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WATER VALLEY – Ownership of a dental clinic in Water Valley changed last Friday when Dr. Barry Weeks sold his clinic to two longtime dentists. Weeks said that although the ownership is changing, patients will notice little difference. The hours will stay the same, the staff will remain and Weeks will continue to work two days per week.
“The demand has been unbelievable during the last year,” Weeks explained. “I am excited to work with Dr. (Harry) Rayburn and Dr. (Michael) Abraham. This will allow us to see people more efficiently and expand services to our patients. We are excited about that,” Weeks said.
Weeks has practiced general dentistry since 1983 when he opened the clinic with his wife, Charmie Weeks, who has served as business manager until her retirement last week. Weeks said the deal came as they had been contemplating scaling back and, he jokingly added, “good timing by Dr. Abraham.”
“A couple of months ago a computer at the clinic blew up,” Weeks said.
The frustrating occurrence was a detraction to what he most enjoys, interacting with patients and providing dental care.
“Two days later, Michael called me,” Weeks said.
Rayburn of Oxford will work two days a week as the clinic will maintain the Monday through Thursday hours. He shares Weeks’ enthusiasm for building strong relationships with patients and providing dental care. Rayburn previously owned Main Street Family Dentistry in Tupelo, where he practiced until he sold the clinic in 2018. During the last five years he has worked at different clinics in the area, filling in for other dentists.
“I am like Dr. Weeks, I want to fix teeth and meet the people,” Rayburn shared about his interest in purchasing the clinic and providing dental care.
Abraham, also of Oxford, will work at the clinic as needed. Abraham owns clinics in Calhoun City, Eupora and Winona and explained his role is more of a managing doctor.
“I had a health hiccup that has limited me clinically a little, and I have become more of a manager doctor,” Dr. Abraham explained. “That leads me to pursuing relationships with clinics where doctors just want to work. Harry is a seasoned doctor who wants to provide services, but really doesn’t want strong involvement with management.”
All three dentists shared that timing was essential in the deal. Abraham had reached out to Weeks several years earlier, but the timing wasn’t right. For Rayburn, he had shied away from earlier offers to return to a regular schedule when his children were in high school. Family and supporting public education are important to him, a commitment that is evident by his 2020 selection as the Oxford School District Citizen of the Year. Rayburn also shared that his parents were both public school teachers.
“I want to get involved in the schools in Water Valley,” he said. “I think public schools are very important for the community and for the kids,” Rayburn added.
The new owners said that there will be a few additions, including implant-supported denture services, new insurance verification software and utilizing text messages for appointment reminders. They are also excited about services Weeks currently offers that are not available in Abraham’s other clinics including using a scanner for impressions.
“I am bringing on some gentlemen that I have full confidence in, who will continue to provide excellent dental care for the people of Water Valley. I have seen the Lord in this so far all the way. Things have happened at the right time. I am very thankful and very excited,” Weeks added.