The Beverly sisters, Baton Rouge natives, are now pediatric dentists; Katina has an independent practice in Monroe, and Kredenna has an independent practice in Baton Rouge. Katina said, “When I talk about my journey, I always include my sister, because I think about our lives as one story.”
As young adults, Katina and Kredenna aspired to be kindergarten teachers because they shared a love for children. But then a Howard University recruiter visited the twins while they were studying at Southern University A&M College and spoke to them about pediatric dentistry, and the sisters experienced an epiphany. Katina remembered, “As the recruiter was talking, my sister and I looked at each other and said, ‘She is here for us.’”
While first-year students at Howard University College of Dentistry, the sisters dreamed of opening a pediatric dentist practice together. They designed their slogan, “Twins Making Tiny Smiles Twinkle,” using the school colors of Southern University, where they both majored in biology and were known as the “unicycle twins” because they rode unicycles all over campus. Their blue and gold dream hung on Katina’s bedroom wall throughout dental school.
When the sisters finished their pediatric residencies in 2007, they each married attorneys, and they each gave birth to two daughters. But although they lived in different cities, their dream of a joint clinic never faded. In 2016, they opened “Twins Making Tiny Smiles Twinkle,” a satellite pediatric dental facility for the underserved in Oakdale which is open two Saturdays each month.
“One of my favorite days is our time together at Oakdale. The Oakdale private practice is truly twins making tiny smiles twinkle, because each Saturday when we go, we go together. We made our dream come to fruition. And, we’re serving the underserved,” Katina said.
The importance of serving those in need was a philosophy instilled in the twins throughout their academic careers. Today, Katina said, she knows she is “here for a purpose.”
“I loved my dean at Howard. He said, ‘You are here to serve the community and the underserved.’ I remind myself of that every day. I’m here to serve my community. That’s one of the reasons for our satellite practice in Oakdale: helping serve those in need.”
The environment at Howard nourished Katina, she said.
“Prior to attending dental school, I couldn’t tell you the name of a female dentist, much less a female dentist who looked like me. It didn’t seem like an option. When you go to Howard, and you see all those people who are like you, it is empowering.”
The twins’ mother, a retired elementary school counselor, and their father, a retired industrial arts high school teacher, fostered strong work ethics in their four children. Their daughter Richelle is a food microbiologist, and their daughter Miesha is an attorney.
Katina, whose academic achievements were featured in Ebony Magazine, attributes her “quiet strength” to her mother.
“My mom is soft-spoken, but assertive. If anything goes wrong, she is going to take care of everything. My sister and I have those same characteristics. I think when you are working in pediatric dentistry and you are addressing the anxiety of parents and kids, you have to have a very calm spirit. My sister and I always say that we get our calm spirits from her.”
Jan Russo, a registered nurse at P&S Surgical Hospital where Katina is on staff, attests to the doctor’s strength.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Dr. Beverly since she began working at P&S, and I absolutely love it. I always feel comfortable when working with her, because she is so comfortable with what she does. She is confident and professional, and she always calls her pediatric patients by their names. I know they can feel the love from her.”
When a person discovers her passion, the world is hers, Katina said.
“You can do anything. Your world is at your disposal. People can always find reasons why they shouldn’t or why they can’t, but ask yourself, ‘why not?’ Find a mentor. Strong mentorship makes a difference.”
Despite living apart, Katina and her sister continue to mentor each other. They call one another almost every morning before work, and almost every evening after work.
Kredenna said, “I am just as invested in my sister’s success as I am my own, if not more so. We have come full circle. You always come back home, and through our clinic in Oakdale, we came back home together.”
By Laura Clark