During this decade, Penicillin was unveiled to the public in 1945; Slinky toys were just hitting the shelves; and for the first time in history, we were able to capture a moment in time with Polaroid cameras. Benadryl was discovered by George Rieveschl, a chemical engineer from Ohio, and Americans could now heat up their food within seconds all because of the microwave.
The Founding Year
The Ohio Academy of General Practice (OAGP) was founded and nationally chartered in March 1948. The OAGP was created to maintain the highest-quality standards for family physicians who were providing continuing, comprehensive health care to the public. With chapters being formed all over the country, Ohio was among the first and would become one of the largest and strongest in the nation.
First OAGP President
Joseph Lindner, MD, of Cincinnati, OH, served as the first OAGP president.
First AAGP President
Paul A. Davis, MD, of Akron, OH, served as the first American Academy of General Practice (AAGP) president from 1947-50.
First Board of Directors
Robert M. Lemmon, MD, of Akron, OH, served on the first Board of Directors from 1947-50.
In the first couple of months, founding leaders of the OAGP set a pattern of devotion in time, effort, and personal commitment that has characterized the Academy’s history through the years. At the end of 1948, with 514 members, Ohio was not only planning the first state meeting for the following April, it was also deeply involved with the first AAGP assembly to be held a month earlier in Cincinnati, OH, in which the Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky Academies were to be the joint hosts.
In this era, the full body X-ray was developed, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, a cure for polio was invented, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was founded. The first successful living-donor transplant (a kidney) was performed on a set of identical twins, and a resuscitator that was small enough to be used on an infant was developed in 1954.
First OAGP Scientific Assembly
In September 1951, the OAGP held its first Scientific Assembly at the Neil House in Columbus, OH. Speakers from Chicago, IL; Buffalo, NY; Washington DC; Cleveland, and Columbus made scientific presentations.
First Headquarters Opens
The OAGP’s first headquarters was opened in February 1954 in rented rooms in a downtown Columbus building with Earl McAllister, MD, serving as executive secretary and Florence Wetzel (later Landis) as secretary.
First Issue of the Ohio General Practice News
The first issue of Ohio General Practice News was published in 1955.
Preceptorship Program Starts
In 1957, the preceptorship program was started to encourage participation by OAGP members, medical schools, and medical students. It was started in partnership with the Rural Health Committee of the Ohio State Medical Association at the University of Cincinnati.
First Lay Executives
David J. Byrnes, with degrees in law and business administration and experience in hospital and personnel work, was appointed executive secretary effective January 1, 1958. Robert Wilson was appointed OAGP executive secretary in 1959.
During this time, Generation X (baby boomers) were born, birth control pills were approved for use, John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960 and then assassinated in 1963, the United States invaded Cuba, Martin Luther King Jr. gave the “I have a dream” speech at Capitol Hill, the American Heart Association announced a nonsmoking campaign, and a Medicare Health insurance plan for Americans over the age of 65 was first instituted.
First State Chapter to Purchase a Building
In 1961-62, Ohio was the first state chapter to establish a permanent headquarters when ground was broken, construction completed, and the building was occupied at 4075 N High Street in Columbus.
First Family Medicine Workshop
The first Family Medicine Workshop was held in 1963.
American Board of Family Practice – Voted “Yes” by Congress of Delegates
On April 12, 1965, after more than a decade of effort, board certification finally won. OAGP President Raymond Kahn, MD, of Dayton, and Ohio GP News Editor B. Leslie Huffman, MD, of Toledo, OH, referenced the accomplishment in the May issue that took place in San Francisco, CA. It was endorsed by delegates “without a dissenting vote.” Emotions ran high, those attending recalled, with a number of national leaders unashamedly in tears as the vote was achieved.
New OAGP Executive Secretary
Florence Landis became the OAGP executive secretary in 1966. In 1973, she became the executive director, and then in 1982, she became the executive vice president.
Ohio General Practice News Renamed
The Ohio General Practice News has been renamed twice, first in 1967 as Ohio Family Practice News and then again in 1994 to The Ohio Family Physician.
Core Content Review – Established
In 1968, the OAGP and the Connecticut Academy of General Practice developed the jointly owned Core Content Review of Family Medicine, an at-home, self-study continuing medical education program designed to prepare family physicians for the board certification exam.
American Board of Family Practice – Approved
Family practice became a board-certified specialty in 1969; the 20th primary care specialty board to be established in the United States.
First Ten State Conference
Ohio hosted the first Ten State Conference in Cleveland in 1969.
The decade that paved the way for the Civil Rights Movement was also the decade that legalized abortion and lowered the voting age in the United States. Cigarette ads were banned from the radio and television and the first test-tube baby was born in Oldham, England. Douglas Longenecker, MD, of Dayton, OH, established Wright State University’s Boonshoft School of Medicine and the last trip to the moon happened in 1972.
First Board Exams Issued
In 1970, OAGP members were required, for the first time ever, to take a board exam to be certified in family medicine.
New Academy Name
In September of 1971, in line with the national name change, the OAGP became the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians.
A Huge Legislative Win for Family Medicine in Ohio
House Bill (HB) 474, a huge legislative win for family medicine in Ohio, required that medical schools and colleges receiving state support (for Ohio that meant all of them) establish family medicine departments to train undergraduate and postgraduate students.
HB 474 specified that the family medicine departments be co-equal with other major clinical departments, headed by a qualified and experienced family physician, and detailed a training program including academic courses, clinical experience, preceptorships, and family medicine residencies in university or other hospital settings.
Ohio Physician Elected AAFP President
B. Leslie Huffman, MD, of Maumee, OH, elected AAFP president (1976-77).
During this period, the AIDS epidemic spurred while smallpox was eradicated following a global immunization campaign. Bertha Bouroncle, MD, at The Ohio State University identified hairy cell leukemia, and then developed a lifesaving drug protocol to treat it. While kids across the nation were emulating Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” dance moves, Oprah launched her own television show and the royal wedding of the decade took place between Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
First African American OAFP President
In 1984, Wilburn H. Weddington, MD, was elected as the first African American president of the OAFP. The ripple effect this achievement became a beacon of excellence for future generations of minority medical professionals. Dr. Weddington was also the first chair of the OAFP Minority Health Affairs Committee.
First Word Processor
In 1984, the OAFP purchased its first word processor used by office staff.
Special Organization for Spouses
An auxiliary organization for the spouses of OAFP members was established in 1985.
The OAFP Foundation – Established
The philanthropic arm of the OAFP, the OAFP Foundation, was established in 1986. The Foundation received 501(c)3 tax exempt status on June 1, 1987. Tom Todd, MD, of Cincinnati led the Foundation as chair for the next decade.
Succession of Executive Vice President
Jady DeGiralomo was hired to succeed Florence Landis as the executive vice president.
Known for the AOL dial-up tone, this decade inflicted fear over Y2K and launched the worldwide web. In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed and the United States discovered the first vaccination for Hepatitis A and Lyme disease. With both the Internet and popular search engine Google being founded in this era, this decade provided innovation that changed the way we receive and share information forever.
OAFP Building Renovation
Major renovations and an expansion of the headquarters building was completed in 1990.
Glen Aukerman, MD, of Jackson Center, OH, was elected AAFP president (1990-91).
First Woman OAFP President
Mary Jo Welker, MD, was the first woman president of the OAFP from 1994-95.
Getting Involved in Politics
The Family Medicine Political Action Committee (FM-PAC) was established in 1994.
Family Physician Care of Ohio
This for-profit organization, designed to create a statewide independent practice association run by family physicians for their patients, was established in 1994 and discontinued in 2000.
Succession of Executive Vice President
Ann Spicer was hired as OAFP executive vice president in 1995.
First Osteopathic Physician President
In 1996, Mark H. Belfer, DO, was the first osteopathic physician elected president of the OAFP.
Meet Your Legislators Month
In 1996, the OAFP held its first ever “Meet Your Legislators Month” in February. Academy members were encouraged to meet face-to-face with their legislators.
OAFP’s First Website
In 1996, the OAFP’s first website was launched at the Annual Scientific Assembly. The website was built to increase communication and share news faster with family physicians. The website was redesigned in 2003, 2012, and most recently in 2017.
History in the Making
In 1997, the OAFP published a spiral-bound history of the Academy and family medicine covering years 1948-97.
Celebrates 50 Years
In 1998, the OAFP celebrated 50 years in existence. At the time, there were seven family medicine departments and 23 residency programs in Ohio.
First Friend of Family Medicine Recipient
In 1999, State Representative Dale Van Vyven, chair of the House of Representatives Health, Retirement, and Aging Committee, was presented with the first ever “Friend of Family Medicine” award.
With both Facebook and Twitter being launched, this period in time is known as the beginning of the digital age. Steve Jobs gave us a whole new way to listen to music by launching the iPod, and Barack Obama was elected as the first Black president of the United States.
National Recognition for Communications Strategies
The OAFP received the following awards from the American Academy of Family Physicians:
2000 AAFP Communications Award for electronic publication (website)
2000 AAFP Communications Award for public relations (Family Health Focus)
2001 AAFP Communications Award for printed publication (The Ohio Family Physician)
2002 AAFP Communications Award for public affairs (handwashing awareness)
First Endorsements for Political Positions
The FM-PAC first issued endorsements in Ohio Supreme Court races in 2002 due to Ohio’s professional liability crisis.
First Mega Spring Event
In 2004, a mega spring event was held combining the Ohio Family Medicine Symposium on Research and Education, the Family Medicine Interest Group Summit, the Chief Resident Workshop, and Family Medicine Resident/Student Retreat.
AAFP Vote for America’s Health
In 2006, OAFP leaders participated in first ever AAFP Vote for America’s Health rally in Washington, DC.
The OAFP received its first AAFP Leadership in State Governmental Advocacy Award in 2006. The Academy also received this award in 2011, 2013, 2017, and 2019.
The OAFP held first its Colorectal Cancer Screening Improvement Program and Cessation of Smoking Today program in 2008.
Locals Chapters Realigned into Regional Chapters
In 2009, the OAFP realigned its 32 local chapters into seven regional chapters around the medical schools in Ohio.
The first HPV vaccine was approved for use and the Affordable Care Act, passed by Congress in 2010, helped to provide health insurance for all Americans. The rise of social media acted as a catalyst for many social movements including Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, and played an engaging role in the 2016 Presidential Election between Hillary Clinton (the first female presidential nominee of a major U.S. political party) and Donald Trump.
House Bill (HB) 198
HB 198, Ohio’s medical home legislation, passed the Ohio General Assembly in 2010. The Law created a patient-centered medical home (PCMH) demonstration pilot project, the PCMH Education Advisory Group, and the Choose Ohio First Primary Care Scholarship Program.
Virtual SAM (now KSA) Program Established
The OAFP created and held the first virtual SAM (now KSA) in 2011.
Magazine Goes Digital
Published first digital issue of The Ohio Family Physician in 2011.
AAFP Family Physician of the Year
Thomas Albani, Jr., MD, of Youngstown, OH, was named the 2013 AAFP Family Physician of the Year.
Looking into the Future
Modernized the headquarters building in 2014.
First Quality Improvement Summit
The OAFP held its first Quality Improvement Summit in 2017, featuring tracts in colorectal cancer screening, breast and cervical cancer, hypertension, and diabetes.
Nationally Recognized for Improving Colorectal Cancer Screenings
Accepted the 80% by 2018 Award in Los Angeles for colorectal cancer screening efforts.
Breaking Membership Records
Surpassed the 5,000-member milestone in 2018.
Ohio Department of Health Leadership
The OAFP has upheld a proud tradition of members serving in state leadership roles, further displaying the significance of the family medicine specialty. From 2011-14, Theodore (Ted) Wymyslo, MD, FAAFP, served as the director of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). From 2017-19, Clint Koenig, MD, MSPH, served as ODH medical director.
Ohio Physician Serves as AAFP President
In September 2019, Gary LeRoy, MD, FAAFP, of Dayton, OH, assumed the role of president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, advocating on behalf of family physicians and patients nationwide to inspire positive change in the U.S. healthcare system.
In March 2020, the world froze as SARS-CoV-2, better known as COVID-19, was declared as a pandemic by the World Health Association. The American healthcare system was challenged like never before and the implementation of primary care was forever changed as telemedicine became essential. As of 2023, COVID cases are still present and the public is encouraged to get COVID-19 booster vaccines and mask when they feel sick.
COVID-19 Pandemic – The Age of Unprecedented Times
The COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting quarantine, forced the OAFP staff and leadership to pivot in the face of unprecedented times, but managed to strategize innovative ways to virtually engage members and support their needs on the frontlines of the pandemic. New educational programs that harnessed live streaming and the Zoom virtual conference platform became commonplace. The OAFP’s annual meeting was held virtually for the first time to accommodate Bylaw requirements and to foster much needed member connections.
Racism – A Public Health Crisis
In May 2020, The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) condemned all forms or racism and recognized racism a public health crisis. In partnership with the AAFP, the OAFP created an interactive, virtual program, Building Cultural Intelligence to Breakdown Racism, which provided a space for physicians to reflect on gaps in awareness of cultures, traditions, and ethnicities—encouraging personal improvement. This program was the catalyst for the two-year, virtual member discussion series known as the Health Equity & Social Justice Discussion Club.
Virtual White House Conversation on the COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout
On May 27, 2021, OAFP members were featured in a virtual White House conversation on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Joining the White House COVID-19 Response Team were Ohio Governor Mike DeWine; OAFP member and Chief Medical Officer for the Ohio Department of Health Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, FAAFP; and OAFP member panelists James Barnes, MD; Kevin Sharrett, MD; and Sarah Sams, MD, FAAFP. Representing the White House were U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, MD; National Vaccinations Coordinator Bechara Choucair, MD; and Center for Disease Control and Prevention Medical Epidemiologist Tara, Jatlaoui, MD.
Ohio Department of Health Leadership: The Tradition Continues
Since 2021, OAFP member Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, has served as the director of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), alongside OAFP member John Weigand, MD, medical director at ODH and the Ohio Department of Aging.
Passing the Torch
Ann M. Spicer retired as Executive Vice President (EVP) on March 31, 2022, after 28 years of dedicated service to the OAFP. On April 1, 2022, Kate Mahler, CAE, assumed the role of EVP, and lead the charge to develop the 2023-26 Strategic Plan with a Workgroup of family physician leaders in partnership with OAFP staff and a contracted facilitator.
Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade
On June 24, 2022, the United State Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that affirmed the constitutional right to abortion. This decision, as explained by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), directly conflicts with the AAFP’s longstanding policies opposing any governmental interference with the confidential relationship between patient and physician, including those related to criminalizing medical care. Family physicians on both sides of critical healthcare issues can find a patient advocacy home at the OAFP.
Celebrating 75 Years – The Strength of Family Medicine
The Ohio Academy of Family Physicians celebrates its 75th anniversary in March 2023.
Family Physician Appointed New Franklin County Coroner
OAFP member Nathaniel Overmire, DO, was appointed Franklin County coroner in January 2023. Dr. Overmire will work with county agencies to address public health challenges, such as the opioid epidemic, COVID-19, and poor mental health. Dr. Overmire took over after the former coroner’s retirement and plans to run for a full term in 2024.