Meet the Team

Dr. Yaa McDonald dentist tinley park

Dr. Yaa McDonald

Dr. Yaa McDonald received her undergraduate degree in the biological sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and then completed a Doctorate in Dental Medicine degree (DMD) at Southern Illinois University. Following her doctorate degree, she completed a two-year residency in Pediatric Dentistry, obtaining both a specialty certificate and a Master of Dental Science from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. During residency, Dr. McDonald was awarded the Graduate Student Research Award for her outstanding master’s thesis research on the periodontal ligament stem cells of human deciduous teeth.

Dr. Rory Chong

Dr. Rory Chong is a firm believer in providing a treatment experience with respect and care and always has the best interest of his patients at heart.

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, he studied at the University of Toronto obtaining his degree in Industrial Engineering and Applied Mathematics. He went on to complete his dental education at New York University where he graduated amongst the top of his class and was inducted into the Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Dental Honor Society. During his training, Dr. Chong was concurrently involved in research that was presented at national conferences where he gave award-winning presentations on accelerated orthodontic tooth movement and critical thinking in dental education. 

Dr. Rory Chong - dentist
Dr. Paulina Yarmokovich - dentist

Dr. Paulina Yarmokovich

Dr. Paulina Yarmarkovich was born and raised in Swampscott, Massachusetts. She received her B.S. in Microbiology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and went on to earn her D.M.D. at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Throughout this time, Dr. Yarmarkovich found her passion for treating pediatric patients, including those with special health care needs. She is currently pursuing specialty training at UIC College of Dentistry where she is a second year Pediatric Dentistry Resident. Dr. Paulina is also working towards her Master in Public Health alongside her residency program.

Dr. Kristy Kao

Dr. Kristy Kao grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. She attended the University of Pennsylvania for her undergraduate studies with a major in Biological Basis of Behavior. She subsequently went on to attend dental school at Columbia University, where she realized her love of working with children.

Upon graduation from Columbia, Dr. Kristy completed specialized training in pediatric dentistry at Albert Einstein/Montefiore Medical Center where she further developed her skills in treating children of all ages, including those with special needs...

Meet Our Staff


Graduating valedictorian from her dental assistant class, Dorian strives to be the best at what she does. She will be attending dental hygiene school to further her education and career in the dental field. Her love for working with children is immeasurable. She comes ready to give each and every patient the best experience here at Joyful Smiles.

Dorian - dental staff
Amanda - dental staff


Amanda is a devoted mother and a loving wife. She likes to spend her free time with family and friends; while crafting in her spare time. Amanda graduated as a dental assistant with high honors. Prior to entering the dental field she dedicated four years in the nursing profession. Amanda looks forward to giving your child a fantastic dental experience.


Yvette joined our Joyful Smiles family in the spring of 2018. She began her Dental Assistant career in the fall of 2012 after graduating from Everest College with honors. While attending Everest College she was a member of the National Technical Honor Society. In the spring of 2014, she began working in the pediatric dentistry field and became a Certified Dental Assistant. Ms. Yvette is dedicated to give each and every child a joyful experience every time they come for a visit! When she’s not at work, she loves to read, watch movies or hang out with family and friends!

Yuvette - dental staff
Starr - dental staff


Starr, operations manager at Joyful Smiles graduated from Argosy University in Business. She has over 12 years of experience in the dental industry. She started as a dental assistant and quickly moved into a front desk role along with accounts and insurance. She has experience with children and a passion to be of service to anyone who may need a helping hand!


Lauren is a Certified Dental Assistant. She graduated from Springboard in 2018. While attending Springboard she was able to obtain an Advanced Cosmetic Certificate. Lauren was also Salutatorian in her class. Her drive to help others is what brought her into the Dental Field. Ms. Lauren loves crafting in her free time!


Roxanne is a mother to a sweet little boy. She has a passion for children, which is what drove her to our office. Her life goals consist of growing into a successful woman and becoming a role model. She enjoys making others smile. She looks forward to what the future holds for her here at Joyful Smiles.


Yajaira is a Certified Dental Assistant. She attended Springboard and graduated in 2019. She was able to obtain an Advanced Cosmetic Certificate as well. Yajaira began her journey attending Moraine Valley Community College attending early childhood courses. This is where she was able to identify her love for children. On Ms. Yajaira’s free time she enjoys spending time with her family and going to the beach!