WACO, Texas – Dr. George Jurek is a retired dentist and local philanthropist. He has promised a lead gift of $1 million to Waco Family Medicine’s capital campaign for a new dental health clinic.
Dr. Jurek credits his passion for dentistry to the first dentist he visited as a child of nine years. He had a toothache for several days, and finally his parents gave him one dollar to go see a dentist. He walked to downtown Waco and found a dentist willing to help. He was such a good patient that when he gave his dollar to pay, the dentist gave him 10 cents back in change.
Dr. Jurek knew he could help people, just as he had been helped, by going into dentistry.
He spent years practicing dentistry in Texas, first opening his dental practice in Waco decades ago before working for the Texas Department of State Health Services. He later transitioned to the Texas Department of MH-MR office, where he served as Special Assistant to the Commissioner and oversaw eight hospitals and 13 schools for people with developmental disabilities.
During his time at TDMHMR, Dr. Jurek oversaw the care of people with developmental disabilities, many of whom were facing hardships and uncertain futures. He was motivated to create an educational program used by the Baylor College of Dentistry, and later expanded across Texas to teach the importance of dentistry as an integral part of primary care for those with mental health and developmental disabilities.
Dr. Jurek’s broad dental experience and his extensive post-doctoral education provides him with a unique perspective about the need for greater access to dental healthcare. His vision is to replace fragmented dental care with an inclusive model which encompasses dentistry as part of primary care.
He founded the Dr. George Jurek Dental Services Fund at Waco Foundation to support access to dental care as a partnership between MHMR and Waco Family Medicine.
This $1 million gift to establish a state-of-the-art dental clinic in the new Waco Family Medicine building is a culmination of Dr. Jurek’s generosity and compassion for his fellow community members. The new dental clinic will provide care for thousands of patients in the coming years.