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Sorensens retire after 36 years of local dental care

Grossman purchases Worthington practice

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Worthington dentists Dr. Maureen McGuiggan Sorensen (left) and Dr. Grant Sorensen (right) are retiring and sold their practice effective April 9 to Dr. Tracy Grossman. Dr. Grossman will continue to operate the clinic as a private practice under the new name Worthington Family Dental Clinic. The Sorensens shared their Worthington dental practice for over 36 years. (Submitted photo)

WORTHINGTON — Worthington dentists Dr. Grant Sorensen and Dr. Maureen McGuiggan Sorensen are retiring.

After 36 years of private practice in this southwest Minnesota community, the partners in both business and marriage have sold the Sorensen Family Dental Clinic to a new practitioner.

Dr. Tracy Grossman assumed ownership on April 9. He will operate the clinic under a new name: Worthington Family Dental Clinic.

“We were interested in seeing our dental office continue as a private practice,” said Grant, “and when we learned Dr. Grossman was seeking a clinic in this area, the timing was right to make this transition.

“We are confident Dr. Grossman will care for our patients as capably as we have.”

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Grossman has more than eight years of experience in private dental practice. He is a graduate, with distinction, of the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry and holds an undergraduate degree from St. John’s University, Collegeville.

The clinic’s seven employees, with tenures ranging from six to 31 years, will continue working with Dr. Grossman.

“Our staff has always been so supportive of our work,” credited Grant.

“They are dedicated, skilled and reliable, and we will miss them as much as we will our patients.”

The Sorensens, whose personal relationship began when Grant asked Maureen to be his date at their Marshall High School junior prom, were 1984 honors graduates of the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. They married in 1983.

Together, they established the Sorensen Family Dental Clinic in January 1985.

“When you open a business right out of school, it can be difficult,” said Maureen in a 2010 Globe interview that coincided with the couple’s 25th year of practice.

“I’m sure it helped that we were together — that did make it easier.”

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Throughout their professional tenure, the Sorensens’ office has been located in the historic former Worthington Post Office at the northwest corner of 11th Street and Third Avenue.

“We were able to get in and design our part of the building as we wanted it,” said Grant in the 2010 Globe interview.

“At first we rented the space, which we have remodeled and expanded a couple of times since 1985, but about 10 years ago [2000] we bought the building.”

During their 36 years of practice, the Sorensens were also active community volunteers; Grant has served in several capacities at American Lutheran Church and Maureen was a board member and president of the Worthington Montessori School as well as a longtime Boy Scout volunteer, among their other volunteer commitments.

In addition, both Sorensens are past board members and presidents of the Worthington Area YMCA, and they volunteered for years as part of the YMCA Stingrays Swim Team parent corps.

Their three children — Christina, David and Matthew — are Worthington High School graduates. All three have since completed college and graduate degrees and embarked on their own professional careers in the sciences. Daughter Christina is now a fourth-generation dentist (on Maureen’s side of the family), set to continue her practice at a Mankato clinic next month.

To ease the transition, the Sorensens will work with Grossman on a part-time basis for the next several months before permanently sealing the toothpaste cap on their dental careers.

“It’s very emotional to say goodbye to all these patients,” assured Grant, noting the couple has treated several thousand people in their 36 years of practice.

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“Some patients we have been seeing for our entire time here, and many of them feel like family to us.”

Added Maureen, “We’re on the third generation with certain families of patients, and it’s been a privilege to care for them for over three decades; that makes it hard to say goodbye.”

As they ease into retirement, the Sorensens will initially be occupied with aiding their own children--a family wedding and two moves are fast approaching in their ranks.

“Then, we want to spend more time enjoying the outdoors, visiting our children and traveling,” listed Maureen.

“My friends tell me I need to improve my golf game, so some time may be devoted to that, too,” quipped Grant.

Reflecting on their professional careers, the Sorensens believe their work enhanced their own lives to a greater degree than they expected.

“Helping maintain people’s health and developing relationships with our staff and patients was more rewarding than we could have ever imagined,” said Maureen.

Assured Grant, “Truly, we got more out of serving as dentists than we put into it.”

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