Massillon dentist receives ODA Rising Star Award

For Immediate Release
October 7, 2021

As a new dentist, Dr. Richard Keefe, a general dentist in Massillon, is involved with giving back to his community. In recognition of his efforts, he received the Ohio Dental Association N. Wayne Hiatt Rising Star Award on Friday, Oct. 1 at the Callahan Celebration of Excellence, held in conjunction with the 155th ODA Annual Session.

Keefe graduated from dental school at The Ohio State University in 2011 and then went on to do a two year General Practice Residency program at Mercy Medical Center in Canton. He bought a practice in Massillon after completing his residency and has been expanding his practice since then.

Since 2016, Keefe has been providing free dental care to homeless men through the Refuge of Hope shelter in Canton.

Keefe began by providing screenings and care as needed for the residents for about two years, and then wanted to expand the care he was providing while also teaching dental residents. So he reached out to the residency director at Mercy Medical Center, and for the last several years residents have come to his office once a month to help provide care.

“We’re serving men in the men’s shelter; I feel like it’s a big component to making an impact in the community and to build confidence in these men,” he said. “They get a service they couldn’t afford, and we get them in very quickly.”

They provide comprehensive care, including full mouth rehab with implants, crowns and dentures. Since 2016, Keefe has screened more than 130 men in the shelter and provided care for more than 80 men at a value of more than $350,000.

The Rising Star Award recognizes a young leader in dentistry with outstanding leadership and initiative and a strong commitment to volunteerism within the community and the profession. This person must demonstrate promise for continued and future accomplishments within the dental profession, and must have been in practice for 10 years or less.


Contact: David Owsiany, ODA executive director

Phone: (614) 486-2700


Photo available upon request.