As Heather grew up in Virginia, God placed a strong love for missions and ministry in her heart. She knew from an early age that her life was meant to serve the Lord in whatever way He led. He eventually led her to the dental field as a profession after college and she began to use the foundation that was laid by her grandfather. Her work with cleft lip and palate began in the early 90’s when she moved to Dallas and became a part of one of three cleft lip and palate teams in the world doing pre-surgical treatment using nasoaveolar molds in the Dallas area. She was the lead lab technician for the cleft lip and palate team and had the opportunity to perfect her craft for almost a decade with that team. It was during those early years that Heather first worked with Dr. Hobar. She would make the NAMs that would prepare the baby for their first surgery where Dr. Hobar would surgically repair their lip and nose. Neither one knew that God had future plans for them to work side by side to further the progress of treating cleft lip and palate.

Career path

Heather realized early in her career that to care for the baby born with cleft lip and palate meant that you needed to learn how to serve and care for the baby’s family as well. It was during those years that she learned the importance of caring for the whole person and serving the patient’s family. It became very evident to her that the role she was fulfilling was a beautiful combination of medicine, encouragement, and love. The beautiful lesson was learned from the beginning of her career that when treating the baby born with a cleft lip and palate you have the privilege and gift of coaching and encouraging the family. You can’t do one without doing the other….they go hand in hand if you want to provide exceptional care.

Making a difference

Heather’s professional journey crossed once again with Dr.Hobar when she accepted the position “Director of Missions” with the LEAP Foundation. Her passion for making a difference in the lives of children born with cleft lip and palate granted her the opportunity to work with and learn from the surgeon that she had partnered with years prior. Little did she know that her year with the LEAP Foundation was going to be what God used to confirm in her heart that she was going to make a difference in this field for children all around the world. Her passion for ministry and serving has opened the door for Heather to speak at several churches in the Dallas area and encourage women and men to seek after the abundant life that Christ has promised us in His scripture.

“Christ has called us to be His hands and feet and to serve the precious ones that He is bringing into our path. We were created to need one another on this journey and to show the love of Christ. When we do this in our personal and professional lives…..lives are changed.”

Her extensive background in Orthodontics as a Treatment Coordinator and years as an Orthodontic assistant has contributed to the progress that we are seeing with our presurgical cleft lip and palate treatment. She has once again joined Dr. Hobar’s team and together they are making key changes in how NAMs are fabricated and are documenting substantial results.

“I am so thrilled to be a part of this team because I know that our patients will be provided care that is hard to find in our fast paced culture. We are treating the whole family and we believe that the smallest of details in that care are of the greatest importance.”

“It all starts with a relationship….I have never forgotten those words that I heard Dr. Hobar say as he was encouraging one of our LEAP teams a few years ago. He was explaining the importance of developing a relationship with the ones you are serving so that you have a deeper more long lasting impact. He then turned our eyes to the One who seeks after and loves us and that all of the good things about us and about our life started with a relationship with Christ. I have been blessed beyond measure to serve in church and to have relationships in my life that make this girl one of the most grateful women in the world. I have learned that the “abundant life” that the scripture talks about can be experienced when I am cooking for my friends on the weekend, running on a beautiful Spring day in Texas or snuggling with my 100lb Boxer named Lola. I love all of those things and I especially love that He is giving me the privilege of serving His precious little ones born with cleft lip and palate and their incredible families. I have the honor of being “Aunt Heather” to the most beautiful little ones you could ever imagine!”