May 30, 2023


Business Banking

Riverside Dental, a Deerwood Bank Client Success Story

Riverside Dental, a Deerwood Bank Client Success Story

Riverside Dental is a family dental practice in Sartell, Minnesota that treats patients of all ages. With two Dentists, Riverside Dental has the expertise and knowledge to provide every patient with the care they need, from routine teeth cleanings and digital X-rays to dental implants, teeth whitening, and more.

Dr. Ellen Morris, Dr. Mikala Gaffke, and their team of incredible support staff treat their patients with kindness, care, and respect.


In 2021, Dr. Mikala Gaffke was searching for a practice that matched her values and an organization she could eventually share in ownership. Seeing so many great qualities in Riverside Dental, she joined the team with the plan of buying into the practice after one year of working with Dr. Morris and the team.

“After less than a year, it was clear that this practice was the one I had been searching for,” Dr. Gaffke says. “Dr. Morris’ and my values aligned, and the way we treated patients was similar.”

Dr. Gaffke started evaluating options for buying into the practice. She looked at online loan options, large national banks, and one small, community bank – Deerwood Bank.


When talking with the national banks, they would hardly consider a loan with the same structure, because Riverside Dental didn’t fit into the pre-defined parameters of the bank. The online options were better, Gaffke said, but lacked any sort of personal support or guidance.

When Dr. Gaffke met with the Deerwood Bank team, she found they had a loan program specifically for doctors and had worked with dozens of dentists on the type of loan she was looking for.

“The fact that Deerwood had a product specifically for health care providers like me was really comforting. They were used to doing transactions like this and knew the intricacies of how it worked,” Dr. Gaffke said. “Plus, having a local branch and a Private Banker who I can call any time with questions – that’s so valuable as a small business owner.”


Deerwood Bank’s team made the entire buy-in transaction nice and simple for Dr. Gaffke and Dr. Morris.

Riverside Dental conducts their business banking at Deerwood Bank, and Dr. Morris banks personally at Deerwood Bank, so Dr. Gaffke had experienced a little of what it’s like to work with Deerwood and was impressed with the level of personalization and service.

“We can call our Private Banker (Denise Rosin) any time with questions and know she’s going to answer the phone and find the answer for us,” Dr. Gaffke says. “They’ve continued to bring us solutions that they feel might help our business processes.”

The latest example was Positive Pay, a cash-management service that Deerwood Bank offers to deter check fraud.

“We don’t have a lot of time to spend researching new financial offerings, so we rely on Deerwood to help us with those products,” Dr. Gaffke says.

After finalizing the practice buy-in transaction with Deerwood Bank, Dr. Gaffke and Dr. Morris are thrilled to be partners in the business and are now focused on providing high-quality dental care for their incredible patients. They’re confident that they’ve chosen the right banking partner to provide banking products that will serve their business well.

Jed Rusk Named as Director of Marketing and Communications

Jed Rusk

Office: 218.316.3539

Jed Rusk is the Director of Marketing and Communications at Deerwood Bank. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Stout with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Marketing and Advertising. Jed handles all of Deerwood Bank’s business-related content, including press releases and community announcements.  When Jed gets a free moment, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Rachel, and their Golden Retriever, Leo. If Jed isn’t around the bank, you can probably find him at the local hockey arena or out on the golf course.

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