Ohio Osteopathic Association Awards

The Ohio Osteopathic Association has established an awards program to recognize individuals who have made a significant contribution to the osteopathic profession. View the award nomination procedures (PDF) here. The deadline to submit nominations is March 1.

Distinguished Service Award

This award is the highest honor given to an osteopathic physician, who has shown outstanding accomplishments in personal, scientific, and professional affairs, especially in service to the osteopathic profession in Ohio. The nominee must be a long-standing member of his/her local academy, the OOA and the AOA. The nominee cannot be currently serving as an elected officer/trustee of the OOA.

View a list of past Distinguished Service Award recipients.

Meritorious Service Award

This award is given to an individual who is not an osteopathic physician in recognition of outstanding accomplishments in scientific, philanthropic, or other fields of public service.

View a list of past Meritorious Service Award recipients.

Trustees' Award

Presented from time to time for dedicated service to the Ohio Osteopathic Association, the award requires unanimous action of the OOA Board of Trustees.

View a list of past Trustees' Award recipients.

M. Bridget Wagner, DO, Humanitarian Award

Established in 2001, the award recognizes an osteopathic physician or individual associated with the osteopathic profession for acts of philanthropy and service to mankind.

It is named in memory of M. Bridget Wagner, DO, who posthumously received the award in 2005. Dr. Wagner served on the OOA Board of Trustees representing District XII (Warren) at the time of her death. She died in a plane crash, October 19, 2004, in Kirksville, Missouri. The plane went down on final approach for landing outside the Kirksville airport. Thirteen of the 15 aboard died. She was traveling to KCOM for faculty development in compassionate care and humanism in medicine.

Dr. Wagner was active in numerous medical education minority programs and provided care in many underserved areas throughout the world. Her international volunteer aid was extensive, including efforts in Belize, Honduras, and Brazil. In 2003 she was elected to the Board of Directors of Missions Unlimited, a non-profit organization involved in domestic and international missions.  

View a list of past M. Bridget Wagner, DO, Humanitarian Award recipients.

JO Watson, DO, Memorial Lecture Award

The James O. Watson, DO, Memorial Lecture Award was originally established in 1972 to honor one of Ohio's most distinguished osteopathic leaders.

The JO Watson Award will be presented each year at the Ohio Osteopathic Convention. This award recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves through medical education or scientific endeavors that have resulted in the advancement of osteopathic healthcare, osteopathic medical education or research.

A Committee composed of representatives of the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation (OHF) and the Ohio Osteopathic Foundation (OOF) will select the JO Watson Award recipient. From OHF, the committee members will include the Board Chairman, the President /CEO and an osteopathic physician selected from the Board of Directors. From OOF, members will include the Board Chairman, the President/CEO and an osteopathic physician selected from the Board of Trustees.

Candidates for the JO Watson Award will be well known through their healthcare, medical education and/or research accomplishments. Therefore, a formal nomination process will not be implemented. However, the Committee may seek input from agencies, colleges of osteopathic medicine, research entities, foundations or other osteopathic-supportive organizations. 

George L. Eckert, Jr., DO, Mentor of the Year Award 

The  George L. Eckert, Jr., DO, Mentor of the Year Award was established in 2011 to honor a physician each year who  has a record of offering guidance and encouragement to medical students, residents, and fellows. Any Ohio osteopathic medical student, resident, or fellow may submit a nomination by March 1 of each year.  For a nomination form, criteria and additional information, click here.  To submit your nomination online, click here.  Funding for the award is provided by the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations (OHF). The award is presented during the Ohio Osteopathic Symposium each spring.  The winner receives a plaque from the association and the OHF presents a $1,000 contribution to a charitable organization of the recipient's choice.

The award is named in memory of Dr. Eckert, a family physician from Columbus who counseled hundreds of medical students, residents, and new DOs throughout his 57 years in practice.

Dr. Eckert, who died February 2, 2011, was well known by the profession as chaplain of the OOA House of Delegates, delivering the opening prayer for more than 25 years. He opened his medical office in 1954, on North High Street just blocks from  Ohio State University, and operated his practice with compassion and grace for more than 28 years. In 1982, he accepted a position at Doctors Hospital as the director of Medical Education, a post he held until his retirement in 1991.

During his career, he served as chief of staff at Doctors Hospital, medical director at a nursing home, Board member for Peer Review Systems, member of the Columbus Board of Health for 16 years and Board President for three terms, and a clinical professor for Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine. He was active in organized medicine, chairing numerous committees, and serving as president of the Columbus Osteopathic Association. He continued his service as a trustee of the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation for many years.