Valley dentist Dr. Hubenette pens novel about overcoming challenges

She’s a dentist by profession, but has also leads hiking groups, is an active community volunteer and offers lectures and seminars on healthy living. And now she’s written her first novel, “Grid: Once in a Lifetime, You Get to Start Over.”

She’s Dr. Kimberly Quan Hubenette, CEO of Synergy Dental Group in Sonoma since 2005. She was motivated to write the book by her late husband, Mark, who had cystic fibrosis since his childhood and lived with a double-lung transplant for 21 years.

Mark graduated from Sacramento State University with a degree in recreation and subsequently served as an inspector for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and helped his father with his general contractor business. During his last 10 years, he could no longer work a regular eight-hour day, but he served as a volunteer for Sonoma Search and Rescue for eight years, overseeing its equipment.

“I always wanted to have my husband tell his story and encourage those that have cystic fibrosis to keep on living, like he did,” she said. “When he died in 2019, I knew I wanted to memorialize him by writing.”

Hubenette, a Kenwood resident since 2006, also draws from her experiences as a survivor of earthquakes, flash floods, hurricanes and wildfires as she tells the story of Sofia, the main character.

In the book — from Beyond Publishing, which assists authors, speakers and experts in various fields in publishing their works — Sofia wakes up one morning with her home in flames. Her life was changed forever because her soul mate was gone and all she had left were letters and clues from him urging her to never stop growing or forget the lessons that he taught her about living in the wilderness.

Hubenette provides emergency preparedness tips for people and pets at the end of the book.

“This is a fiction novel with some basis of truths,” she said. “Some are stories my patients shared with me, and the lists of emergency preparedness and outdoor wilderness tips are from Mark’s influences. He did not die in the fires. He did not write me letters. When we knew he only had a few days left, I told him to write me a letter and I wrote him a letter. That was his only letter.

“He did tell me that when he dies, I should keep on living. He always knew he was on borrowed time with his condition.”

The book’s theme harmonizes with Hubenette’s other efforts to inspire others to rebound from challenges and live healthier lives.

“I am offering seminars to inspire those that have lost a loved one to keep on living,” she said. “As a widow, I know the first year is the hardest. I offer two-hour seminars and lead hiking groups in Sonoma County to help people get into nature and live again.”

She offers presentations on other topics such as living your fullest life, whole body health, implementing natural alternatives to everyday dental services, and becoming a liaison between mental and dental practitioners to create a health-centered dental practice that all dentists can implement.

Hubenette also considers herself an anti-aging bio-hacker.

“By changing our environment with foods, supplements, exercise and healthy living, we can change the dynamics of our bodies,” she said. “I take saliva samples and do genetic tests to help my patients be the best they can be. We cannot change our genetics, but we can improve our outcomes by knowing our genetics, improving our environments and helping ourselves overcome our natural tendencies.”

As a dentist, she has donated her services to several charitable organizations, including The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, The Braille Institute and Muscular Dystrophy Society.

Hubenette’s father and several cousins are dentists and she decided to follow their lead while attending Central Union High School in El Centro, California. She went on to obtain a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Southern California in 1993 and later worked for 12 years at a dental practice in San Diego that she started.

Hubenette is an alumna of the Key Biscayne, Florida-based L.D. Pankey Institute for Advanced Dental Training in complete, comprehensive care. The program is distinguished by its dedication to treating occlusion and temporal mandibular joint disorders.

She served as an associate professor at the University of California San Diego, where she assisted its predental program. In 2009, she began volunteering as an off-site community dental professor for the University of Pacific Dental School in Stockton and University of California, San Francisco.

A member of the American Dental Society, in 2010 she received the distinguished Master Award from the Academy of General Dentistry, which recently honored her as a lifelong learner. She earned the distinction by performing more than 500 hours of dental community services after receiving the Master Award.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, fishing, hiking, rollerblading, camping, motorcycling and walking her dog, Dakota.

Hubenette is also continuing to write. She has started another novel as well as an inspirational book, “Live, Love, Survive, Thrive.”

“I encourage everyone to learn something new every day,” she said. “Keep on moving, living and paying it forward.”

Reach the reporter, Dan Johnson, at daniel.johnson@sonomanews.com

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