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Our History

A History of Progress & Success

Our history began with a bold vision in mind: create a premier medical center in the heart of Oklahoma City.


Established in 1985, Presbyterian Health Foundation was formed with the proceeds of the sale of Presbyterian Hospital, which was the largest hospital in Oklahoma at that time. From our inception we have served as a grantmaking organization primarily funding biomedical research, medical education and health innovation in Oklahoma City. Our grants have been principally awarded to organizations within the Oklahoma Health Center (OHC) campus, a 325-acre expanse located between the Oklahoma State Capitol complex and downtown Oklahoma City, that are investigating the fundamentals of human diseases to understand their root causes and ultimately develop better treatments and find cures.

Soon after we were established, our leadership recognized a significant barrier to this scientific investigation process. The OHC campus lacked high-quality, reasonably-priced laboratory and office space to perform much of this work. It was then that our board of directors embarked on an important journey to build a world-class research park, consisting of 700,000 square feet of Class A laboratory, research and office space, to help meet this critical need. This significant investment, which was sold to the University of Oklahoma in 2013, served as a launch point for the budding bioscience industry, and an important factor in the development of a roadmap which is now elevating biotech as a viable and recognized industry in Oklahoma City. In collaboration with area research institutions, bioscience companies and civic and business leaders, we have continued making significant traction to promote biomedical innovation in Oklahoma.

View of PHF buildings and OKC skyline
Presbyterian Health Foundation lobby sign
Sign with history of the PHF Research Park

Our continued support of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and others have led to important medical breakthroughs and stimulated exciting economic opportunities, positioning Oklahoma at the forefront of biomedical research and innovation. Our investments have instilled the love of discovery in the hearts and minds of research scientists and health innovators in Oklahoma. And that’s just what we will continue to do.


Looking forward, we will continue building upon our legacy of encouraging research scientists of today to be inspired, passionate, innovative and bold as they identify, evaluate and develop new ways to save and enhance human life.


PHF Progress Timeline



Ed Miller becomes PHF's first President from 1985 to 1989.


Stanton Young becomes PHF's first Chairman. 


From the inception of PHF, trustees had the shared care and concern underlying the fundamental mission of bettering humankind through medical education and research. They believed that no Oklahoman should have to leave the state in order to receive the best medical care in the world.​


In its first 5 years, the Foundation awarded 320 grants totaling $4.47 million for medical research, medical education, clinical pastoral education, community health programs, and technology transfer.


We also began investing in the establishment of start-up companies in the field of medical technology.



Jean Gummerson becomes President from 1989 to 2001.


Stanton Young remains as PHF Chairman.


In 1994 PHF began planning the development of a Research Park, a vision inspired from leadership visits to several nationally acclaimed university research parks across the country.


From 1999 to 2004 PHF and OUHSC developed a 10-year strategic plan to increase OUHSC's extramural funding.


In 1995 PHF hosted their first symposium, "The Human Frontier: DNA, Genes, and Molecular Biology".



Mike Anderson becomes PHF's third President.​


Carl Edwards takes over as PHF’s second Chairman.


The PHF Research Park is completed in 2003.


PHF offices relocated to Research Park.


​In 2000, PHF awards OUHSC and OMFR $5 million to fund a collaborative MD/PhD program.


By 2007, Research Park is home to 35 science-based companies, with seven buildings comprising over 700,000 square feet of Class A wet lab and office space.



Tom R. Gray, III becomes President in 2013


Carl Edwards remains as PHF Chairman.


In 2013, PHF completes the sale of Research Park to the University of Oklahoma, with the understanding that OUHSC will use the solid foundation established by PHF as a springboard to further biomedical research, healthcare, and to grow jobs in Oklahoma.


Following the sale of Research Park, PHF returns to its grant-making origin to provide direct funding of leading edge biomedical research and educational endeavors on the OHC.


Since 2014, PHF has focused on awarding millions in grants to biomedical researchers, held by a diverse group of physician scientists, basic researchers and educators at OHC.


By 2017, $157 million in grants were awarded.



Tom R. Gray, III becomes PHF’s third Chairman in 2021


Rick McCune becomes President in 2021


From 2017-2022 PHF remained committed to four interdependent goals including leveraging the resources of PHF to foster leading-edge scientific research and education endeavors on the OHC, amplify the economic impact of bioscience in Oklahoma, sustain a charitable mission, and maintain financial viability.


By 2022, $205 million in grants have been awarded. 


In 2023, PHF initiates a new five-year strategic plan through 2027 to further advance its goals.



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