502nd Dental Co Changes Command

By: Pvt. James Hemingway
13th Sustainment Command (Expenditionary) PAO 

Soldiers of the 502nd Dental Company Area Support held a change of command ceremony at 61stMultifunctional Medical Battalion Fitness Field, Aug. 1.

The outgoing commander, Lt. Col. Dianne Pannes passed her command to incoming commander, Col. Theresa Gonzalez.

Gonzalez, a graduate of the College of Charleston, assumes command of the 502nd as Pannes heads to Schofield Barracks, Ha., to serve as the assistant director of the Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residency Program.

Gonzalez was commissioned in to the Dental Corps after graduating from the Medical University of South Carolina and completing a one year General Practice Residency at Fort Jackson, S.C. In 1992 Gonzalez completed a three year training program at the Postgraduate dental school in Bethesda, Md..

Gonzalez recently served as the Director of Chronic Pain Management and Rehabilitation Service at Tripler Army Medical Center.

“It is often said, leading an organization is like conducting symphony orchestra but I don’t think that analogy is correct,  leading an organization is like playing in a jazz band,” said Gonzalez, as she addressed her formation. “It requires a great deal more vivacity, audacity, more improvisation and an abundance of perspiration.”

As commander of the 502nd Gonzalez promised to do her absolute best, “you should accept no less,” Gonzalez enthusiastically said.

The mission of the 502nd Den Co. is to provide emergency, preventive, general, and specialty dental care on an area support basis of operations for EAD forces in support training, combat and humanitarian relief operations; provide far forward emergency and preventive dental care: on order reinforce or reconstitute other dental assets.