Meet the Team

dr. Stephen Berger

Stephen S. Berger, DDS

Dr. Steve received his dental degree from the University of California at San Francisco, and spent two extra years in his residency in Pediatric Dentistry at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has been in the exclusive practice of Pediatric Dentistry in Santa Rosa since 1975. Dr. Berger is an active member of the American Dental Association, California Dental Association, American Association of Pediatric Dentistry, California Society of Pediatric Dentistry, and the Redwood Empire Dental Society. Dr. Berger has four children and three grandchildren. Dr. Berger is best known for his Halloween Candy Buy-Back program. Started in 1983 it has been adopted by many dentists throughout the United States. He is an avid photographer and is a Master Scuba Diver.

Dr. Shanna Berger

Shana Berger Van Cleave, DDS

Dr. Shana (pronounced Shaw-nuh) was born in Los Angeles while her father (Dr. Steve) completed his pediatric residency at UCLA. She attended elementary school in Santa Rosa and later moved to Sacramento and Georgia. She married and had two sons prior to completing her B.S. in Biochemistry, which she earned from University of California, Riverside in 2005. She then attended the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, completing their highly acclaimed accelerated three-year dental program. While there, she was active in the leadership of the dental school’s community outreach program, and initiated a research project that earned second place at the California Dental Association convention in Anaheim in 2008. She completed two years of specialty training in pediatric dentistry at UCLA, where she served as chief resident. Dr. Shana’s path to becoming a dentist was motivated by her own son’s health issues.  When he was five years old, he had completely stopped growing.  His pediatrician was not concerned at first (since his mom and dad were so short), but Shana pushed for tests that later determined he had the bone age of a 2 year old and needed medical intervention to help him grow.  It was at that time that the desire to become a health care provider began driving Dr. Shana to complete the ten years of higher education required to be a pediatric dentist.  She is thrilled to have found a career that makes her so happy.   Dr. Van Cleave has a special knack for working with very nervous patients and kids with special needs.  She enjoys singing to her patients and has served at church as the music director for the children’s singing program for over 15 years.

Monika Meekay, DDS

We are so excited to introduce the newest addition to our staff:  Dr. Monika Meekay is a board-certified pediatric dentist who completed dental school training at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in 2007. She then completed her pediatric dentistry specialty training in Brooklyn, New York at the Lutheran Medical Center.  Dr. Meekay focuses on creating a dental home for each child, where emphasis is placed on caries prevention and monitoring and guiding for the proper growth and development.  She treats all of her patients with the greatest care and compassion.  Dr. Meekay makes certain to provide a positive and rewarding experience for each family.  She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and California Society of Pediatric Dentistry.  Dr. Meekay has held positions as Assistant Clinical Professor and Clinical Instructor at the UCSF School of Dentistry and the University of the Pacific (UOP) Dugoni School of Dentistry.  Dr. Meekay has also served as a guest lecturer for pediatricians and pediatric residents at the UCSF Fresno Children’s Hospital and for the dental students at UCSF.  She is married with two beautiful children and loves to travel and eat sushi.  She has a delightful personality and we are enjoying having her energy and happy demeanor around our office.  Welcome Dr. Monika!

Romelle Sweeney RDA

Romelle (Romie) Sweeney RDA

Romelle Sweeney has been working for Dr. Steve Berger for 36 years!!! (She knew Dr. Shana when she was in pigtails.) She started as a dental assistant and now manages the front office.  She has been married to her husband, Bill for 30 years and they have supported one another through thick and thin in a manner that is truly inspiring.  Their son Sean is about to be married, and their Daughter Madelyn also works in the dental field as a registered dental assistant. She enjoys cooking and hiking, loves animals, and enjoys any excuse to travel.

Carol Suman

Carol Suman

Carol Suman has been working in our front office a total of 18 years.  She is originally a Southern California girl but moved to Sonoma County in 1989.  She has been married to her husband for 38 years and has three children, one adorable grandchild, a three-legged cat and a sixteen year old fox terrier.  She says her favorite part of the job is “the pure honesty” of the kids and spending time with her “work family.”  She is a die-hard San Francisco Giants fan and loves traveling, cooking, gardening and playing games.

Terri Verhunce RDA

Terri Verhunce RDA

is our office surgery scheduler and is also a Registered Dental Assistant. She has been working for Dr. Berger since June of 1984. Terri lives in Santa Rosa with her husband Val, and has two daughters Bailey and Maddy. She enjoys spending time with family and friends and cheering on the SF Giants!

Jenny Valesi RDA

Jenny Mesa RDA

Jenny Mesa was a long-time patient in our office before she started working as a dental assistant.  She likes to say, “I started coming to Dr. Berger’s office when I was eight and I never left!”  She is a Santa Rosa native and graduated from the dental assisting program at SRJC in 2001.  Jen loves the challenges and rewards that inherently come with working in pediatrics.  She loves to help kids have a positive and fun experience in the dental environment.  She has an eleven year old daughter of her own, has a husband (Josh) and loves her “fur baby”  (a Shiba-Inu dog named Bauer). She is fascinated by all things fitness and has even competed and placed in a few bodybuilding competitions.

Claudia Carreon RDA

Claudia Vigil RDA

has been working with our staff since 2005. She two sons and one daughter. Claudia is fluent in both Spanish and English. She enjoys spending time with her family and going on bike rides.

Stephanie Miranda

Stephanie Miranda worked in our office for 14 years. She worked at another office for a short time but we are so happy that she recently rejoined our staff! She is the mother of two kids and loves to be goofy with our patients and wants each experience here to be a good one. Her favorite part of the job is working with the kids. She says she “love(s) that they make each day unique.” She enjoys going on different hikes throughout Sonoma County and recently participated in two half-marathons. But she swears she’ll never do it again!

Dao Nguyen

Dao Nguyen is a new face in our front office, but you may have seen her working as an assistant in the past. She was an intern as a dental assistant when she was going through the program at SRJC several years ago. She says of working in our pediatric office, “I love working with children because they keep me young!” She has lived in Sonoma County most of her life. She has been married to Markus for 26 years and have two children: Anna and Adam. Their family also includes a pair of dogs: Bootz the Beagle and Niz.

Deanna Diaz

Deanna Diaz recently joined our staff as a registered dental assistant. She has a full house that includes her “soul mate” to whom she has been married for 27 years, two beautiful daughters, and a large menagerie of pets from mammals to reptiles to birds. In addition to working part-time in our office, she is an instructor with SRJC’s dental assisting program. She says she chose the dental field “to work in a social, yet care-giving environment.” She loves working with children and finds it to be a very rewarding experience. When she finds time outside of her many professional and family responsibilities, she loves to run and even participated in her first marathon in 2015. She’s always been an active person and used to compete as a teenager as a roller speed skater which allowed her to travel all over the U.S.

Katherine Larson

Katherine Larson is a Registered Dental Hygienist that was born and raised in Santa Rosa. She loves working in the dental field and educating children about how important their oral health is. She especially enjoys building relationships with the kids and seeing them come back to show off how well they have been flossing. She is especially great with kids because she has four of her own. She spends her free time chauffeuring them to their various sports practices and extracurricular events. She loves staying up too late, reading, sewing and baking. Her favorite foods are Pad Thai and pineapple pizza, which helps fuel her love of running. She says, “I have a terrible sense of direction so sometimes these runs are much longer than I intended.