Our History

History of the Foundation

The Medical Foundation evolved from the first Building Committee of the Jefferson County Medical Society (now the Greater Louisville Medical Society or GLMS) which Sam A. Overstreet, MD, chaired. The resolution creating the Foundation was published and later approved by GLMS members at the March 17, 1958, general meeting. On June 13, 1958, the GLMS Board of Governors approved this action. The original 16 members of the first Foundation Board of Trustees signed the Articles of Incorporation of the Foundation of GLMS June 13, 1958. The State of Kentucky incorporated this document under the provision of the Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) Section 273.160 et seq. on June 17, 1958.

At their first meeting, each Board member gave $5 to establish the Foundation’s first funds. By the second meeting on October 10, 1958, $2,060 had been received voluntarily from 412 GLMS members and friends.

The Medical Foundation, the GLMS charitable arm, interacts with the lay and medical communities to provide visibility and support for services beyond those of the Medical Society. Article II, in the Articles of Incorporation delineated the Foundation’s five purposes:

• To encourage and develop educational and scientific activity in the field of medical science in Jefferson County, Kentucky;

• To promote the betterment of public health through scientific and medical research, both directly and by the application of assets to the use of individuals for scientific and medical research, or to any corporation, trust, fund, or foundation whose purposes and operations are scientific, education, or charitable;

• To plan and initiate scientific and medical research activities;

• To collect, correlate, evaluate, and to disseminate to the general public the results of scientific and medical research activities;

• To maintain or assist in the maintenance of a medical library, medical museum, and building facilities.

Inherent Unity Between GLMS and the Medical Foundation of GLMS

Foundation Bylaws assure unity and continuity between GLMS and the Foundation whereby the GLMS President (in consultation with the immediate past president) appoints new Foundation Trustees at the expiration of three-year Foundation terms. The GLMS President-Elect automatically assumes a three-year position on the Foundation Board. The GLMS President is responsible for all Trustee appointments. As of June 1983, these include representatives from the GLMS Alliance and the lay community. Foundation Board members elect officers each June. The GLMS Executive Director also serves as Executive Director of the Foundation.

The Quest for a Permanent Home

A permanent home for GLMS remained an ongoing concern. Minutes of the second meeting of the Foundation Trustees documented this priority: “A general discussion was held concerning future methods and means to build this Foundation large enough so that the Society (GLMS) might consider a home of its own. Various methods used by other county medical societies throughout the country were presented and discussed.”

Temporary Lodging

During the November 10, 1961 meeting, the Foundation signed its first lease at the Medical Arts Building on Eastern Parkway, along with the Medical Society Business Bureau and GLMS.

Building Search Continues

Since the Foundation’s beginning and the establishment of the GLMS Building Committee, both GLMS and Foundation Boards had given ongoing attention to the prospect of a permanent home for the medical society. Local urban renewal projects at the time focused on the area east of Preston Street on Chestnut Street, and in the summer of 1965, GLMS was offered land between Jackson and Clay Streets on chestnut for a price of $2.50 per square foot, which was unacceptable. 

The next possibility for a permanent GLMS home was offered in the spring of 1970 by the Kentucky Medical Association (KMA) Planning Committee, which was studying possible expansion of its headquarters building on Ephraim McDowell Drive in eastern Louisville. The Foundation Board appointed a committee to study this proposal. The committee studied details of the KMA invitation and determined that GLMS would need 5,000 square feet, which was not available in the KMA plan. A year later, the Foundation and GLMS Boards decided to stay at the Medical Arts Building and declined the invitation. 

2006 marked a turning point in the Medical Foundation of the Jefferson County Medical Society. On April 1, 2006 we officially changed our name and became the Greater Louisville Medical Society Foundation. It was the dawn of a new beginning.

The history given above are excerpts from Eugene Conner, MD’s “A History of the Medical Foundation of the Jefferson County Medical Society.”

Medical Foundation Today

Today, the Medical Foundation continues to grow. We annually support several programs including The Medical Student Scholarship Golf Scramble, Supplies Over Seas (SOS), The Healing Place, Medical Mission Trips and Outreach in coordination with GLMS.