Presbyterian Health Foundation was established in 1985 after the sale of Presbyterian Hospital, a private, nonprofit hospital that relocated to the Oklahoma Health Center (OHC) in 1978 and began offering education and clinical services on the OHC campus.
From its inception Presbyterian Health Foundation served primarily as a grant-making organization, seeking out proposals with the potential to further enhance biomedical research and education through existing organizations.
As the organizations and institutions that comprise the OHC flourished, it became apparent to the Board of Directors of Presbyterian Health Foundation that the research conducted on the OHC campus was of international caliber, yet the opportunities to capitalize on this research had not been realized.
A major obstacle to the growth of the bioscience industry in Oklahoma was the lack of high quality, reasonable cost laboratory and office space. Under the leadership of its Board of Directors, Presbyterian Health Foundation embarked on a 25-year journey to build the PHF Research Park adjacent to the OHC campus, one of only a few such initiatives in the U.S. A bold step, but one that has generated benefits to the community and a return on investment that has far exceeded expectations.
In collaboration with Oklahoma City area research institutions, bioscience companies, and civic and business leaders, Presbyterian Health Foundation helped to fund and has participated actively in the development of a roadmap for the continued evolution of the bioscience industry in Oklahoma “where agile entrepreneurs continually demonstrate how to turn ideas into well-capitalized firms that are among the leaders in their industry segments.”
The strategic plan developed by Presbyterian Health Foundation in 2012 signaled a shift in focus from development of the PHF Research Park to the direct investment in individuals and organizations on or affiliated with the OHC to support the transformation of ideas to innovations. Presbyterian Health Foundation successfully made this transition, awarding millions in grants to biomedical researchers since 2014.
Looking forward, Presbyterian Health Foundation will build upon the legacy established by the original board – to bring scientific discoveries to market by encouraging the research scientists of today and tomorrow to be inspired, be passionate, be innovative and be bold as they identify, evaluate and develop new ways “to save and enhance life.”