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Thorndale Dental Associates
Richard E. DeForno DMD, MAGD, FICOI, LLSR

Clinical Team


Melissa Gauck

Clinical Team Leader

My name is Melissa.  I grew up in Hicksville, NY and have the accent to go with it.  I joined the Thorndale Dental Team in May 2013.  I look forward every day to coming into work and making a difference with every patient’s dental experience.  I work alongside an extremely talented team and for this I am truly blessed.  We are always furthering our education to give all of our patients our very best. 
I am married to my best friend Rich and we have two amazing children.  In my spare time I enjoy kayaking.

Kathy Conahan


I started working with Dr. DeForno seven months after he started his practice. Through the years, I have seen our practice grow from three treatment rooms in a house to the wonderful facility we have today.  The most exciting part has been the advancement in technology in dentistry over the past forty years.   I am a graduate of Temple University School of Dental Hygiene.  During my time with Dr DeForno, I have become licensed in Local Anesthesia and as a Public Health Dental Hygiene Practitioner.

I live in Downingtown with my husband Ron and two dogs Bella and Mia.  We have four grown children, Kate, Kellie, Michael and Ryan and two sons-in-law, Nick and Tim.  When I have spare time I enjoy my perennial gardens and going on road trips with my husband, even if they only last a few hours.  I look forward to seeing you and your family when you come in for your hygiene visit.

Sarah Mertz


Just a little about myself,  I have lived in Chester County all my life and graduated from Unionville High School in 2010.  After high school, I attended Harcum College in Bryn Mawr to follow my love of dentistry.  I graduated from their dental hygiene program in 2014.  In 2016 I joined Thorndale Dental.  Since then I have loved being a part of this amazing team.  I enjoy seeing smiling faces come through the door every day. 
Being outside, going to the beach, kayaking and snowmobiling are some of my favorite pastimes.  I have 2 dogs, Axel and Gunner, a rabbit, Astro, and a guinea pig, Peanut.  I’m a big animal lover (if you couldn’t tell) and one day hope to have my own farm with goats and pigs!  I look forward to meeting you and being a part of your oral health.

Sarah Frawley

Dental Assistant

Hi, my name is Sarah.  I grew up in Lancaster County and graduated from Solanco High School in 2017.  I attended the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center for dental assisting my senior year.  I was also in an organization called HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America).  I competed in dental terminology statewide and placed third which led me to competing at the international level.  During my senior year I did my internship here at Thorndale Dental Associates and proudly became part of their team just before graduating.  I enjoy working with the TDA team as well as the great patients and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
I enjoy spending my spare time with my family and friends.  You will find me by the water fishing or hiking through the woods searching for antlers that deer have shed.
I can’t wait to see your smile walk through the door and be the reason someone smiles today.

Alexandra Gyuris


Hello, I’ m Alex.  I grew up in Phoenixville, PA and graduated from Phoenixville Area High School in 2010. I earned my Associates Degree in Dental Hygiene from Northampton Community College in 2013.  I joined Thorndale Dental in October of 2017.
In my free time, I look forward to being around my friends and family.  I also love taking road trips, going to concerts, and staying physically active.  A dream of mine is to visit all 50 states.  My favorite season is the summer.  One of my favorite things to do during this time is to go to the beach.  Thorndale Dental goes above and beyond for their patients while providing a positive dental experience. My main goal as a hygienist is to give you high quality care to help you achieve optimal oral health.  I am a firm believer that your smile is one of your best investments.  I look forward to meeting you at your next visit. 

Jillian Mackey


Hello, my name is Jillian.  I grew up in Chester County and graduated from Coatesville High School.  I attended Dr. DeForno’s dental assistant program, here at the office.  In April 2007, I began working as a dental assistant for Thorndale Dental Associates.  After a few years working here, I pursued my education to become an Expanded Functions Dental Assistant (EFDA).  I love the people I work with and the patients I see every day.  It gives me great pleasure helping our patients feel comfortable by providing a calm atmosphere.
I enjoy spending my spare time with my loved ones and meeting new people.  I can’t wait to get to know you!

Maureen Sweeney


Hi, my name is Maureen Sweeney. I began working as a chair side assistant at Thorndale Dental Associates in 1987. Dr. DeForno encouraged me to pursue my credentials as a CDA  (Certified Dental Assistant) and also as an EFDA (Expanded Functions Dental Assistant). Continuing education seminars and lectures are also an integral part of my job and they help me care for my patients in a much better fashion. My favorite part of my work is helping patients through their treatment to achieve excellent dental health. I have a wide array of outside interests that also keep me busy when I’m not in the office. I am very passionate about most types of artwork but pottery is my main focus right now. I also enjoy gardening and reading.

Justina Taylor


 Hi, my name is Justina. I grew up in Lancaster County and graduated from Solanco High School in 2011. My senior year I attended the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center.  I started working as a dental assistant right out of high school and decided that it was time to move up in my career. That is when I joined the Thorndale Dental Team in February 2014 as a dental assistant. In 2017 with the support of Dr. DeForno and my family, I obtained my Expanded Functions Dental Assistant (EFDA) certification.
I am 1 out of 10 siblings and my family is the most important asset in my life. My husband and I recently became the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl.  We have a German Shephard/Rottweiler/Doberman Pincher whose name is Sprocket.  I am so happy to be a part of Thorndale Dental Associates and couldn’t be more blessed to work with such amazing people.  I look forward to meeting you and having you become a part of our Thorndale family.