HISTORY OF THE TULSA COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY-Contributed
by Dixon N. Burns, M.D.-April 3, 2002
1890 Territory of Oklahoma was established by the Federal government in 1890.
1891 April 16- The Board of Health was authorized to issue licenses to doctors.
1907 Oklahoma was admitted to the union- The Tulsa County Medical Society was formed.
1920 General John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditional Force, broke ground for St. John Hospital-a nationwide recession delayed construction until 1926. By 1920 there were 141 members of Tulsa County Medical Society.
1926 St. John Hospital was opened. It had been built jointly by the Tulsa County Medical Society and The Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother of New Jersey.
1937 Medical and hospital leaders in Oklahoma began discussions on creating a non-profit Blue Cross plan. In 1940 two meetings were held in Oklahoma City and Tulsa of medical, hospital, and community leaders to complete organizational details. It was decided that $10,000 capital would be needed to establish a non-profit hospital pre-payment plan for the state. It was agreed that whichever community reached its goal first would become the city where the state headquarters would be located.
On March 22 Tulsa leaders raised the $5,000 balance needed to complete the incorporation- this was done on April 1,1940 which placed it under the control of the state insurance office. The chief executive officer opened the headquarters in the Tulsa Loan Building at 4th and Main Street. In 1945 a non-profit medical- surgical indemnity type benefit known as Blue Shield plan was incorporated as a companion to the Blue Cross Plan under the sponsorship of the O.S.M.A.
1940 Citizens organized a non-profit corporation and acquired Morningside Hospital property, which was bankrupt, and was reincorporated as Hillcrest Medical Center.
1942 Henry J. Kaiser created the Kaiser Health Plan, a hospital corporation and a medical group practice partnership for 90,000 shipyard employees in the San Francisco-Oakland area. After the war the plan was opened to enrollment by the general population. This plan limited patient choice to the medical group practice and it paid physicians on a capitation basis.
1954 Utica Square Physicians office building was completed- the first physician’s office building located outside of down town Tulsa.
1960 Saint Francis Hospital was completed by the W.K. Warren foundation and operated by Sisters of the Most Precious Blood from 1960 to 1969- then by Sisters of Mercy of Houston, Texas.
1971 The Tulsa Medical Education Foundation was formed with a board crafted to include 6 members of Tulsa County Medical Society and 2 each from Hillcrest Hospital, St. John Hospital, Saint Francis, Doctors Hospital and Children’s Medical Center, 2 from Tulsa Chamber of Commerce and 2 from, O.U. Medical School.
1972 State legislation authorized establishment of a branch of the University of Oklahoma Medical School-in 1974 the first class of 3rd year medical students was admitted.