Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight: Dr. Gino Valdivieso-Chiang
Thank you to Dr. Gino, owner of Dulles Life Smiles, for being our spotlight this week! Be sure to check out the Dulles Life Smiles website to learn more about his business. To learn more about the Chamber’ DEIA Committee, click here.
Where were you born and raised and, if it was someplace else, when and why did you come to Loudoun?
I was born in Peru. I studied dentistry and worked in private practice in Lima for several years before deciding to move with my wife to the United States, where I was required to attend dental school. I completed advanced dental education at Howard University in Washington, DC. We spent time in Falls Church, Centreville and Gainesville. I worked as an associate dentist in Northern Virginia for over seven years. Then I decided to open in Loudoun County because I saw it is a vigorous community with which I felt personally identified.
When did you launch your first business and how did you get into your current line of work?
We opened Dulles Life Smiles in February 2020. I decided to create this family dental practice as a startup to implement my philosophy based on my core values: family, dentistry, education, and music. I am passionate about educating my patients regarding their oral health and ensuring that they understand every aspect of their treatment plan. I also wanted my patients and my team to be in a judgment-free environment.
Have you had any special mentors or inspirations that influenced your career?
My father was a dentist, faculty and a musician. I looked up to him, admiring his character and confident & friendly attitude. He treated patients with compassion, understanding that each person could have individual concerns, anxieties, and fears.
What is the best part of your job and why?
Meeting patients and their families, and giving them solutions to their dental needs. Because we love to treat every patient like a friend, as well as transparency about what happens in the dental chair and in the treatment consultation room. We care about having an open conversation with our patients. So helping our patients learn more about their own oral health and smile, and answering all their questions is very important. This understanding also helps reduce fear.
For every new patient who comes to our practice, we provide funds to A Place To Be, a Middleburg-based nonprofit that provides music therapy for people with disabilities in our community. I am a musician, and performing music helped me overcome my insecurities since I was a child. I have met the families and kids that benefit from their music therapy, and it’s great to see that it really helps them. So, supporting this nonprofit that provides music therapy is near and dear to my heart.
What is it like owning/running a business in Loudoun?
It’s great! It is a vibrant and welcoming community. It’s a place where I feel a good connection between diverse components of a prosperous society: people, families, health, education, STEAM, sports, entertainment, small businesses, etc. And I identify with this diverse worldview, because I pursue extensive training in diverse areas of dentistry. This allows us to be a “One-Stop Shop” for dental care. This is convenient for families that prefer to stay under the same roof for all their dental needs, with or without having dental insurance. So, running a family business for families in Loudoun is a fascinating challenge.
What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
I am honored to contribute to making our community a more welcoming place for all backgrounds, and a place where cultural diversity is part of the ongoing progress of American culture.
What are some of your favorite things to do when you are not working?
Outside of the office, I love to spend time with my wife and my two kids. We enjoy getting outdoors, going on a getaway, watching movies, and listening, playing and singing to music. When I’m by myself I also like to read books and articles, and continue education in dentistry. The approach to my learning process is about being very active in it. I care about going deep and learning more than what I’m supposed to know, because it is my patients’ care that is at stake.