Our People

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Residents Faculty

Residents


photo Mary Claire Bates, DDS
Resident
Phone: 828-252-4290 Fax: 828-210-0068
MAHEC Dental Health Center
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Hi! My name is Mary Claire Bates and I was born and raised in Frederick, Maryland by my wonderful parents, along with my two older brothers. I completed my bachelor of science at Towson University in Baltimore, MD. After graduation, I was accepted into the University of Maryland School of Dentistry where I graduated with a doctorate of dental surgery in May of 2019. 

I have always wanted to move down South, and Asheville, North Carolina is the start of that journey. In my free time, I enjoy hiking with my dogs, traveling and exploring new cities, trying new foods and meeting new people. I am excited to explore Asheville and all it has to offer and look forward to continuing my education through the General Practice Residency at MAHEC.

photo Teresa Dao, DMD
Resident
Phone: 828-252-4290 Fax: 828-210-0068
MAHEC Dental Health Center
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Hello! I was born and raised in the land of theme parks and beaches—the sunny state of Florida! This is where I received my bachelor’s degree in TV and radio production at the University of Florida. In my senior year of college, I discovered my passion for dentistry and subsequently pursued my second degree at the gator nation. With my thirst for learning and growth, I am continuing my dental journey at MAHEC. I strive to provide care that both my patients and I can be proud of. 

With our love for adventure and traveling, my fiancé and I are ecstatic to begin this new chapter of our lives in the beautiful outdoors of Asheville!

photo Abigail Gruspe, DMD
Resident
Phone: 828-252-4290 Fax: 828-210-0068
MAHEC Dental Health Center
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Hi there! I grew up as a military brat, traveling across the country through Texas, New Jersey, and many other states in between. Moving around frequently emboldened me to seek new experiences, taught me to appreciate diverse cultures and people, and encouraged me to make a positive impact wherever I call home.

I graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition in 2015. I stayed in the Sunshine State to obtain my DMD degree from the University of Florida College of Dentistry. I am thrilled to be able to pursue my passion for life-long learning and service to others through a career in dentistry and a residency at MAHEC.

I enjoy playing the guitar, listening to live music, hiking, yoga, and picking up new hobbies. I am looking forward to seeing all four seasons (especially fall) and exploring all that Asheville and the surrounding community has to offer!

photo Bryan Halstead, DMD
Resident
Phone: 828-252-4290 Fax: 828-210-0068
MAHEC Dental Health Center
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
I grew up in the small town of Blackshear, Georgia before attending Mercer University for my undergraduate degree in Chemical Commerce. I then went on to the Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University where I received my Doctorate of Dental Medicine in May 2019. I am excited to be starting my dental career, and it is such an honor to be a part of the team at MAHEC. 

Although my wife and I moved to Asheville just recently, we are already feeling at home amongst the mountains and cooler weather. We both enjoy hiking, traveling, listening to music, and watching sports. I am grateful to call Asheville home for the next season of my life, and I am looking forward to meeting you!

photo Tatyania Moorehead, DDS
Resident
Phone: 828-252-4290 Fax: 828-210-0068
MAHEC Dental Health Center
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
I am from Charlotte, North Carolina and obtained my undergraduate degree from Norfolk State University in Applied Mathematics. I then went on to pursue my Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry and graduated in May of 2019. 

When I have free time, I love to travel and spend time with my friends and family. I have a passion for serving others, and I am excited to be a MAHEC team member!

photo Morgan Stroud, DMD
Resident
Phone: 828-252-4290 Fax: 828-210-0068
MAHEC Dental Health Center
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Hello everyone! I am very excited to be joining the MAHEC dental family. I am originally from Greensboro, North Carolina, but New Bern has been home for the past six years. I attended UNC-Chapel Hill for undergrad and earned my Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from East Carolina University in May of 2019.

In my free time, I enjoy traveling, cooking, hiking, and exploring the great outdoors here in Asheville as much as possible. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue serving the wonderful patients of North Carolina and could not be more thrilled to call Asheville home.

photo Matthew Wolfe, DMD
Resident
Phone: 828-252-4290 Fax: 828-210-0068
MAHEC Dental Health Center
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803
Hi! My name is Matthew Wolfe. I am from Rochester, New York, but I completed my undergrad and dental school at the University of Pittsburgh. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to use my knowledge of dentistry to treat patients domestically and abroad. After having been on three humbling mission trips, I’ve realized how much of life I had taken for granted. There are many people that don’t have access to care, and I believe it’s my passion and my calling to serve those in need!

Yes, I must admit, I love teeth and creating new smiles, but there’s much more to my story. I love traveling, experiencing new cultures and trying many different foods. I thrive on feeling adrenaline, whether it’s skydiving, bungee jumping, or having the last shot in the game, I am hungry for each opportunity to step out of my comfort zone. I love playing and watching sports. I played soccer and lacrosse my whole life and throughout college. I am also a huge Denver Broncos fan!

Raised in the generation where there were no smart devices or iPads, being outside exploring with friends was the standard of everyday life. My experiences have led me to take chances, see the world, and inspire individuals to find the best in themselves.

Faculty


photo Amadeo Valdez, DDS, MAS
Director, General Dentistry Residency Program
Phone: 828-252-4290 Fax: 828-210-0068
MAHEC Dental Health Center
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

I’m honored to practice oral medicine here at MAHEC where I can make a positive impact serving the community while also training dentists. My clinical focus and research interests are dental treatment for oral lesions, salivary gland disorders, facial pain, and medically complex patients and undergoing cancer therapy (pre and post treatment).

I was born and raised in Coahuila in northern Mexico not far from Texas. After six years of training, I obtained my doctor in dental surgery degree at the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León. During my final year, I practiced dentistry in underserved rural communities while doing research on dental hygiene and systemic health conditions related to oral health including diabetes in children, rheumatoid arthritis, and gastric cancer.

After finishing my dental studies, I received a scholarship from the Government of Mexico to study abroad and obtained my masters in clinical research at the University of California, San Francisco, where I studied oral health in pediatric patients and those with diabetes. After completing my studies, I did both my general practice and oral medicine residencies at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC.

I have recently moved to Asheville and already it feels like home. People here are warm, kind, and always ready to help. In my free time I enjoy hiking with my dogs, painting, reading historical nonfiction, and cooking Mexican food.


photo Mark Cummins, DMD
Dental Faculty
Phone: 828-252-4290 Fax: 828-210-0068
MAHEC Dental Health Center
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

Hey there!! I grew up in Lexington, Kentucky…the land of great college basketball and thoroughbred horse racing! It was there, at the University of Kentucky, that I earned my Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Dental Medicine degrees. Following my formal dental education, I completed a two-year general practice residency in dentistry at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine / North Carolina Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, NC.

Immediately after residency, I entered private practice in Newport News, VA, and also taught at the Medical College of Virginia’s School of Dentistry in Richmond, VA. After a few years, I returned as faculty at Wake Forest University School of Medicine’s department of dentistry.

My next career move was to open my own dental practice, near my hometown, in Richmond, Kentucky. I spent fifteen years there as a solo business owner and practitioner. I was very active in the community and my church.

I have always loved the mountains and great scenery with fun things to do so in 2015 my family moved to Asheville. The area matches my desires in more ways than one. I joined MAHEC dental faculty in 2015, and enjoy a balance of patient care and teaching, where I can share my knowledge and experiences with younger dentists.

I am married and have three boys. I enjoy gardening, photography, hiking, outdoor grilling, working out, and my hot tub!!


photo Blake Gutierrez, DDS
Dental Faculty at Columbus

MAHEC Dental Health Columbus
130 Forest Glen Drive
Columbus, NC 28722

I am excited to be here at MAHEC after a coast-to-coast journey!  I was born and raised in Utah at the base of the Wasatch Mountains.  After my undergraduate studies were completed at Brigham Young University, I attended the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, California, gaining a love of dentistry and helping others achieve their oral health goals.  Following my graduation from dental school, I complete a 1 year AEGD residency at the University of New Mexico.

My career took me back to my home state of Utah where I helped to organize and direct a dental clinic within an established community health center.  It was there that I developed an even greater love of practicing in rural communities and helping people that haven’t had the ability to access dental care on a routine basis.  All of these experiences have led me to MAHEC and helping to fulfill the mission of providing quality care to the community.

It is great being here in the mountains of western North Carolina.  I’m in awe of the beauty every day and have loved exploring around my new “home”.  The people have made me feel welcomed and I am looking forward to gaining and growing friendships for many years.  


photo Richard Shields, DDS
Dental Faculty
Phone: 828-252-4290 Fax: 828-210-0068
MAHEC Dental Health Center
123 Hendersonville Road
Asheville, NC 28803

Having finally moved to WNC three years ago from southwest Michigan, after visiting my wife Pat’s parents here in Asheville for over 30 years, it’s an honor to be joining the dental faculty and outstanding team here at MAHEC!

I received my Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 1983. Previous to that, I graduated from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids with a Bachelor’s degree in history and Spanish, and elementary teaching certification. I served in the US Navy for four years during the Vietnam War and then taught middle school science and Spanish prior to entering dental school.

I established my dental practice in 1983 in a small town in southwest Michigan, not too far from where I grew up. Over the course of 32 years, the practice grew to seven operatories with two full-time dentists and three hygienists. In preparation for a transition to a new dentist-owner, we embarked on a major facility upgrade and expansion about eight years beforehand, incorporating many technological features to better serve our patients. Our planning paid off, and we were abundantly blessed with the addition of a talented young associate who “overlapped” for a couple of years before purchasing our practice in 2015.

Over my years in private practice, I attended to the dental needs of the many physically and mentally impaired citizens in our rural county, and provided access to dental care for children in the Healthy Kids program. I was able to use my proficiency in Spanish to serve the local Spanish-speaking community. We provided preventive dental education to children in the local schools and offered dental screenings for kids coming into kindergarten. In 2007 and 2010, Pat and I and our hygienists brought week-long dental clinics to a small village in El Salvador, as part of the sister parish initiative through our church.

Pat and I love living here in the mountains with our two pooches who love hiking with us. The weather is better than Michigan’s and we get to enjoy the outdoors so much more! Additionally, I enjoy improving my skills in watercolor painting, reading, and travel. Serving as part-time faculty in the MAHEC Dental Health Center and Center for Advanced Training, and sharing my expertise from my many years as a solo practitioner, is a perfect post-retirement career!


* Denotes a healthcare provider not employed by MAHEC.