Dr. Joan Greco

When Dr. Joan Greco made the decision to move to Hawai’i Island in 1993, she says she was met with aloha, and it has only gotten better from there.

Dr. Greco is an oral and facial cosmetic surgeon – she’s known as the surgeon with a delicate touch. She loves what she does, and hopes to be doing it long beyond retirement age. Dr. Greco was inspired by her father, Dr. Victor Greco, one of the surgeons who invented and developed the first heart/lung machine, allowing the bypass of blood from the heart during surgery, which then allows safe surgery on the heart and vessels. Her father was not only an outstanding surgeon, he was also an amazing businessman. She says she always wanted to be a surgeon just like her dad.

Dr. Greco started out as a nurse (neo – natal and pediatric ICU), which helped her work her way through dental school. She also graduated from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, with a triple major. She did her undergraduate prerequisites at Texas A&M University then Dental School at University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. By the time she finished dental school she had published 11 papers in their referred journals and had given as many presentations at the national and international meetings. She wanted to specialize in children with facial deformities. One of the routes was through dentistry with a specialization in oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS). Oral surgery education programs only take the top one – to – two percent in the class, and being a woman made it statistically even more difficult to qualify. (Of the practicing 6,500+ oral surgeons, less than 150 are female.) She graduated from the top ranked program in the country for OMFS – Louisiana State University at New Orleans.

Her training was in the Charity Hospital system, and she says, “It was amazing! Every day was an amazing challenge – with little sleep and so much surgery to do. I realized I had a finite time to learn everything I would need to know to prepare myself to be successful in private practice. In my chief residency year, I realized facial cosmetic surgery was a real part of the specialty and I began finding my patients and doing the surgeries. I came out of my program completing more cosmetic cases than my plastic surgery counterparts. I was well – equipped the day I started my practice here in Kona in July, 1994.”

Dr. Greco has three offices on Hawai’i Island. “I have patients who are referred from all over the island. I thought it was wiser to have two cars (mine and Julio’s, my nurse of 22 years) on the road than many cars with patients having to come see me. Besides, it clears my mind at the start and end of my days to drive back and forth.” Dr. Greco specializes in helping anyone that she can make feel better from the neck up. She enjoys being able to serve the residents of Hawai’i Island. She says, “I love what I do and I don’t see that changing.”

In regards to managing her staff, she says she’s “friendly, firm, and fair”. I offer lots of education and try to get my employees to a much better place than where they start. I send staff, and myself, for continuing education. I generously bonus my staff and I give back to the community. It is not unusual for me to do free services for patients in need – all I ask in return is for them to ‘pay it forward’ with random acts of kindness.”

The JM Greco Foundation

Dr. Greco established the JM Greco Foundation in 2015 to help local students who are pursuing medical and dental field careers. The JM Greco Foundation is constructing a center for female empowerment and is in the planning stages at this time.

Read more about Dr. Greco’s Foundation work at openwidefoundation.org/dr-joan-greco/.

JM Greco Foundation

JM Greco Foundation Recipient

Dr. Katie Ho – 2020 Graduate of Tuft University , School of Medicine
Degree: Doctor of Medicine

We are so proud of her!

Julio Garza - Clinical Supervisor
Julio Garza - Clinical Supervisor
Karen Halemanu - Office Manager
Karen Halemanu - Office Manager
Rowena - Front Office Coordinator
Rowena - Front Office Coordinator
Nicole - Front Office Coordinator
Nicole - Front Office Coordinator
Trista - Surgical Assistant & Implant Coordinator
Trista - Surgical Assistant & Implant Coordinator

Dr. Greco Staff - 2017Staff Members

Dr. Greco’s Staff, top from left, Delani, Trista, Karen, Julio, Dr Greco, Kelli and Rowena. Bottom row from the left is Heather and Emilee.

Summer Dentail AssistantsSummer Assistants

From the left:  Ari, Vera, Georgia, Tola, Dr Greco.

Laser Estheticians

Our Cosmetic Laser Staff assist Dr. Greco in all of our Laser Skin Treatments and have been fully trained on the Syneron elos Emax Laser equipment and procedures.  This laser technology has set the new standard in safety and efficacy for medical aesthetic procedures, and we’re proud to offer our services using this equipment.

Peggy Ruelke RN

Peggy Ruelke RNCreative and personable, Peggy strives for a challenge. Starting her career as a Cosmetologist and after 15 successful years, she became a Registered Nurse. Peggy found her way working in a variety of health care arenas, such as: medical surgical, psychiatric and dermatology. She has always been interested in skin care and has worked many years as a stylist/make up artist and esthetician; working with modeling agencies, production companies, salons and clinics.

Peggy understands beauty is skin deep and can sometimes present as a superficial luxury. She knows however, the deeper meaning of beauty ties into how we feel and care about ourselves. We sometimes spend more time and energy in how our homes and vehicles look, than the largest organ of our body.

Emotionally, the better you look and feel about how you care for yourself, the more you have to offer others. Peggy starts with a thorough individualized skin analysis. She teaches the best way to preserve the youthfulness through laser technology, product knowledge, and maintaining health and wellness through nutrition and hydration.

Dr. Greco offers ongoing education opportunities to their estheticians and staff. By increasing the staff’s knowledge and skill level, the client is provided with amazing results.