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Annabel Armijo-Sierra, RDH, BS - Dental Hygienist

Annabel recently joined our team full-time, but she first worked with us in 2009 as a part-time hygienist. After twisting her arm, we finally convinced her to make a permanent move to become part of our family. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Hygiene from UNM, where she just happened to be in the very same class as two of our other hygienists, Doria and Jaime!  Annabel loves people and is thoroughly enjoying meeting our wonderful patients at Uptown Dental Associates.  When not at work, she enjoys cooking, traveling and playing golf, as well as spending time with her husband, Manny, her three children, Noelle, Christine, and Eric, and her grandson Owen. 


Doria Wood, RDH, BS - Dental Hygienist

Originally from Long Island, New York, Doria moved to NM in 1998 to attend the UNM Dental Hygiene Program.  She completed her Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene, graduating with honors in 2003.  Doria joined Uptown Dental Associates in 2004, and specializes in accelerated hygiene care.  If you see Doria as your hygienist, you may notice that you have less face-time with her than you're accustomed to.  Doria's training in accelerated hygiene care allows her to to see almost twice as many patients in a day as our other hygienists.  She works with her own dental assistant to accomplish her work, allowing us to offer convenient appointments to families and couples, and to save you time.  In her free time, Doria doubles as a wife and loving mother.


Jaime Scarbrough, RDH, BS - Dental Hygienist

We were delighted to have Jaime join our team after Dr. Kocher retired in the summer of 2015.  She was a part of his team there for 12 years.  Jaime has an impeccable eye!  She is well-known for alerting patients to potential problems even before the doctors have a chance to come in.  Between her exceptional clinical skills and her ability to strike up a conversation with literally anyone, anywhere, she has developed a very loyal patient base.  Jaime was classmates with two of our other hygienists, Doria and Annabel, at UNM, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene in 2003.  When not working, Jaime enjoys going to the gym, watching baseball games, and traveling with her husband, Jeramy, and their two daughters, Reese and Riley.


Kelly Bower, RDH, BS - Dental Hygienist

A native of Albuquerque, NM, Kelly graduated from La Cueva High School where she played soccer and later coached.  She joined the team at Uptown Dental Associates in 2011, having earned her degree as a hygienist through the University of New Mexico Dental Hygiene Program.  As a dental hygienist, Kelly is also licensed to provide local anesthesia.  As a hygienist, she has gained a reputation for exceptional care and a gentle touch.  Since joining us, we have seen Kelly get married (to a great guy named Rob) and become a mother to a beautiful brown eyed girl in 2013.  If her hands aren’t in your mouth, you will most likely find her swimming with her family, walking her dog, Luca, or playing at the park with her charmer-of-a-daughter, Avery.  She and her family will welcome their second child early in the spring of 2016.   


Lisa Mowrer, RDH - Dental Hygienist

Lisa joined us in the summer of 2015 after having spent over 30 years working with Dr. Ken Kocher, who recently retired.  When asked how long she’s been in dentistry, she humorously replies, “So long that some of my diploma signatures are fading!”  Lisa is a native of Albuquerque, having graduated from Highland High School, and later attending UNM on a full track and academic scholarship.  There she earned that degree as a hygienist (the one with the fading signatures).  Her engaging personality and gentle touch have made her patients loyal fans for life.  She is an incredible asset to our office and we are completely thrilled to have her join our team.  She and her husband of 33 years, Fred, have three children.  They enjoy being outdoors as much as possible, whether it’s hiking, camping, going to the lake, gardening, or walking their dog, Boone. 


Stacy Gober, RDH - Dental Hygienist

Although she hails from Wisconsin originally, Stacy has been a resident of the Land of Enchantment for many years. Her keen eyes and great patient relations are a wonderful help in early dental diagnosis. Stacy joined Uptown Dental Associates after the sudden passing of Dr. Bob Bussey in 2012.  She had served as his hygienist for over 12 years,  and has proven to be a great asset and welcome addition to our office, where she has now been a part of the team for almost 3 years. She is the proud mother of a beautiful daughter, Kelsey, who is studying at UNM to be a nurse.  In December of 2014, Stacy married a stellar guy named Mitch, with whom she loves spending virtually all of her time not spent at the office. 


Front Office:

Pam Keys - Office Manager

Pam joined Uptown Dental Associates in 2008, after a long hiatus from the workplace.  Since joining the practice she has worked in several capacities, including Hygiene Coordinator, Scheduling Coordinator, and Account Manager.  As Office Manager she is now able to apply her acquired skills in those positions to oversee all business aspects of the practice.  In short, the buck stops with Pam! Pam is a friendly and professional front office expert, who spends her free time raising her three tall, gorgeous daughters alongside her husband, John.  They love heading to the lake whenever time permits and playing volleyball.



Jennifer Navarrette – Account Manager/Assistant Manager

Jenny has had several roles at Uptown Dental Associates, including Insurance Coordinator and Front Office Receptionist, as well as team comedienne and cheerleader.  She now handles our accounting office and functions as Pam's right hand woman, aka Assistant Office Manager. Those patients who know Jenny from her time at the front desk miss her witty sense of humor and keen mastery of sarcasm.  But never fear, she’s always available by phone.  She spends most of her time now managing payments and handling claims from the myriad insurance companies we work with.   Jenny is also one of our main team jokesters.  Her infectious good attitude and ability to see the bright side of every situation is a critical part of our practice.  She also happens to be Dr. Shepherd’s youngest sister!  When not trying to make sense of your account, Jenny spends her time raising 6 awesome children with her husband of almost 19 years, Troy.


Veronica Baca - Insurance Specialist

Veronica joined us as a temporary assistant in 2012 while our head assistant was on maternity leave.  We came to enjoy having her around so much that we brought her on full-time as a member of our front office team.  She spends much of her time nowadays settling patient accounts and taking care of insurance claims (a very challenging task in today's insurance world).  When not dealing with accounting issues, Veronica helps the rest of the front office team with their many responsibilities. You'll frequently hear her friendly and professional voice when you call in.  When not in the office, Veronica sells real estate and loves being at home with her family.  She has 4 children and an adorable grandson.


Sheyla Herrera, Front Office

We were so pleased to find Sheyla when we were hiring new team members to supplement our front office in the spring of 2015.  Sheyla has proven to be incredibly adept at learning the ins and outs of dentistry.  Sheyla’s friendly voice is one of the two you will most frequently hear when you call our office.  She’ll help you with scheduling and answering the wide array of questions you may have.  Sheyla graduated from Sandia High School and attended UNM, where she earned her Bachelors in Criminology and Psychology.  She grew up dancing here in Albuquerque, training for 10 years, and now spends her free time enjoying our spectacular weather and outdoor activities, including snowboarding, hiking and swimming.  She also spends time tutoring in Math on the side and is raising a new puppy!


Kelsey Worthen, Front Office/Hygiene Coordinator

Kelsey came to us as a temp in 2015, helping us fill a temporary gap in staffing our front office after graduating from Valencia High School and attending NM State University.  Little did we know then what a valuable member of our team she would become.  An accomplished volleyball player and mother of an Australian Shepherd, Kelsey is the one to thank when you manage to miss a hygiene appointment - she keeps you on track and wrangles you back in.  When not at the office, she enjoys spending her time in the outdoors: hiking, camping, backpacking, fishing and snowboarding.  Or perhaps enjoying one of her guilty pleasures: wine-tasting, coffee and... shopping!


Rebekah Monje, Welcome Receptionist

Rebekah joined us in the summer of 2016.  Her friendly demeanor and beautiful smile are a great welcome to our office.  Her's is the voice that you'll hear most often when you call our office.  You probably won't notice it as she's sitting behind the front desk, but she is our littlest lady on the team - and most often seen in high heels!  Rebekah graduated from Cibola High School and attended UNM.  Mother to a Siberian Husky named Bella, Rebekah enjoys working out and yoga, participating in her church at Sagebrush and nursing her sweet tooth and her addiction to coffee! 



Sabrina Brown, Welcome Receptionist

Sabrina also joined us in 2016.   With over 20 years experience in customer service, Sabrina brings a great set of skills, along with her dynamite personality, to the team.  She and her husband have three children, ranging from college on down to elementary school!  And since her children are athletes, Sabrina is one of those bleacher moms.  When she isn't at work or taking care of her family, she loves cooking and entertaining, as well as working in her garden.  This bling-loving farm girl has proven to be a great addition to our team.  We welcome her enthusiasm, life and work experience, and her dimples!





Nadine Ruiz, CDA - Dental Assistant

Nadine joined us in April of 2013, just as the office underwent our first big expansion.  She has been a dental assistant for seven years and is well-skilled in all assistant responsibilities, including taking impressions, x-rays, making temporary crowns, and all chair-side tasks.  She was recently promoted to the position of Head Dental Assistant for the office and works tirelessly, assisting Dr. Shepherd on the vast majority of his procedures.  She is also responsible for maintaining all of the supplies in the office (which is no small task).  Her calm and friendly demeanor help put patients at ease, while her attention to detail helps Dr. Shepherd provide you with the best care available.  When not running to keep up with Dr. Shepherd at the office, Nadine spends her time devoted to her family, including her main squeeze of 9 years, Jared, her stepson Joshua, helping out with her new baby nieces, and caring for her three dogs. 


Danara MacBeth, CDA - Dental Assistant

Danara (aka Dee) joined us in April of 2013.  She has been assisting in dental practices for 6 years now.  Her infectious personality is sure to put you at ease.  She is also an excellent clinical assitant.  Her responsibilities including taking x-rays, impressions, making temporary crowns, and assisting Dr. McRae and Dr. Grant on all procedures.  Danara has become incredibly adept in helping our Six Month Smiles patients and serves as our in-house poster child for what can be achieved through this remarkable program.  Most wonderfully, Danara and her husband were recently married and enjoyed a fun-filled honeymoon to Jamaica!  When not working, Dee enjoys reading, watching movies and EATING!!!  (A girl after Dr. Shepherd’s own heart…)


Kimberly Byers – Dental Assistant

Kimberly joined us in the spring of 2015, but it already seems like she’s been with us forever – a perfect and seamless fit for our office.  Kimberly has been assisting for 3 years and is a native of Albuquerque.  As one of our main assistants, she is responsible for all aspects of dental assisting, including x-rays, impressions, making temporary crowns, and ensuring that you don’t drown while the doctors insist on spraying liters of water in your mouth while they work.  She has an infectiously upbeat personality, with an ever-present smile and kind word to be had.  When not working in the office, Kimberly can be found at home with her husband and 5 year old son.  They are expecting their second child, a daughter, in October and just recently relocated to the NE heights!  …She’s also our resident make-up expert.


Beverly Richardson, CDA - Treatment Coordinator

Beverly joined the team at Uptown Dental Associates in 2014, though she’s no stranger to the field of dentistry. Having spent 20 years as a chairside assistant, she is extremely adept and familiar with all aspects of dental care.  Her wonderful personality and attention to detail, paired with her extensive knowledge and experience make her an ideal Treatment Coordinator.  As such, her time is spent welcoming new patients to the Uptown family and helping them understand and schedule appointments for their dental needs.  She works closely with the doctors to ensure that your treatment goes as smoothly as possible.  Beverly is happily married with two sons.  When not at work, she spends her time teaching fitness classes and making the rest of the staff feel like we should be on a diet. 


Victoria Maestes – Hygiene and Sterilization Assistant

Victoria joined us at the start of 2015 and we couldn’t be more delighted that we found her.  She is our Jill-of-all-trades, contributing wherever and whenever needed.  She helps run our sterilization department each day and occasionally assists the doctors with emergencies, but her main responsibility is to assist Doria and Kelly with their hygiene patients.  She is an incredibly positive and upbeat person and is always willing to help out in any way needed – and she does it with a smile!  She is soon to be wed.  When not at work Victoria enjoys spending time with her fiancée, her daughter and their dogs.  She is grateful to work in a dental office, seeing how she shares with Dr. Shepherd an insatiable sweet tooth. 


Lettie Cruz - Dental Assistant

Lettie joined our assisting team in 2016 after honing her chair-side skills in other offices for five years.  You'll frequently hear her humming as she works or giggling and chatting away. But don't mistake her jovial nature as someone you should mess with - she's trained in Jiu Jitsu! (Jiu Jitsu is a martial art and combat sport that teaches a smaller person how to defend himself against a larger adversary by using leverage and proper technique.)  On her own for several years now, Lettie recently got two new roommates in the form of her older sister and adorable nephew.  She loves to read, enjoys book club and is a big Harry Potter fan.  


Kelli Romero, CDA, EFDA, RDA - Treatment Coordinator

Kelli joined us in 2016 and has quickly become a highly valued team member.  With over 19 years experience prior to our office, Kelli may be new to us, but no stranger to dentistry and creating beautiful smiles.  Originally from Portland, OR, Kelli and her husband have two dogs and two cats to keep them company.  In the office you'll see her most often when you need an exam with the doctor - as she helps in coordinating the process of treatment.  When not helping Dr. McRae with his patients and their needed care, Kelli loves spending her time outdoors - and shopping, of course.  She enjoys time with family and friends and is always up for a new adventure.  


Samantha Torrez - Hygiene Assistant

Samantha finished assisting school in 2015 and joined our office in 2016.  She is married and has a young son who keeps her on her toes.  She works primarily with Jaime and Lisa, helping them with x-rays, exams and even polishing your teeth.  A native of Albuquerque, Samantha was a cheerleader at West Mesa High School - so if you're feeling not-quite-up-to-the-challenge with your teeth, Samantha is your gal to give you a shout and kick to cheer you on!  She loves spending time with her family, taking her son to the zoo, watching movies and fishing.  She's looking forward to growing her family with her husband, Daniel.