The Osteopathic Founders Foundation (OFF) was established January 12, 1943 as the Osteopathic Hospital Founders Association when 10 visionary osteopathic physicians came together to buy a hospital building at Ninth and Jackson in downtown Tulsa.
After successfully completing the purchase in September 1943, a major campaign was begun to renovate and equip the building. On December 17, 1944, the Founders Association proudly opened the new Oklahoma Osteopathic Hospital and successfully operated the facility until our sale of the then Tulsa Regional Medical Center in 1996. Subsequently, the name of the Founders Association was changed to the Osteopathic Founders foundation to more accurately reflect our new mission while continuing to honor the heritage of our Founders.
Membership and Leadership
Membership in the Foundation is open to any osteopathic physician who makes an annual contribution of $25.00 or more. No contribution is required of osteopathic physicians in post-graduate training programs. Designation as a lifetime member is conferred on physicians donating $250.00 or more.
An eleven-member Board of Directors, elected by the membership, governs the Foundation. A minimum of 75% of the Directors must be osteopathic physicians who are members of the corporation.
The Osteopathic Founders Foundation is an Oklahoma not-for-profit corporation qualified as a public charity under Sec 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Gifts to the Foundation are deductible as charitable contributions to the extent allowable by law. Donations may be made for the unrestricted use of the Foundation, or restricted to a specific purpose at the donors discretion. Advisors are available to assist donors with the development of deferred gifts, which may have significant current and future tax benefits to the donor.
The Distinctiveness of the Osteopathic Physician
Osteopathic medicine is a distinctive diagnostic and therapeutic system based on the philosophy that all body systems are interrelated and dependent upon one another for good health. Developed 130 years ago by physician A.T. Still, M.D., D.O., osteopathic medicine is one of the fastest growing healthcare professions in the U.S. and brings a unique philosophy to traditional medicine. More than 92,000 osteopathic physicians are currently licensed in the United States; more than 2,000 in Oklahoma. With a strong emphasis on the inter-relationship of the body’s nerves, muscles, bones and organs, doctors of osteopathic medicine, or D.O.’s, apply the philosophy of treating the whole person to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of illness, disease and injury.
The four basic tenets of osteopathic medicine are:
1. The body is a unit; the person is a unit of body, mind, and spirit.
2. The body is capable of self-regulation, self-healing, and health maintenance.
3. Structure and function are reciprocally interrelated.
4. Rational treatment is based upon an understanding of the basic principles of body unity, self-regulation, and the interrelationship of structure and function.
Following graduation from one of the nation’s thirty accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine, osteopathic physicians begin their post-graduate medical education with a residency consisting of three to six or more years of additional training in an area of specialty. D.O.’s practice in every area of medicine from primary care to cardiovascular surgery; ophthalmology to neurosurgery. D.O.’s are fully trained and licensed to prescribe medication and perform surgery in all 50 states. Only D.O.’s and M.D.’s (allopathic physicians) are similarly licensed in the U.S.