Compassionate Patient Care Starts with Caring for Employees

November 17, 2021

Student Loan Paydown Attracts Top Dental Talent in Wisconsin

MADISON, WI -- One South Central Wisconsin dental group is offering a robust student loan paydown benefit to attract top talent, and in turn, ensure compassionate patient care now and into the future.

“One can argue that high-quality customer care may be a lost art,” said Dr. Dan Tataje, founder of Mercy Dental Group in Madison. “Yet those interactions determine if patients visit once or keep coming back. We help employees pay down student loan debt so they can focus on our patients' compassionate care.”

Dr. Tataje said this customer care philosophy is the driving force behind his practice and has helped his firm to be one of the fastest-growing private companies in America.

In a field where employees are required to be highly educated, many have large amounts of student loan debt. It can be stressful. Dr. Tataje had a light bulb moment when he discovered Student Loan Repayment Assistance (SLRA), the fastest-growing employee benefit to attract and retain top talent. When made through an Education Assistance Program, employer contributions to an employee's student loans, up to $5,250 annually, are tax-free through 2025.

“Offering SLRA is an important way to show our employees that we’re empathetic to their student loan debt struggles and invested in their professional and personal growth. My goal is to be a top place to work, not just in the dental industry, but any industry. SLRA is an important benefit that aligns with my philosophy,” said Dr. Tataje.

Founded in 2015, Mercy Dental Group operates six clinics in south-central Wisconsin. They pride themselves on providing compassionate, affordable and extraordinary oral healthcare to families in their communities.

“Creating exceptional patient experiences starts with an extraordinary team. The compassionate care we provide to our patients can only shine through if our employees feel valued,” said Dr. Tataje.

Mercy Dental has partnered with Ascendium, a non-profit organization in Madison, Wisconsin that provides Attigo, a suite of student loan related solutions including a Student Loan Repayment Assistance program.

Building a great place to work can be a costly venture. Many employers are seeking ways to cut costs by focusing on the bottom dollar. Yet employees are focused on finding positions with a better salary and benefits. As a result, employers need to be strategic in finding the best benefit to make the biggest impact.

By offering SLRA, Mercy Dental Group is standing out as they compete to hire top talent and retain a growing team. As a small business owner, Dr. Tataje recognized how SLRA provides the perfect balance of caring for employees and the flexibility to control costs, unlike some other benefits. Contributions to employees’ student loans can start with a modest amount and grow over time to reward longevity.

It's easy to add SLRA to your benefits line-up. Download the Employer's Guide to Student Loan Repayment Assistance free e-book to get started.