Founders of Doctors' Hospital, INC. Biography

The history of Founders of Doctors' Hospital Inc. starts in the late 1950's when the family doctor was considered outdated in the growing world of specialized medicine.  Local hospitals began to support physicians in specialized medicine, refusing the family doctor admitting privileges.  This meant that if a patient required hospitalization, the family doctor was required to turn the patient over to medical specialists affiliated with each hospital.  Frustrated with this system, on November 16, 1960, a group of young family practice physicians signed a "memorandum" in which they expressed their desire to establish a hospital that would allow them to admit and personally treat their patients, rather than relinquish care to other doctors.  In December, 1964, after many years of research, negotiation and personal financial commitments, construction of Doctors' Hospital at 2323 South Harvard, Tulsa, Oklahoma, was begun.  On August 29, 1966, the non-profit hospital opened its doors, the first doctor-managed hospital west of the Mississippi to be built completely with private funds. 

Those who committed themselves to this undertaking were: Drs. RQ Atchley, John Brasfield, John Capehart, SA Capehart, Curtis Clifton, Bill Elrod, William Ewell, Warren Gwartney, Marshall Hart, Buel Humphreys, Martin Leibovitz, Charles Lilly, Earl Lusk, Hugh Nicholas, Herbert Orr, Ray Raymond, Joseph Salamy, Logan Spann, Harlan Thomas, Charles Wilbanks, Theodore Williams, and Fred Woodson.

Doctors' Hospital flourished under the guidance of this group of family practitioners, as did the profession of family medicine.  Family Medicine is now one of the many specialties a new doctor can choose because of the personal interest and financial support of these doctors.

picture of hospital

Doctors' Hospital was sold on September 29, 1983, and with the proceeds of the sale they established Founders of Doctors' Hospital, Inc, a non-profit corporation.  The purpose of Founders of Doctors' Hospital , Inc. was to continue the public works these now retired family physicians believed in through their new charitable corporation. 

picture of founders circa 1990

 This work continued through Founders and Associates, Inc., the same corporation, but with a name adjustment that recognized the original founding board and family successors.  On August 17, 2007, the board unanimously resolved to restore the corporate name to Founders of Doctors' Hospital, Inc..


Founders of Doctors' Hospital, Inc. primary charity is the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Oklahoma - Tulsa's School of Community Medicine.  The corporation also provides secondary charity support in the form of grants to 501(c)(3) non-profit medical, educational and civic organizations within a 75-mile radius of Tulsa.  To date, Founders of Doctors' Hospital, Inc. has awarded over 50 million in grants to 400+ non-profit organizations in the Tulsa community.

The foundation's original board of trustees included Drs. Emil M Childers, Curtis N. Clifton, William C. Ewell, John T. Forsythe, Warren G. Gwartney, John T. Keown, Jr., Charles J. Lilly, Hugh B. Nicholas, Herbert S. Orr, Joseph Salamy, Logan A. Spann, and Harlan Thomas.