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Celebrating our Co-Founders

Celebrating our Co-Founders, Dr. Greg Swenson and Dr. Brian “Bud” Murn

February 16, 2022

Throughout the year, we’ll be celebrating Park Dental’s 50th Anniversary with a regular series to highlight important pieces from our past, our present and future.  We’re kicking off by celebrating our Co-Founders, Dr. Greg Swenson and Dr. Brian “Bud” Murn.

Dr. Swenson and Dr. Murn had been solo practitioners prior to meeting in 1969.  As solo practitioners, they developed a professional relationship and attended to each other’s patients if either of them took time out of their practice.  Dr. Swenson always had a hankering to try a group practice where the burdens of coverage and other administrative tasks would be shared.  As their professional relationship progressed, they shared ideas about how they could better serve their patients and communities, and always came back to the group practice idea.  In 1969, they established Murn & Swenson PA.  For the next 3 years, they continued operating out of their individual practices, and in 1972, came together in one building which we know now as Park Dental Brookpark.

Dr. Swenson and Dr. Murn admit it was difficult at first.  They did not want to be individual doctors operating under one roof, but rather a true group practice where doctors share ideas, review cases together, and ensure the best care for their patients.  “In the true group practice, it is the desire to work together, to find the best solutions to problems, and to share the best ideas for treatments, but it is also a question of ethics and how you treat people,” said Dr. Swenson.  They quickly learned that there was more to this operation than just providing the best patient care.  They also needed to run the finances of the group practice, set governing principles, establish protocols and guidelines, etc.  “We knew that if we were to be successful, we had to reinvest in people, systems and processes.  That was key.  We also knew that the business side couldn’t overshadow the clinical side.  After all, the clinical side drove the business.  We tried to create a structure that would enable us to do both very well,” Dr. Swenson added.

Dr. Murn focused on maintaining the clinical side, while Dr. Swenson focused on creating the business model.  Dr. Swenson enlisted respected business consultants to help structure the group practice, and many of the established guidelines and processes are still in place today.

In the early stages of Park Dental, the thought of expanding the group into more than one practice, let alone even a fraction of what it is today, was more than they ever dreamed.  The organization grew naturally through the gathering of great people, great minds and talents.  Dr. Swenson and Dr. Murn both realized that it would take a village to make the organization successful.  From highly-skilled and compassionate doctors, to talented dental assistants and hygienists, to the scheduling managers and all support roles, each individual is needed to ensure we are able to continue providing high-quality, patient-centered care for decades to come.

We’ll wrap up today by sharing an interview with Dr. Swenson and Dr. Murn from 2018.  They share good laughs and insight into those early days, and end by sharing their advice to the future of dental professionals.  It is their parting words in the video that still make us proud to this day:

  • “It’s in good hands” – Dr. Murn
  • “Job well done” – Dr. Swenson

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