Eric J. Richter, D.M.D.

Eric Richter DMD300Dr. Richter grew up on a farm in New York's North Country.  He began his formal education at St Lawrence University, where he earned a BS in Chemistry.  In 1975, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with his Doctorate of Dental Medicine and for a short time practiced dentistry in Massachusetts.  He moved to Vermont in 1976, making his home in Hardwick where he has lived and practiced dentistry ever since.  His daughter's, Emily and Anna, have since grown up and moved away, but continue to amaze him.  They've blessed him and his wife Deborah with three wonderful grandchildren.

He and Deborah enjoy sailing, camping, "jamming" music with family and friends, and raising their two Newfoundland dogs – K2 and KC.

He considers himself blessed in many ways, counting among them the many wonderful life-long friendships he has made with his patients.  With the help of his loyal and dedicated team of professionals, he has transitioned his practice from the typical dental office to a highly connected, digital dental practice that is able to deliver dental care with some of today's best technology.  He welcomes you to the Hardwick Dental Group and looks forward to the opportunity to care for your dental health.

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Rita Richardson, Practice Administrator

Rita RichardsonRita joined the Hardwick Dental Group team in 1995 as Office Manager.  She recalls a time when one lonely computer sat in the corner - acting more as a dust collector and less like a useful piece of technology.  Fast forward seventeen years and there are computers in each operatory, used daily to aid the HDG team in delivering quality dental care.  From scheduling to digital radiography, the use of technology is one of the driving forces behind their success.

Taking the bull by the horn has always been her way of getting things done.  The moment she joined the team she has been in the driver seat, navigating the practice through its many transformations, from the complete physical renovation of the practice in 2004 to the 2010 implementation of a fully automated office.

Now with her two children grown and her youngest on her way to college, she is finding time to dedicate to her own education.  A full time student at Champlain College, she will be completing her studies in Business Management in 2014.

When things slow down, she and her husband Russell are hoping to spend some time traveling.  In her spare time, she helps her husband operate their landscaping business, gardening, reading and spending time with her family.

She would like to welcome you to the Hardwick Dental Group and thank you for allowing them the opportunity to care for your dental health.

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Diana Kapusta, Appointment Coordinator

Diana Kapusta

Diana joined the Hardwick Dental Group family in 2004.  She grew up in Island Pond, Vermont. She moved to Hardwick in 1992 where she ran a day care from her home while raising her children Joshua, now 25 and Abigail 21.

Diana earned her Associates Degree in Office Management and Secretarial from the Community College of Vermont in 2004 and prior to joining the Hardwick Dental Group team she worked for several years in the accounting office of Copley Hospital.

As the Appointment Coordinator, she spends much of her day juggling time and enjoys the challenges it brings.  She understands the fear and anxiety that can be associated with going to the dentist - she used to have them herself.  From the friendly voice that you hear when you call, to the warm reassuring smile greeting you when you walk through the door, she does her best to put your fears to rest. "I understand what it is like to be nervous, I want our patients to know it's going to be all right, they're in good hands."

When Diana is not working, she enjoys spending time with her two-year old grandson - Hunter- who is the light of her life. She spends many hours volunteering at the local VFW.  When she finds the time, she enjoys a good book, gardening, baking and learning to quilt.  Diana welcomes you to the Hardwick Dental Group and looks forward to being part of your dental care.

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Kristine Peeler, Registered Dental Hygienist

Kristine Peeler

Kristine graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in Mathematics and minor in Zoology in 1991. For several years after graduation she had a landscaping and garden maintenance business. During the winter months she traveled across the United States and spent time living and studying Spanish in Costa Rica and Ecuador.

In 1994 she returned to the University of Vermont graduating with an Associate Degree in Dental Hygiene, earning the Sigma Phi Alpha Chapter Honor Society award for demonstration of outstanding scholarship, service and character as well as the Vermont State Dental Society award for outstanding clinical performance.

Kristine practiced clinical dental hygiene for four years in Vermont then moved to New Mexico and contracted with the Indian Health Service for two years.  On the Jicarilla Apache Reservation she worked as a Public Health Dental Hygienist, developing clinical and educational school programs, doing clinical studies and practicing clinical dental hygiene.  She was awarded the Albuquerque Area Director's award for Quality Assurance Improvement for improving and increasing access to dental care for Native Americans in Dulce, New Mexico.

Kristine returned to Vermont in 2002 and joined the Hardwick Dental Group family.  She's been working with Dr. Richter and caring for our patients ever since.  Her patients really appreciate the gentle and compassionate care she gives them.  Kristine welcomes you to our practice and looks forward to helping you maintain a healthy and beautiful smile!

Kristine also enjoys yoga, painting, biking and ice hockey.

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Karen Gates, Treatment Financial Coordinator - Registered Dental Assistant

Karen Gates

Karen has worked at the Hardwick Dental Group since 2002.  A Castleton State College graduate, Karen's training and experience is diverse.  She spent several years working in the judicial system before making her home at Hardwick Dental Group.  She began her career as Dr. Richter's chair-side assistant.  Switching gears in 2012, she took on the role of Treatment and Financial Coordinator.  Connecting with the patients and their health care has been both rewarding and an excitedly challenging experience.

Karen grew up in Southern Vermont and now makes her home in Hardwick with her husband Michael and their daughter Taylor.  She is very active in her community spending endless hours volunteering her time.  Coaching area Special Olympic Athletes, choreographing high school musicals, as well as being an active member in her church parish.  Photography and gardening are hobbies of hers in addition to hunting, fishing and spending time with family and friends.

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Sarah Withers, Registered Dental Hygienist


Sarah Withers

Sarah graduated from the University of Vermont in 1994 with an Associate Degree in Science and a degree in Dental Hygiene.  She has been in general practice since graduation - twelve of those years at the Hardwick Dental Group.  She takes great pride in providing her patients with the best possible dental care.

In addition to treating and educating her patients on the importance of good oral hygiene, she spends time in the local elementary schools teaching children how to properly brush and floss.  She enjoys learning and using the latest technologies available to deliver care to her patients and expanding her knowledge with continuing education courses.

Sarah makes her home in Walden with her husband Jonathan, their son Jacob and their dog Lizzy.  Together they enjoy raising chickens, pigs and beef cows, camping, fishing and hunting.  Sarah is the leader of her local TOPS chapter and spends time volunteering at her son's school.  Recently she has had the opportunity to mentor a high school student interested in pursuing a degree in Dental Hygiene.

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Philomena Kemp, Registered Dental Assistant

Philomena Kemp

'Phil' moved to Vermont in 2006 and joined the Hardwick Dental Group team in 2007.  Her dental career is comprehensive, including expanded function dental assisting working over ten years in the residency program at a teaching hospital.  This included all aspects of dentistry from Periodontal-Pedodontic-Endodontic –Oral Surgery - Emergency and Operating Room procedures.  Phil brings her years of dental experience to the office.  A master in impression taking she'll put even the most apprehensive patient at ease.

She has traveled extensively throughout Asia and Europe and lived in many places along the East Coast of the United States.  Phil enjoys reading, traveling and expanding her culinary skills in Chinese cuisine.  She welcomes you to the Hardwick Dental Group and looks forward to caring for your dental needs.

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Katy Knapp, Registered Dental Hygienist

Katy Knapp

Katy joined the Hardwick Dental Group team in October 2012.  She grew up in Windsor, Vermont, and graduated from high school in 2000.  She has been caring for patients and their dental health since 2003.  She attended the University of New England on the Westbrook campus, graduated in 2003 with an associate degree in Dental Hygiene, and in 2004 earned her bachelors in Science degree.

She and her husband recently moved back to Vermont after living in Maine for twelve years.  She currently works part time so she can be at home with her two small children.  Katy enjoys working with patients of all ages to improve their oral health and understanding of dental care.  She looks forward to seeing you and assisting with your hygiene needs.

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Emily Richardson, Office Assistant

Emily Richardson

Emily began working at the Hardwick Dental Group in 2011.  She joined the team when the practice added digital technology and electronic data storage of patient files.  She has been instrumental in transferring data from hard copy to electronic format.  Currently a senior at Hazen Union School, she is finalizing her plans for after graduation.  She plans to pursue a degree in Nursing and wants to travel.

When Emily is not working and going to school, she is active in many extra- curricular activities.  In addition to being the Class President and Year Book Editor, she is active in Student Council- Varsity Club and a member of the National Honor Society as well as the track and field team.

Haley Neill, Clinical and Office Assistant

 Haley Neill

Haley, a senior at Hazen Union School, has been part of the Hardwick Dental Group team since 2009.  Haley supports Dr. Richter and the clinical staff with room and instrument sterilization, inventory, patient charting and documentation.  She is knowledgeable in front office procedures and you'll frequently find her greeting you with a warm smile as you check in for your appointment or helping you plan your next visit.  Haley has also assisted in transferring our hardcopy files to electronic format.

Haley will be graduating in June and is undecided about where she will be getting her post-high school education.  She is the President of the Student Council and a member of the National Honor Society.  She has been involved in a local dance school for several years and enjoys lyrical and hip-hop dance.  Haley is also actively involved in the high school drama and outing clubs.


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