Working in Clark County: Dentist Constant Lu

By Mary Ricks, Columbian News Assistant

Published:

 

Working in Clark County, a brief profile of interesting Clark County business owners or a worker in the public, private, or nonprofit sector. Send ideas to Mary Ricks: mary.ricks@columbian.com; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.

Working in Clark County, a brief profile of interesting Clark County business owners or a worker in the public, private, or nonprofit sector. Send ideas to Mary Ricks: mary.ricks@columbian.com; fax 360-735-4598; phone 360-735-4550.

Constant Lu opened his first office in Hazel Dell shortly after he graduated from dentistry school. “I like the community,” Lu says. “People are friendly, open and there are many ways for people to get involved.” Lu is very involved, donating many hours to providing dental services to those in need through Compassion Connect.

Name: Constant Lu.

Job/employer: Owns Lighthouse Dental, 3205 N.E. 78th St.

Age: 46.

Education/professional background: Earned a bachelor’s degree of science in biology at the University of Washington and graduated from dentistry school at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. He had family in the Vancouver area. Demographics showed this was a fast-growing area, and he thought it would be a good place to start a practice. He opened an office in 1995 in Hazel Dell before moving to his current location eight years ago.

Residence: Washougal.

One word to describe yourself: Persistent.

Most rewarding part of job: Definitely, it’s the people I get to interact with. Also, having a good team of employees makes it a joy to work. We share people’s lives, not just dental needs. When we get a chance to have patients come out of the office smiling or being relieved of their pain, that translates into better people and a better community.

Most challenging part of job: It is challenging when you start to develop your staff. When you find the right mix of people and personalities, the right group, it becomes real smooth. It is not just about dentistry, but it is a business.

Personal/business philosophy: Put people first. We want to treat people right. Our mission statement says it best: To glorify God by honoring our patients with superior service, compassion and clinical excellence.

Something you would like to do over: No. No regrets.

Best feature of my Vancouver/Clark County community: There is a general openness of families, they are friendly and that is important. The people are interactive, allowing participation in community activities, and there is diversity. It is a small to moderate city and just across the river from a larger city.

What would make your community a better place: The community would be better if more people would get involved personally with some of the building activities around the community. People could be involved in many things, from cleaning up parks to participating in different board meetings, council meetings, and especially with voting in elections. There seems to be a sense of apathy. They should encourage their kids to get involved.

Favorite restaurant/pub/coffee shop/store: Our son is the foodie in the family and he encourages us to try different places. We like Papa Haydn and Nicholas restaurants, both in Portland, Thai Orchid in Vancouver and Noodles and Co. in Camas.

Hobbies: I like hiking, playing the piano and guitar, reading and church activities.

Volunteer activities: I am involved in Compassion Connect, a nonprofit based out of Gresham, Ore. It offers free medical, dentistry, optometry, chiropractic and social services for homeless and underserved. Most of the clinics are in the Portland/Vancouver area, but some have expanded to other states. Clinics are held on Saturdays between March and October at local schools or churches. Up to 300 volunteers treat 600 to 1,000 people in one day. Guests are treated for immediate issues, but the ultimate goal is to build an ongoing relationship with guests and get them connected to services in their community. I help with the dentistry. Last year we treated 2,000 guests with dental problems.

Favorite travel destination: The Philippines and Hawaii.

Most interesting book in last 12 months: “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan.

Most interesting play/movie/arts event: “Les Miserables” and more recently I watched the movie “Frozen” with my kids.

One thing you want to do this year: We are taking our kids on a Disney cruise during spring break.

Something you want to do within five years: If things go well, I will consider another office or a partner. I want to learn some additional dental skills. I want to make more contacts in different communities to start more Compassion Connect clinics. I would also like to have a family reunion with my cousins from overseas.

Person you’d most like to meet: Bono.