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Humbert retires from Hastings Dental Associates after 37 years

Trent Anderson and Stephen Humbert have been co-owners of Hastings Dental Associates since 2003. Anderson will take on full ownership when Humbert retires at the end of this year. (Star Gazette photo by Michelle Wirth)

Hastings Dental Associates has been in the Humbert family for 62 years, ever since it opened in 1954. Now, co-owner Stephen Humbert plans to retire. He will sell his part of the practice to co-owner Trent Anderson at the end of this year.

Anderson and Humbert have been part-owners of Hastings Dental Associates since 2003, sharing the practice as 50/50 partners. Anderson said he is now looking forward to living up to the standards the Humberts have built for dentistry in the community.

"The Humberts built this practice up; they've done a great job in Hastings and I just want to continue that tradition (of) keeping mouths healthy, smiles bright," Anderson said.

Humbert said that, growing up, he developed an interest in dentistry from watching his father run the practice. He joined his father at the family business in 1979, but he wasn't the only one in the family to join him.

"My entire family has been involved in this practice at one time or another," Humbert said.

His mother was a dental assistant and then the bookkeeper, his brother was a practicing dentist and his sisters were a hygienist and front desk worker.

Dentistry has been a very rewarding profession for Humbert.

"You're helping people, whether it's improving their smile, taking them out of pain (or) just helping them with their oral health," Humbert said.

Humbert said he is going to miss the people he has met through the practice in Hastings when he retires, but he will continue to be involved in dentistry.

Humbert is an instructor at the University of Minnesota's dental program. He also leads trips to Guatemala several times during the year through an organization called Common Hope, providing much-needed dental care to impoverished families. His most recent trip was over the Thanksgiving holiday, when he took 13 students with him. He and his students mostly perform procedures that take people out of pain, such as tooth extractions or cavity filling; occasionally they complete a root canal or crown. Next year, Humbert said he plans to go to Guatemala at least six times.

He said that leaving Hastings Dental Associates is going to be bittersweet, but he is ready to move on to the next chapter in his life.

The practice will undergo a few slight changes in the coming months.

Starting in January, Anderson said, the practice will start offering longer hours to make scheduling appointments easier for the patients. They will start by staying open until 7 p.m. on Wednesdays. Once those slots start to fill up, they might look at extending hours another day of the week.

The practice has added a new front desk employee to accommodate the longer hours. In addition, a new doctor has been brought on board to help Anderson when Humbert retires. Ryan Hilleshiem started on Nov. 1.

Anderson said Humbert has been a great mentor for him and he has learned a lot from him. He is hoping to pay it forward by being a great mentor for Hilleshiem.

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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