CHICAGO (October 28, 2019) – The American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF) is honored to announce the Heatherington Foundation for Innovation and Education in Health Care, located in Portland, Oregon, has made a game-changing donation of one million dollars to support educational scholarships to osteopathic minority medical students. “We are truly humbled by the continued generosity of the Heatherington Foundation, and believe their commitment to ensuring equity, equality, and inclusion within the osteopathic medical profession will inspire others to do the same,” says Rita Forden, CEO of the AOF.
Jeff Heatherington, AOF Board Treasurer, and Rob Richardson, DO, chairman of the Heatherington Foundation’s philanthropy committee, announced the donation during AOF’s 2019 Honors Gala on Friday, October 25. This represents one of the largest gifts in AOF’s 70-year history. The contribution specifically supports AOF’s William G. Anderson, DO, Minority Scholarship Fund, and will help to elevate the number, and amount, of grants given by the Foundation each year. During the presentation, Dr. Richardson stated, “it is an honor to recognize Dr. Anderson in this way. He has dedicated his career to helping others and to advancing the osteopathic profession. Bill, you are a wonderful leader, a true friend, and an inspiration to all.”
Dr. Anderson, who was present during the surprise announcement, was shocked by the Heatherington Foundation’s generosity. Choking back tears, Dr. Anderson expressed his appreciation, “there is no way to fully express the deep appreciation I feel in my heart. This is a true testament to the vision of the Heatherington Foundation, and a wonderful investment in the future of the profession. But, you know, it’s a good thing this room is full of physicians, otherwise you really shouldn’t surprise a 91 year old man like this!”
Research indicates that minority students interested in the field of medicine have greater difficulty finding scholarships, loans or grant funding. With this gift, AOF’s William G. Anderson Minority Scholarship will become one of the largest educational scholarship programs in the Foundation’s portfolio, underscoring the importance AOF places on equity, diversity and inclusion within osteopathic medicine.
Jeff Heatherington, LHD (Hon), founded FamilyCare Health in 1984, a nonprofit organization that coordinated health benefits for approximately 115,000 Medicaid and Medicare members in Oregon, and led it as president for more than 30 years. FamilyCare Health created the Heatherington Foundation for Innovation and Education in Health Care in 2014 to recognize his decades of service.
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About the AOF
For nearly 70 years, the Chicago-based American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF) has served as the philanthropic heart of the osteopathic profession. AOF’s mission is to support programs and services that promote osteopathic medicine and enhance patient-centered care. Contributions to the AOF benefit thousands of people each year through community health-service projects, international humanitarian medical outreach, research grants, educational scholarships and awards that recognize excellence in osteopathic medicine. For more information, visit www.AOF.org.
Read more about the AOF's mission moment at the 2019 Honors Gala and learn more about how you can support AOF's Minority Scholarship program: https://aof.org/news-events/news/aof-mission-moment-1-million-gift-support-minority-scholarships