Since one of the primary goals of the Oklahoma County Medical Society is to improve the lives of citizens in our community, the Society is proud of its involvement in the development of these community-oriented programs.
Oklahoma Blood Institute
In 1972, OCMS leadership began a study of the local blood banking problems. After several years of planning, financing was secured by physicians and the Oklahoma Blood Institute was formed. It is now recognized as a national leader in blood banking and was the first in the U.S. to offer free cholesterol testing as a benefit to donors. In addition to providing the safest possible blood and blood components to patients, OBI offers many medical services and is involved in a variety of research projects, particularly in Hematology and Blood Component Therapy.
In 1975, the Society began efforts to publicize the need for a community emergency transport system. Over a period of 1½ years, working in conjunction with the Mayor's Task Force, AMCARE (now EMSA) was begun without the assistance of government funding. The OCMS committed $19,000 in financial support and provided physicians who served as members of the professional advisory group.
Hospice of Oklahoma County
In 1990, OCMS leadership recognized the need for a local non-profit hospice and established Hospice of Oklahoma County. It is the only hospice in the U.S. organized and funded by physicians.
Open Arms Free Clinic
In 1993, the OCMS Access to Care Committee reviewed the locations of free clinics throughout Oklahoma County and OCMS leadership made the decision to establish a clinic in northwest Oklahoma City. With Deaconess Hospital and the Free Methodist Church as founding partners, the Open Arms Free Clinic was opened to provide medical care for residents of Oklahoma County without private medical insurance or ineligible for government assistance. OCMS primary care physicians, including residents from the Great Plains Family Practice Center, volunteer on site and many OCMS specialists accept referrals. The clinic is open on Thursday evenings (every other Thursday during June, July and August). For additional information, call the clinic at 789-0458.
Schools for Healthy Lifestyles
Due to concerns addressed by the OCMS Community Health Committee, the Schools for Healthy Lifestyles (SHL) program was begun in 1996, with the City-County Health Department of Oklahoma County and the Oklahoma State Department of Health as partners. This community-based health promotion program concentrates on education in the areas of injury prevention, nutrition, physical fitness and tobacco use prevention. OCMS physicians are encouraged to participate in this program by becoming an "Adopt-A-Doc" for an SHL school. For additional information, visit the SHL website: http://www.healthyschoolsok.org/
Central Oklahoma Project Access
In 2001, OCMS leadership, at the request of the Community Health Committee, supported a pilot program to provide specialty referrals for patients at the Mary Mahoney Memorial Health Center, Healing Hands Clinic and the City-County Health Department of Oklahoma County clinics. The expansion of this program, Central Oklahoma Project Access, is a community partnership designed to provide access to primary care, specialty care, hospital and other ancillary services for the uninsured and underinsured in Oklahoma County. Central Oklahoma Integrated Network System (COINS) manages the day-to-day operation of Project Access. For additional information, visit the COINS website at: http://www.centralokpa.org/
Health Alliance for the Uninsured
The Health Alliance for the Uninsured is a collaboration of physicians, hospitals and other community partners whose goal is to increase access to care for Oklahoma County citizens who do not have a medical home and often seek medical care in the hospital emergency rooms or free clinics. The concept began with Dr. R. Murali Krishna, 2005 OCMS President, who had the vision of developing a coordinated health care delivery system for the uninsured in Oklahoma County. For additional information, click on http://www.o-c-m-s.org/health_alliance.asp.