Jody here, but you can call me JoJo. After a 5 year break from 29 years in education and raising 4 boys...I feel strongly compelled to make a difference in the lives of children. I enjoy spending time with my family, crafting, makeup tips and tricks, and doing things I NEVER had time for before. This is a "choice" for me to be part of the Retreat, and I couldn't be more excited to be part of this organization. In a short amount of time The Retreat feels like a second family, and this bond will only get stronger as our ties and bond grow for the sake of the children. I hope to provide encouragement and be a positive role model.
Excelling in her therapy training, she is ready to greet all staff and youth with a quick paw shake, a few fun tricks and a willingness to be pet...non-stop! Haven came to us at 7 weeks and is a Bernese Mountain Dog. She's going to grow to be big, but the love she has to give is even bigger!
She isn't quite ready to come live at The Retreat, but she's getting bigger each day! Any child ready for snuggles and purrs during therapy sessions will be sure to get time with this cutie!
Animal-Assisted Therapy is a lot more than just visiting with a chicken. Depending on the patient’s goals, established by the healthcare professional they’re working with, it can include caring for that animal also. This has been shown in many studies to decrease a patient’s high blood pressure and stress, and to tremendously improve their pain levels, depression, and self-confidence.
Dr. Jacob Balkos
Dr. Balkos was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. He studied biology and physiology at the University of Western Ontario before moving to Indianapolis to attend the Indiana University School of Dentistry. After graduation, he moved to Texas to specialize in Pediatric Dentistry at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. His research there involved esthetic crowns for primary molars with large decay, presenting at the Annual Meeting for Pediatric Dentistry in Chicago, and the Texas Academy of Pediatric Dentistry meeting in San Antonio in 2019.
Outside of practice, Dr. Balkos is a music enthusiast and can often be heard singing or whistling as he cleans teeth! Before studying science and dentistry, Dr. Balkos sang and played both the bass and trumpet in over eight different musical groups. In his spare time, Dr. Balkos is an avid runner and cyclist, and has even completed a 70.3-mile Ironman triathlon; but his favorite place is in a calm river on a paddleboard.
Dr. Balkos is a firm believer in a well-rounded approach to dental health just as much as he believes in a well-rounded lifestyle. He is committed to maintaining a big-picture perspective philosophy and helping his patients create healthy habits to last them into adulthood. He always does his best to help put his patients and their parents at ease in the office so that everyone can have the best experience possible. Dr. Balkos is grateful for the opportunity to play a part in improving the quality of life of your kids!
Dr. Richard Holcomb