Marquette University Alumni Association Alumni National Awards Weekend
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Rick. A. Kushner, D.D.S., Dent ’77

Rick KushnerDental care always has been expensive, but Dr. Rick A. Kushner didn’t think it needed to be. So 30 years ago he founded Comfort Dental, which offers high-quality dental services to everyone, particularly lower-income patients, in Colorado and three other states.

More than one million patients have been served, making Comfort Dental the largest true dental franchise in the country. It is also one of the largest Medicaid providers in Colorado. “Our target market is lower-income working people,” he says.

The company charges about half of what Colorado dentists typically do and has extended hours to accommodate working families. And since 1984, services in all 60 offices are free on December 24. Since the project began, more than 50,000 patients have been treated, representing $9 million in free service.

Rick makes clear that Marquette was instrumental in his decision to develop Comfort Dental.

“Despite the highly technical nature of our work, the message of giving back to the community got through,” he says. “It became a part of me.”

Rick says this happened because of Marquette’s small class sizes and individual attention.

“I felt so much support from my professors and fellow students,” he says. “I would call Marquette a comfortable place, for my studies and my social life. It was all there.”


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