Meet Our Team

Our Doctors

Mark H. Blankenship, D.M.D.
Dr. Blankenship has been serving the Athens area with quality and professional dental care for over 20 years. Dr. Blankenship graduated from Cedar Shoals High School in 1978, received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Georgia in 1982, and received his dental degree (DMD) in 1986 from the Medical College of Georgia.

Dr. Blankenship is a member of the American Dental Association, Georgia Dental Association and the Clarke County Dental Society. He has continued training in new and current dental techniques and technology by attending numerous continuing education courses. Dr. Blankenship is certified in soft tissue laser surgery, CEREC (computer designed porcelain restorations) and Lumineer smile makeovers.

Dr. Blankenship and his experienced, friendly team are committed to providing the highest quality comprehensive dental care for families of all ages in a caring, comfortable environment. We are here to create beautiful smiles, restore dental function and educate patients on how to maintain their dental health for their entire lives.

In addition to dentistry, Dr. Blankenship enjoys his family, golf, music, travel and photography.

Lane V. Barker, D.M.D.
Dr. Barker is originally from Athens, Georgia, where he graduated Valedictorian from Jefferson High School in 1990. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Georgia in 1994. After graduating from Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry in 1998, he returned home to Athens and joined Athena Dental Associates.


Professional Affiliations

  • Member of American Dental Association, Georgia Dental Association, Eastern District Dental Association and Clarke County Dental Association
  • Member of Academy of General Dentistry

Civic Duties

  • Member of various church organizations
  • Past Eagle Scout
  • Secretary of Madison County Youth Association (since 2007)
  • Assistant Coach of football team and Little League baseball team


  • Bowling
  • Fishing
  • Spending time with family and children

Our Front Office

Betty H. Staines, Office Manager
I attended Madison County High School, Athens Area Tech and the University of Georgia. I have both clinical and office experience in the dental field. I have taken numerous continuing education courses including, but not limited to, Hollander, CPR, Vizilite and insurance-related courses.

Most of the employees and doctors have been together more than six years, which makes our office somewhat different. We care about each other professionally and personally. We strive to show the same care and concern to our patients. We feel that our office is an extension of our family.

On the personal side, I have been employed with Athena Dental Associates since 1988. I enjoy spending time with my two daughters and husband.

Lori Horton

I was born and raised in Athens, Georgia. I graduated from Clarke Central High School. My hobbies are shopping, gardening and spending time with my family and friends. We all have certification in CPR, Vizilite Oral Cancer Screening, Hollander Management training, Zoom/Sapphire Bleaching and Radiation training. I have been employed with Athena Dental Associates since May 1997.

I feel our office is unique because we are a very family-oriented office and we provide all our patients with the best care possible.

Kathy Meadows
I was born in Elberton, Georgia and attended school there. I graduated from Elbert County High School in 1966. After graduation, I was trained to become a dental assistant in the office of Dr. Joe S. Campbell, D.D.S. in Elberton. I was employed there for 17 years. I was certified in expanded duties for dental assistants by the Georgia Dental Association in 1992. I continued my dental career in 1999 when I moved to Athens, Georgia and was employed in the office of Dr. Tom McDonald for five years. My continuing education includes CPR, digital radiography, courses taken at the Hinman Dental Clinic, bleaching, endodontics, impressions and intraoral provisional restorations.

I am honored to be working with a wonderful, caring staff of dental professionals who are dedicated to their profession, but most of all to their patients. I enjoy reading, walking, playing with my grandchildren and being with family and friends.

Our Hygienists

Alison LeCroy Foster, RDH
I grew up in Carnesville, Georgia and graduated in 1993 from Greenville Technical College with a degree in Health Science, major in Dental Hygiene. I have been with the Athena Dental family since April 2000. My past continuing education courses have included ZOOM whitening and periodontal management. Each year, I continue these and other studies. I live in Hartwell with my husband of 14 years. When not practicing dental hygiene, I enjoy working on our cattle farm and spending time with my pets.

When visiting Athena Dental, you will find our staff listens to what you have to say. We want to talk to you about your dental concerns and help you relax. We find one of the easiest ways to do this is to talk you through the dental procedure.

Christina J. Davis, RDH
After graduating from Elbert County Comprehensive High School in 2004, I received a fastpitch softball scholarship to Gordon College. After Gordon, I transferred to Athens Technical College and graduated with an Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene in 2008. I was presented with the Hu-Friedy Golden Scaler Award for exemplary clinical skills. Some of my continuing education classes include, Oral Cancer, Sure-Smile Orthodontics, Air Polishing, and Soft Tissue Management.

I enjoy singing, playing my guitar, and spending time with my family.

It has been wonderful becoming a part of the Athena Dental Team. We strive for personalized care for every patient.

Ansley Porterfield, RDH
I was born and raised in Oconee County where I graduated from North Oconee High School. After graduating,  I continued my education at Athens Technical College receiving  an Associate of Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene in May of 2012. Upon graduating, I was awarded the Dental Hygiene Community Health Award and the Academic Excellence Award.

Dental hygiene is of utmost importance to me and I strive to assist patients in any way possible. I enjoy seeing patients of all ages and try to address all concerns of my patients .  I am proud to call Athena Dental Associates my home and love for patients to do the same!

In my spare time I enjoy spending time outdoors, hunting and playing softball. I also enjoy spending time with my husband, family and dogs!

Jessica Gohs, CDA, RDH
I began the dental assisting program at Athens Tech in 2010 and did 6 months of my assisting externship at Athena Dental under Dr. Barker, Wendy and Fay. After graduating the assisting program in 2011 I immediately began the Dental Hygiene program; I graduated in 2013 earning the Work Ethic Award. Once I was a registered hygienist I began working in Carl, Georgia. I had been there for two years when Athena Dental offered me a hygiene position at their office. I am enjoying being reunited with the staff and getting to know all the patients.

As a hygienist my goal is to always preform to the best of my abilities to take exceptional care of my patients. I always want my patients to feel comfortable and at ease while sitting in the dental chair. I love seeing patients of all ages, addressing their concerns, and helping them feel satisfied with their dental appointment.

In my spare time I like to take the dog for walks, exercise, garden, cook, and make crafts.

Our Assistants

Kelly Grace
After graduating from high school, I attended the University of Georgia and have been employed with Athena Dental Associates since 1988. I enjoy painting, interior design, reading and art. CE credits: Lumineers, Sapphire bleaching, Hollander Management, Vizilite (oral cancer screening), training with the Cerec CAD machine for porcelain restorations, and CPR.

Our belief is that every patient is entitled to a beautiful, healthy smile and it is our mission to make a difference in each of our patients' lives. Our staff has worked together for a long time; we treat each patient as if they were our own family member.

Jessica Simons, CDA, EFDA
I am a 2004 graduate of Franklin County High School and a 2006 graduate of the dental assisting program at Athens Technical College. I am certified in dental radiology, infection control, and general chairside assisting through the Dental Assisting National Board. I am also certified in expanded functions through the Georgia State Board of Dentistry.

After graduating from the dental assisting program, I joined the Athena Dental Family. I fell in love with the practice while doing my clinical hours assisting with Dr. Blankenship, so it made sense to make Athena Dental Associates my home. We have the greatest patients and team! We go above and beyond to make our patients feel comfortable and important.

In my spare time, I love spending every moment with my husband and our beautiful daughter!

Fay Thompson
I am from Oglethorpe County and graduated in 1973. I have been employed by Athena Dental since April 2003. I enjoy camping, bowling and spending time with family.

I think Athena is such a great office to work in. Everyone gets along. It is like a second family and we try to help each other. I appreciate the people I work with.


Wendy Burns
I graduated from Madison County High School in 1994. I am married and have two children. I enjoy reading, camping and spending time with family and friends. I received training in Hollander Management courses, Vizilite oral cancer screening, and ZOOM in-office bleaching.

Our staff is more like one big happy family. We all work well together as a team.