Dentist returns home to North Bend

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NORTH BEND - If Kelly Garwood, the Valley's newest dentist, looks awfully familiar, it's for a good reason.

The former Kelly Cabe is a 1989 Mount Si High School graduate who cut her teeth in the profession while working at Peter Jacobsen's dentistry office. Garwood has come a long way since her job sterilizing equipment for Jacobsen.

After receiving her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Washington, Garwood enlisted in the Navy where she worked as a dentist. While in the Navy she met her husband, Troy Garwood, had two children (Logan, 2, and Nicholas, 5 months) and lived in several places including North Carolina and Georgia. Two years ago the couple moved to Bremerton and upon leaving the Navy, Kelly, who had served for five years, began working at one of the town's practices.

But with a yearning to get closer to grandma and grandpa and live in the place where she was raised, Kelly began looking for a practice to call her own in the Valley. That search recently turned successful when office space in North Bend was made available this year.

"The timing was right, we just had to do it," said Garwood.

In the weeks leading up to the opening of the practice on Oct. 18, Kelly and Troy began the process of renovating the building and getting the details for running a business in order. Many of those tasks, such as obtaining licenses and refitting the existing equipment to accommodate the left-handed Kelly, weren't things that were taught in school.

"There's a lot of the little things they don't teach tou about [at dentistry school]," said Garwood. "It's a very big challenge for us."

Not only was the timing right for Garwood to start her own practice, but it was prime to steal a cherished employee away from her 25-year residence with the Snoqualmie Valley School District.

Sally Cabe, Kelly's mom, left her post at Snoqualmie Middle School on a Friday and reported to work at her daughter's office the following Monday.

Kelly said she didn't expect any problems to arise from a mother taking orders from her daughter, but laughed at the unusual premise.

"I don't think she'll like that much," said Kelly.

Kelly's aim for the practice is to create a family atmosphere where the doctor and the patients get to know one another. Ultimately, Kelly said she would like to watch the kids of local families grow up and pictures herself bringing her own children to the practice.

Until that happens, Kelly said she's just enjoying the familiar faces of the area and is excited about her new opportunity.

"It's nice to come home to the Valley," Kelly said laughing.

The new office is located at 421 Main Ave. S. in North Bend. Call (425) 888-0867 to make an appointment.

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