I am obsessed with plants. I have almost 60 in my house!
- My favorite thing to do is try out new restaurants with my husband - I LOVE food!!