Rick Heard,DDS, MS, a native of Victoria, received his Doctorate in Dental Surgery from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He continued training there for three more years to receive his Certificate and Masters of Science in Periodontics and Implantology. Following his residency, he became a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology meaning he has fulfilled the highest standards of his profession.
Dr. Heard is a member of the American Academy of Periodontology, American Dental Association, Southwest Society of Periodontists, Texas Dental Association, Texas Society of Periodontists, and Guadalupe Valley Dental Society. He is the co-founder of the Victoria Area Interdisciplinary Dental Study Club and the Victoria Area Dental Hygiene Study Club. He holds numerous positions in some of these societies as a means of service to his professional community. Prior to returning to Victoria, Dr. Heard was the course director and clinical professor of periodontics and implantology at the UTHSCSA Dental School in the General Practice and Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residencies. Dr. Heard also enjoys lecturing on his specialty to local societies and within the community of Victoria.
He values providing for his patients the following therapies: treatment of periodontal disease, dental implants, periodontal plastic surgery, oral medicine, and esthetic procedures coordinated with restorative dentistry. It is his goal to provide exemplary care for his patients, and raise the level of awareness in our region for oral health care needs. This can only be accomplished through his ongoing efforts at continuing education thereby staying abreast of state of the art treatment modalities, educating each person as to their individual oral healthcare needs, and being given the privilege to treat each individual in an ideal manner.
Dr. Irina Dragan is a Diplomate and Examiner of the American Board of Periodontology. She received her first dental degree (DDS) from Carol Davila University in Romania. She then received her certificate in Periodontology, Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degrees from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM). Dr. Dragan also completed an advanced education program at New York University College of Dentistry in Comprehensive Dentistry with a concentration in esthetic dentistry. She has published over 45 articles, authored chapters in textbooks and, is one of the editors of the “Newman and Carranza’s Essentials of Clinical Periodontology: an Integrated Study Companion”. Her academic and professional achievements have been recognized with the Tufts University Provost’s Award for Outstanding Teaching and Service, American Dental Education Association Chair of the Board of Directors (Presidential) Citation, American Academy of Periodontology Foundation Tarrson Fellowship Award, Academy of Osseointegration Applied Clinical Research Award, 2021 Massachusetts Dental Society “10 under 10” Award and most recently International College of Dentists Fellowship. Dr. Dragan is Adjunct Associate Professor and Former Director of Faculty Education and Instructional Development at TUSDM. She is a Lecturer at Harvard School of Dental Medicine in the Periodontology Postgraduate Program. She maintains a private practice limited to periodontology and implant dentistry at Brookline Periodontal Associates, the first periodontal practice established in US over 75 years ago by Dr. Henry Goldman.
Kathy began her medical/dental career in Southern California in the early “80s, working in a family practice setting for over 17 years before relocating to Tennessee and starting a career in clinical trials at the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville. She then went on to work in a CRO setting where she managed multiple studies with diversified indications, from Phase I to Phase 3. She was introduced to the McGuire Institute in 2016, and in 2019, she came on board as the Director of Compliance and Logistics and is currently the Director of Clinical Research.
Cindy has extensive experience in financial organization, bookkeeping and human resource management from 1976 to present. Graduating from The University of Texas Dental Branch with her RDA, she has been in the dental field for over 45 years. Forty-one years were with Dr. McGuire and Perio Health Professionals as their business manager and has been involved with The McGuire Institute since its inception. Her experience also includes involvement with research administration with Perio Health Professionals.
Cindy is currently Executive Director of The Texas Society of Periodontists and continues to oversee finances for multiple dental practices.
Averie Garcia grew up in Houston, TX where she began as a study assistant at Perio Health Professionals and now works as a Clinical Research Associate II at iMc-The McGuire Institute. She continues to work on obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Anthropology at the University of Houston.
Averie is a highly driven clinical research professional with a background in private practice based dental research. She has a passion for staying committed to ensuring the rights, safety and well-being of research participants are protected.
Autumn began her career in clinical trials working for a local Oncology CRO and then went on to work as a Project Coordinator for a large global CRO based in Nashville.
After getting married, she took some time off to be a stay at home mom until her children reached school age and has now stepped back into the clinical trial arena with iMc assisting in the management of our Implant Registry and coordinating multiple study and non-study related projects.
Angie Krech, RDH, BA, AAS is a native of middle Tennessee, where she has been practicing as a licensed registered dental hygienist since 2008. Angie graduated from Chattanooga State Community College in Chattanooga TN, with a degree in dental hygiene. She received a bachelor’s degree in management and human relations while attending Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN.
Angie spent thirteen years practicing as a registered dental hygienist in a private practice setting. During that time, she cared for her patients with compassion, empathy, and understanding, while guiding them through clinical care options. Angie’s passion for the underserved within her community and rural areas around her, sparked her desire to secure a position within public health where she felt her services would be better utilized to help impact the oral health of the communities that may not otherwise have access to dental services.
Angie is currently an active member of TDHA and an emergency/disaster volunteer for the State of Tennessee. She is also a past member of SADHA and ADHA. Angie participates in the Middle Tennessee Dental Hygiene Study Club where she continues her education in the most current and innovative dental recommendations and treatments with a concentration of dental implants. Angie also takes pride in volunteering in community health events providing free dental services, such as Hope Smiles, Convoy of Hope, Tullahoma Cares, and numerous other free community health events.
Lisha Edwards, RDH, BS, received her Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene in 2002 from the Caruth School of Dental Hygiene at Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, Texas. She began her career as a registered dental hygienist practicing in general dentistry, but quickly discovered her passion for periodontology when she joined the team at Gulf Coast Periodontics in Victoria, Texas, in 2003. During her 18-year career in private practice, she served as a clinical dental hygienist, office manager overseeing staff, policies, and procedures, and as the clinical research coordinator for Dr. Rick Heard as a part of the McGuire Institute network.
Taking a step back from full time clinical practice to focus on her family in 2020, Lisha returned to her career in dentistry in 2023 solely concentrated on research administration as the clinical research coordinator for Dr. Rick Heard and a clinical document analyst for the McGuire Institute.
Jana Mannen, RDH, MSDH is a native Texan and joined The McGuire Institute in August 2021 as Clinical Coordinator I.
Jana started her research experience in dental research as a research assistant with Perio Health Professionals with Dr. McGuire and Dr. Scheyer. She went on to complete her Master of Science where she completed her thesis as a PI in her passion for geriatric clinical research. She taught online degree completion courses as an alumnus for Eastern Washington University 2014-2018. She became a Clinical Assistant Professor (2011-2013) and moved on to Assistant Professor (2018-2021) at The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston where she was involved with university studies.
Jana, prior to her graduation from dental hygiene school, she was a dental assistant for 21 years. She currently works full time as a clinical dental hygienist and has been practicing dental hygiene in Houston since 2008. Jana has published articles in peer-reviewed dental hygiene journals. She is on the Texas Dental Hygiene Board as Trustee and has a passion for giving back to her profession through grass roots legislative services.