By Jane Russell
"Gerard Mercier is a perfectionist and as such, sets the bar high," tells Melissa Palmer, office manager at High River Denture and Implant Clinic. "He continually looks for opportunities to improve his work and that of his team. After 30 years in business, his experience speaks for itself."
These sentiments only begin to explain why Gerard Mercier has been presented the Order of Merit – honouring an Alberta denturist who has made significant contributions to the profession.
Over the years that I have happily worked with Gerard I gain more and more respect for his dedication to his profession, desire for perfection and deep desire to truly help people.
The award Order of Merit has come full circle as Mercier first pitched the idea for a lifetime achievement award in 2000 to recognize those who had inspired him and paved the way with their dedicated countless hours to the betterment of the profession. "It would be like an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for denturists," explained Mercier “and now I just feel so honoured and humbled to have received this award myself.”
Gerard Mercier certainly fits this criterion and more. As a longtime College of Alberta (formerly Alberta Denturist Society) member, Mercier has been a member of the executive for most of that tenure, also running conventions and dedicating time and efforts to the board of examiners.
Lecturing extensively on dental implant-over-dentures Mercier was a pioneer in bringing this life-changing solution to Alberta clients and with his high standard has helped Alberta have the greatest scope of practice across Canada.
As if this wasn't enough he employed, trained and mentored students, then took on a humanitarian challenge by volunteering in Honduras and Guatemala, Central America with a dental team called Kindness in Action.
Vice President of the College of Alberta Denturists, Cara-Lee Voss-Seiler, states “Gerard's involvement in the profession over the years has helped give Alberta the greatest scope of practice in the country. The level of excellence he strives toward makes him a mentor and teacher amongst colleagues. I am proud to call him a friend and reach out to him when I am looking for solutions”.
While Mercier is very proud of his work with this group, it is hard to pinpoint what he is most proud of as we have just touched the surface of this man's many accomplishments.
Mercier purchased High River Denture & Implant Clinic 30 years ago and lives and plays in High River, while raising his family, hosting Rotary exchange students from other countries and is deeply involved in our community. The staff at the clinic have nothing but the highest regard for their boss. “In the last 11 months, I have had the benefit of watching firsthand as Gerard has improved the quality of so many lives. It’s been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had,” says Shelly, “he truly deserves the recognition.”
Throughout his entire career he has remained true to the profession, often putting service above self and remaining a truly great advocate for Denturism.
D. Wilson, Dental Technician, sums it up here, "Gerard is a dedicated and passionate professional. He is a Master Class Denturist who renews his pursuit of excellence each and every day. There can be no higher compliment paid than to be recognized by one’s peers. Congratulations. Well deserved."