The Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation's For the Future of
Medical Research campaign now exceeds $95 million, OMRF President J.
Donald Capra said Tuesday.
The campaign started in Nov. 1999. The five-year capital and
endowment campaign seeks to raise $100 million for the foundation.
This campaign has remarkable progress over the past four years,
in spite of tumultuous economic times, Capra said at OMRF's
semiannual board meeting. With the help and support of our board
members, I am confident we will not only reach but exceed our goals
when this campaign comes to a close in November 2004.
Also on Tuesday, Ann Felton, of Oklahoma City, Marilyn Harrel, of
Leedey, and Patricia Evans, of Ponca City, joined OMRF's board of
Since 1992, Felton has been chair of the board of directors of
Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity. She has also served on the
Oklahoma Board of Education and as president of the Junior League of
Harrel served two terms on the Oklahoma Arts Council and has been
chair of numerous fundraising initiatives.
Evans owns Evans and Associates Enterprises in Ponca City. She
serves on the board of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence and
was a member of the Oklahoma Arts Council.
It also was announced that the Order of the Eastern Star has
presented OMRF with checks for $25,297.18 to support medical
These generous donations are the lifeblood of our foundation, and
it is through gifts like these that our researchers are able to make
headway against the terrible diseases that touch all of our lives,
said Vernon Cook II, OMRF associate vice president for development.
Cook accepted two checks at the Eastern Star Training Awards for
Religious Leadership and Youth Awards in Guthrie. The gifts, from
the Oklahoma Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star and
Eastern Star Chapter 77 in Purcell, will fund research on
neurological diseases and multiple sclerosis.
Eastern Star members raised the funds through monthly collections
at the organization's 150-plus state chapters and through Chapter
77's Star Bike Ride, which was held in Purcell on Sept. 27 and
featured 10-mile, 25-mile and 55-mile courses.
With these gifts, the Order of the Eastern Star has donated more
than $45,000 in the last two years to OMRF.
OMRF researchers have developed an inhibitor for the enzyme
believed responsible for Alzheimer's disease and are now working to
create a drug to treat the disease. Earlier this year, a stroke drug
based on an OMRF discovery entered large-scale human clinical
trials. If these trials prove successful, this drug could prevent
and even reverse brain injuries caused by strokes, which strike
approximately 700,000 Americans each year.
The Order of the Eastern Star's membership includes men and
women. It has 20,000 members in Oklahoma.
A new mobile medical unit that is traveling across the nation
allowed cardiologists at the Oklahoma Heart Hospital to receive
advanced training in Oklahoma City rather than traveling to other
The training was provided at Boston Scientific Corp.'s bus, which
includes a simulated cardiac catherization lab. Training used the
new FilterWire EX Embolic Protection System, a recently approved
Federal Drug Administration system designed to reduce health risks
during angioplasty and vascular interventions.
Although Oklahoma Heart Hospital cardiologists are already
trained in the new FilterWire system, the 40-foot mobile unit
provided training to other cardiologists who hadn't yet received the
This is an incredible benefit to our physicians because it makes
it easier for them to receive training in the latest technologies
and advancements and that always benefits our patients, said Linda
Baskett, team leader for OHH's cath lab. With Boston Scientific's
high-tech mobile unit, our physicians conducted lifelike procedures
using the latest computer-simulated diagnostic and evaluation tools
available in a cath lab. …