Meet Our Team
Dr. Hyun Choi
I feel blessed to be a part of such an amazing team that sees our young patients the way we see our own nephews and nieces. Being a father of two young children, I have been in the shoes of a parent anxiously waiting to see a doctor, and cautiously hoping that the provider is sympathetic to my fearful children. Safari Smiles delivers that compassionate and personal care through our daily efforts and focus on our vision as a practice; to ensure that every child walks away with a fun experience in a setting that can otherwise be frightening. Influenced by my own personal and professional experiences, I feel empowered when I find opportunities to help assuage the fears of emotionally vulnerable children. I’ve seen first-hand the qualities of providers that can break or nurture the child sitting in the dental chair, and find the greatest sense of purpose when I see parents trust me with those they love and cherish the most. Informed by my specialty training, years practicing as a pediatric dentist, and my own childhood experiences, I am excited to bring my expertise as well as my most compassionate, engaged, and attentive self to your child’s care.
Catrina Davis, Office Manager
Hello, my name is Catrina, and I am the Office Manager at Safari Smiles. I grew up all over the
map. I have been in this community for 17+ years. I have two amazing boys. We enjoy anything
that requires laughter.
I previously worked at Arnot Health as a Clerical Medical Office Assistant for 5 years prior to
working for Safari Smiles. I have been working here for 12+ years, and this is HOME.
I LOVE what I do! I personally love to help others become the best version of themselves. It is a
great feeling to work in a place that I can call family. We really are the best team in town. Safari
Smiles strives for excellence and aspires to make each patient the TOP priority, and it is evident
when you first walk into the office throughout the whole visit and even while exiting the
building. I love working with and for Safari Smiles because we all live up to the values that are
Stacy Copp, Assistant Office Manager/Treatment Coordinator
Hello, my name is Stacy. I am the Assistant Office Manager/Treatment Coordinator here at
Safari Smiles. I have 4 children that were raised here. I have worked with children for as long as
I can remember. I previously taught at a private school, I also previously worked with the
mentally and physically challenged youth in the surrounding areas.
Marcia Baker, Lead Dental Hygienist
Hi, my name is Marcia and I am a Dental Hygienist at Safari Smiles. I grew up right over the border in Pennsylvania about 20 minutes from Corning. I received my degree in Dental Hygiene in 2008. I always looked forward to my own dental appointments growing up. I knew that I wanted to go into the dental field because of the Dental Hygienist and Dentist that I went to , they were funny and caring and always made sure I left with a smiles on my face. I started working at Safari Smiles in 2008! I love my job and my patients! I enjoy developing a good rapport with my patients, I believe that is what makes it very important in being successful. Just like my own Dental Hygienist, I aim for every child to have a positive dental experience. Being able to ease a child’s fear or have a parent tell me that their child is excited to come back is a great feeling!
Becca LaGrange, Dental Hygienist
Hello, my name is Becca L. and I am a Dental Hygienist. I grew up in Hornby, New York. I graduated from Broome Community College in 2010. I started working as a Dental Hygienist right out of school in Painted Post. I love working with children as a dental hygienist because I love kids and want to make their experience at the dentist fun and memorable and want them to enjoy coming to the dentist.
Cynthia Wheeler, Hygiene Coordinator
My name is Cindy Wheeler and I am the Hygiene Coordinator at Safari Smiles. You will primarily see me assisting the Hygienists with documenting the patient’s teeth numbers, taking the x-ray pictures, helping with the sealants (super shields), and making sure the Hygienists rooms are completely cleaned and disinfected for the next arriving patient.
Growing up in Troy, PA during my elementary school years, I eventually moved to NY and finished my schooling in Horseheads. After graduating high school, I went to the SCT Boces Tech center for the Dental Assisting Program.
For over 20 years now, I have been in the dental field as an Assistant in General Dentistry, and also an Orthodontic Assistant, and now I am in the most perfect position for me!! I love what I do here at Safari Smiles, and my work family is completely amazing!! They are so genuine and compassionate for one another, and with each of our patients. I look forward to coming to work knowing that I get to help my work family and am able to help put a smile on your child’s face! I reside in the Horseheads area with my 3 beautiful boys, and wonderful husband 🙂
Aliya Micknich, Dental Assistant
Hello, my name is Aliya and I am a Dental Assistant at Safari Smiles.
I grew up in Horseheads, NY where I graduated High School with a Dental Assisting Degree
from the GST BOCES Tech center, Instantly I fell in love with working with teeth and meeting
new patients. I currently reside in the Horseheads area with my significant other, and our
wonderful yellow lab Boozer.
For 8 years now, I have been in the dental field as an Assistant in General Dentistry, and also as
an Orthodontic Assistant, and now I am in the most perfect position for me working with your
I am very passionate about what I do here at Safari Smiles, and my coworkers instantly became
my family!! You can always count on me to bring positive vibes and a smile on my face at our
office. I look forward to coming into work knowing that I get to help transform a patient’s smile.
I am so grateful that I am part of a team that impacts every child’s experience in a positive way.
Katie Jones, Front Desk/Call Center Manager
My name is Katie Jones and I grew up in Corning. After high school, I moved to Alfred, NY where I attended Alfred University and taught elementary and pre-school for 3 years. When my husband and I decided to start our family, we wanted to move back to Corning to be closer to family. I wanted to take some time off from teaching but still work with kids, that’s when I found Safari Smiles!
Tina Sauter, Billing Manager
Hello, my name is Tina and I currently work in the Billing Department as the Billing Manager.
I grew up in northern New York but have lived in the Southern Tier for 38 years. A mother of four sons (Number 3 likes to tell his brothers he is the favorite), I am also a Grandmother of ten! I taught at a private Christian school for over 20 years and also had my own catering business for 15 years. I love God! I love my family! I love my country (member of the DAR)! I love my job!
Amanda Sturgis, Front Desk Assistant
Hi there, my name is Amanda, and I’m one of the front desk faces here at Safari Smiles! I’m from
Elmira and just recently moved back to the area. After spending about 8 years in Hampton Roads
Virginia, I decided to move back home to raise my daughter around family. In VA, I worked at a
dermatology office and really enjoyed the healthcare environment. When I moved back home, I
was so excited to find Safari Smiles! Being able to help patients in such a fun and bright
atmosphere greatly appealed to me! When I first stepped into safari smiles, my first thought was
that my daughter would LOVE it here. I love seeing that same reaction from all of our patients