'Doctor To Patient'

Somehow, inspiring a young person to be enthralled about a profession is awesome.

That kind of inspiration also seems to happen for many types of career choices, especially in the medical field.

It is quite unusual, though for a dentist to love his practice so much that through genuine caring, dedication and concern for his patient's comfort and oral health, he imparts that ideal onto a patient!

Well, that's exactly what Dr. Michael Kellogg has done.

His practice began with the philosophy of putting his patients first. Their comfort and well-being was always primary to him and all his patients knew they were in good, gentle hands when they trusted their oral health care to him.

That philosophy was proven time and again in Dr. Kellogg's treatments, advice and one-on-one relationships he developed with each patient. He became an extended member of many families here in Longmont.

Over the years, his practice grew and thrived with the Longmont community. His reputation was stellar.

That's where the original seed was planted.

Paul Hartigan was a young child when he first went to Dr. Kellogg for his dental visits. It was during those visits that Paul, probably watching Dr. Kellogg's every move and asking a million questions that the doctor inspired the patient.

It was during those initial visits where Paul's love of dentistry began. And it was because of Dr. Kellogg's genuine caring way and taking the time to answer all of Paul's questions that inspired Paul. He offered honest, thorough answers that encouraged the enthusiasm Paul now has in practicing dentistry.

Paul actually looked forward to going to the dentist!

Paul was a perfect fit to continue the practice. He has a gentle, steady way about him and is sincerely interested in his patient's oral health. He encourages treating whole families; parents, children, grandparents and singles. He has learned an immense amount from Dr. Kellogg, the most important trait already comes naturally - putting the patient first.

Even though Paul's life circumstances took him on a detour before he could realize his dream, he found his way to his true calling. There are not many people fortunate enough to be able to say they truly love what they do.

Dr. Paul Hartigan is unconditionally one of them!

Dr. Paul Hartigan is proud to have taken over the practice of Dr. Michael Kellogg who retired in September, 2010. Dr. Hartigan had been a patient of Dr. Kellogg for many years and was thrilled to have the opportunity to continue providing quality, compassionate dental care to patients in the Longmont area.

The article below provided courtesy of the Longmont Times-Call, features Dr. Kellogg, the retiring dentist handing his practice over to his longtime patient, Dr. Hartigan.

The celebration event was successfully attended by patients, local business executives and Longmont government officials.

hartigan and kellogg
'Heir to the Crown'

When he was growing up, Paul Hartigan was a rare breed. He actually liked going to the dentist.

"I kind of enjoyed the process; I always found it kind of fascinating," said Hartigan, who will officially take over for Dr. Michael Kellogg, who's retiring Wednesday after 38 years of practicing in Longmont.

It's safe to say Kellogg had more than a little influence on Hartigan's decision to enter dentistry at age 43. He has been Hartigan's dentist since 1977.

"I was 36 when I said to myself, 'OK, now’s the time to do it,'" said Hartigan, who will change the name of Kellogg's practice, at 1616 Mountain View Avenue, in the Mountain View Medical Center, to Longs Peak Family Dental.

"I thought it was wonderful because I love it so much," said Kellogg, 65. "And I think Paul saw, through my eyes, my love of dentistry."

Both men got their undergraduate degrees at Regis University.

Kellogg got his dental degree from the University of Marquette because, decades ago, the University of Colorado didn't yet have a dental school. He graduated in 1970, then spent two years in the Air Force before returning to Aurora with the intent of starting his own practice.

He hadn't even considered Longmont, he said. But a prominent Longmont family, the Murphys, were acquaintances of his father, Kellogg said, and Jack Murphy - whose name graces the Boulder County Fairgrounds arena - convinced the younger Kellogg to come up for a day and give Longmont a look.

Once here, Murphy introduced Kellogg to Dr. Michael Schmid, who was about to build a new medical office building at Mountain View and Vivian Street.

"I was the first tenant," Kellogg said. The population of Longmont was 26,000, he recalled, "and I remember there were 22 dentists."

Hartigan landed in the Longmont area in 1977. Following high school and his undergraduate degree from Regis, he enrolled in CU med school. But his personal life interrupted his plans: He was the father of three daughters by the time he was 22.

Because he was the primary caregiver for his kids, "I had to find jobs that were flexible," Hartigan said. So he chose nursing and began working psychiatric care. But funding cuts meant scarce resources to help patients, he said.

In mental health care, "you get to the point where you were always putting Band-Aids on people," Hartigan said.

So he got a teaching certificate and went to work in the St. Vrain Valley School District, including teaching at Erie Elementary for 10 years.

At 36, he decided to return to medicine. He considered optometry, but his old love of dentistry came back to him.

He was 39 when he was accepted into the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine, and he got his doctorate this May.

All along, he continued to be a patient of Kellogg's.

"I talked to him when I entered dental school," Hartigan said. "He called me in his office about a year later and said he was considering retiring."

"And Paul had already said he was coming to Longmont (to practice)," Kellogg added.

Hartigan said he had always admired Kellogg's mission of putting his patients first, and when discussions turned to Hartigan buying his practice, the deal was quickly sealed.

"Since I've known him for so long, I know his traits and his personality, and he's just a good fit for my practice," Kellogg said.

Hartigan said his goal is to continue to put patients first, and the only change he's going to make is in the name: He's calling it Longs Peak Family Dental because he's going to begin treating kids again - something Kellogg stopped doing a while back.

"I only have so many years to practice. I have 25 years left to practice, and I want to do it well," Hartigan said.