Growing up, health care was a part of Liza Kolousek’s family story. Generations of her relatives chose to devote their lives and career to helping others. When she thinks back on those friends and relatives, she views them as people who felt called to their professions, versus working for a paycheck.
“By growing up and being around those people in my life I didn’t see them as someone who got paid,” she said. “I viewed them as someone who did something for others.”
Kolousek followed in her family’s footsteps by pursuing a career as a dental hygienist. She currently cares for patients at Jerauld County Dental Clinic in Wessington Springs. When it comes to her patients, she’s kept the same philosophy as her family members.
“We’re not in it for the money,” she said. “We’re in it because we build relationships with people who trust us.”
Kolousek’s form of healthcare goes beyond the dental chair. One of her patients had a husband with dementia who would misplace any Christmas gift he received. His wife was looking for a fiber optic tree for his room. Kolousek happened to have the same type of tree in her office. She gave the tree to her patient to help make their Christmas a little bit merry in the face of a difficult time. She has also stopped by a patient’s home after work and taken them to get groceries if they didn’t have a car.
“You’re there for a reason.” Kolousek said. “That person might need something so little as help to the car. You don’t get that everywhere. I’m lucky to be in an area where I can help with any kind of healthcare that might be needed. Building those relationships are important to me, and I hope they are just as important to the community I serve.”