Read a special message from OI Foundation CEO Tracy Hart highlighting the OIF’s milestones and accomplishments over the past 50 years below.
Hooray! The OI Foundation is celebrating its 50th anniversary this August! As we look back over the past 50 years of service to the OI community, we can’t help but marvel at all that has been accomplished to improve the quality of life for those living with osteogenesis imperfecta through research, education, awareness, and mutual support.
Since the OI Foundation’s official date of incorporation, August 21, 1970, the OI Foundation’s funding for research has doubled every five years. The Michael Geisman research grant (named after the son of OI Foundation founder Gemma Geisman) encourages new investigators to begin a career in OI research by offering postdoctoral fellowships and seed grants for preliminary research. To date, the OIF has funded 22 Geisman Fellows to advance the pace of OI research. Funding also supports the OI Registry a database maintained by the OIF that helps shape research studies created by the Brittle Bones Disorders Consortium, a multicenter program that focuses on understanding and providing better treatment options for all types of osteogenesis imperfecta.
Educating individuals, family members, and healthcare providers is an integral part of the OI Foundation. Starting in 1981, the OI Foundation has hosted 20 National Conferences, 13 Regional Conferences and our first-ever Virtual Conference. Each OIF Conference brings together hundreds of individuals to learn the latest information about OI from expert medical professionals and share their own experiences. During the two-day Virtual Conference held on July 11-12, 2020, more than 800 individuals signed on to participate in sessions ranging from Basics of OI, to Solutions for Pain & Fatigue, and Surgical Treatments for Adults & Children with OI.
In addition to educating individuals directly affected by OI, the OI Foundation is dedicated to educating medical professionals so that more practitioners across the world have an increased awareness and knowledge of OI. To that end, the OIF will be launching the first OI focused TeleECHO series later this year. This virtual continuing medical education platform will increase access to expert medical knowledge for participating physicians and medical professionals.
This program will connect practitioners across the globe with monthly sessions that will include brief presentations and real-world case presentations focused solely on osteogenesis imperfecta.
At its core, the OI Foundation was founded based on a need for mutual support. What started in 1970 as a small group of parents from across the country has now spread to a network that is growing by the day. The OI Foundation maintains support groups in 26 states; a monthly e-newsletter that reaches 9,000 people; a physical newsletter, Breakthrough, which reaches 1,200 individuals; the OIF Facebook Page – followed by 13,390 users; the OIF Twitter account – followed by 2,557 users; and a national information center that provides medically-verified answers to more than 11,000 individuals every year. The OI Foundation has also partnered with several international OI organizations including COIS in Canada, the Brittle Bone Society in the United Kingdom, OIFE in Europe, and Care 4 Brittle Bones in the Netherlands.
We have come so far-but we need your help! Join us in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the OI Foundation and kicking-off the start of the next 50 years! Please visit www.oif.org/donate to make a donation today. As a special way to celebrate the OI Foundation’s 50th anniversary, we recently created a special giving circle – The 1970 Society – in recognition of the OI Foundation’s inaugural year. Members who give at least $1,000 in 2020 will become part of this exclusive circle. You can make your donation in a single pledge or in installments over ten months. You can also dedicate your $1,000 gift in honor or in memory of a loved one. As a 1970 Society member, you will receive a limited edition OIF 50th anniversary lapel pin, a limited edition 50th anniversary bear, and a special acknowledgment in the OIF annual report and on the OI Foundation’s website www.oif.org.
Thank you for your ongoing support of the OI Foundation!
Chief Executive Officer