WHEELING - Barbara Reisinger thought a recent Thursday was just another work day, but she soon found out it would be someting special.
The Wheeling woman is a dental hygienst who has been tending to people's teeth for 35 years since she graduated from the former West Liberty State College.
On Thursday, her father thought it was time she was recognized for her work, and he ought to know, because she worked for him and his brother, Dr. William "Bill" Grubler, for years before they retired. So armed with a plaque and accompanied by his wife, Rosamund, family and co-workers, Dr. Bernard Grubler presented his daughter with the honor.
Photo by Heather Ziegler
Celebrating 35 years as a dental hygienist, Barbara Reisinger is presented a plaque by her father, Dr. Bernard Grubler, who is one of several dentists in her family.
Reisinger responded with the expected tears as she said she loves her job and is lucky to work for some great dentists. Currently those great dentists are her brothers, Dr. Michael Grubler and Dr. Joseph Grubler, whose practices are located side-by-side in the 1000 block of National Road in Wheeling.
Reisinger's father said the West Virginia Dental Association honors its dentists at 25 and 50 years of service. However, the dental hygienists' association has no such honors in place.
"I thought it was about time she got the recognition she deserves. She's not retiring anytime soon but I wanted her to know how much she is appreciated," her father said.
Reisinger comes from a family of nine children, all of whom learned the importance of hard work and caring for others. At West Liberty, Reisinger and a classmate, Kim Massey, presented a table clinic as did many dental and dental hygiene seniors at the combined annual West Virginia State Dental and Dental Hygiene Society meeting. Their clinic was titled, "Do You See What I Hear?"
It was a unique presentation to dentists and hygienists about sign language that could be used by them to communicate with their hearing impaired patients. The presentation received a first place award from the state and national American Dental Associations.
A few months after graduation she married Jay Reisinger, also of Wheeling. The couple moved south as Jay was a student at the Xavier University of Louisiana's College of Pharmacy. Meanwhile, Reisinger obtained her dental hygiene license and began her career in the office of Dr. Charles McShane in Louisiana. The next year she started work with Dr. Donald Strain who had a large practice in Metairie, La.
In 1981, when the couple returned to Wheeling, Jay Reisinger worked in the pharmacy at Ohio Valley Medical Center and later opened his own pharmacy in Bethlehem. The couple welcomed their first daughter, Aslynn in 1983, a second daughter, Aimee, in 1985, and their third daughter, Alana in 1997. Juggling motherhood and career, Reisinger managed to work full and part-time for her father and uncle, then for Drs. Michael Maroon and Jay Dyer.
"I never quit a job. I left when they either retired or moved," Reisinger said. "I have been so blessed to work with great people. It seems like a blink of an eye that I just started my career."
Her brothers, for whom she continues to work today, said she is the "great one."
"Sibling rivalry went out the door when we grew up and began working with each other," Michael Grubler said.
Joseph Grubler said his sister sets the bar high with her professionalism with patients.
"It's a pleasure to work with her. I can't believe we've been working together for 17 years," he said.
Daughter Aslynn said her mother works hard but always has time for her family.
"She is the heart of the office and has been wherever she worked," she said.
Reisinger said his daughter shares his principles of the three most important loves of life: God, family and patients.
Today, Reisinger still finds time to deliver Meals on Wheels for the Catholic Neighborhood 18th Street Center and to spend time with her grandson.
Her father said she has to continue working a while longer because her nephews - the latest dentists in the family - Dr. Adam Grubler and Drs. Jack and Sarah Palmer, may need her in the future.