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Coming Home
Alumni Who Have Returned to Canton to Live and Work
From time to time, St. Lawrence presents stories of alumni who establish homes and businesses in the North Country. 

He grew up in St. Lawrence County, near the St. Lawrence River, and graduated from St. Lawrence University, so one could forgive Bryan Francey ’95 for never again wanting to be associated with anything with “St. Lawrence” in its name.  He himself acknowledges that “I never pictured myself coming back to this area.” But dental school in Buffalo, followed by a residency in Salt Lake City, convinced him that Canton was a good place to live.

This new perspective, plus a wife with roots in the Colton area, an offer from Canton dentist Mark Moreau, and thoughts of starting a family in a good environment, “made my college town more attractive,” he says. In 2000 he joined Moreau’s practice, Smile Associates on Park Street about three blocks from campus, subsequently purchasing it in 2004. He and his wife, Doreen, an occupational therapist at Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center in Ogdensburg, live on 200 acres in Pierrepont, south of Canton and close to all the hiking, biking, skiing and snowshoeing they can fit in; their son, Ethan, was born last April 26.

“Dentistry is not just science,” Francey says.  From his liberal arts background, including the First-Year Program, which he recalls as “enlightening,” as well as his courses outside science, he says he has come to understand how important it is to “connect with people. The pursuit of dental excellence and attention to detail is the primary goal for our patients, but connecting with them on a deeper personal level is also a very fulfilling part of our job,” Francey says.

Francey sees great opportunity in “the tremendous need for health care in the North Country.” He says it can be challenging to recruit people because a trailing spouse may have trouble finding work or may miss the amenities of city life, and because one needs “an entrepreneurial spirit” since there are few established practices to join. On the other hand, he cites quality-of-life features such “having nature at your doorstep,” good schools, a sense of community, and friendliness.                                               --NSB
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