Quad City Osteopathic Foundation makes $2.2 million gift to Community Foundation


The Quad City Osteopathic Foundation has solidified its legacy—forever—with a $2.2 million gift to the Quad Cities Community Foundation. It is the start of a new chapter for the Osteopathic Foundation, which was started in 1985 after the close of the Quad City Osteopathic Hospital in Davenport.

The private foundation has converted to an endowment fund at the Community Foundation, which has been trusted to ensure that the Osteopathic Foundation’s assets will continue to benefit the osteopathic field of study. “It is bittersweet,” said Gene Holst, president of the Osteopathic Foundation, “but it means these funds will be around for a long time, which is great because that’s what we wanted to happen.” 

The move to dissolve the foundation and convert to a Community Foundation endowment fund began more than a year ago when the foundation’s board sought a way to wind down its annual operations. “I realized we needed a plan of succession,” said Holst.

Holst’s history with Quad City Osteopathic Foundation began in 1980, and over the years he served in several capacities, including director and chair of the finance committee. In 1984, the hospital was sold and the private foundation was formed to continue providing support to the osteopathic education and career field. 

Since its inception, the private foundation has provided more than $5.7 million to programs and initiatives like post-graduate osteopathic training, scholarships for osteopathic medical students, research, loan forgiveness, and financial support to the Iowa Osteopathic Medical Association. More than 90 percent of the private foundation’s giving has gone directly to osteopathic programs. That will remain true under the management of the Community Foundation, according to Anne Calder, vice president of development.

Our first and foremost commitment is to fulfill the wishes and legacy of our donors, including organizations like Quad City Osteopathic Foundation who partner with us to transform the community and the causes most important to them.
— Anne Calder / Vice President of Development

“This fund’s distributions will go to schools and an organization providing for osteopathic education, and also to the benefit of the Quad Cities community through the Community Foundation’s Health and Wellness Fund. We are honored they have turned to us to continue their good work for the generations to come.”

Over the past three decades, the Osteopathic Foundation has invested significantly in the education of osteopathic students and physicians in the Quad Cities. “And that will not change,” Holst said. “Most of our support over the years has been financially supporting residency programs. I’m most proud of helping educate osteopathic physicians and having many of them move to the Quad Cities.” 

Leah McWilliams, executive director of the Iowa Osteopathic Medical Association, said the Quad City Osteopathic Foundation has been an important leader in the development and training of osteopathic physicians across the state. “They have been very gracious in providing grants to us, particularly post-doctoral education to our members,” she said. “We’ve found that those dollars allowed us to provide high quality education to those physicians who need to continue their education to keep their license and board certification.”

The Osteopathic Foundation had several options when it came time to talk about the future of the funds, Holst said, but it was the Quad Cities Community Foundation that stood out. He said he has had positive experiences with the Community Foundation over the years, and believes they will offer expertise and integrity during—and long after—the transition.  

“I know the work they have done in the Quad Cities,” he said. “They will be around a long time—forever. Through this private foundation conversion, so too will our commitment to serving the osteopathic field.”

Holst said he is excited to see the foundation’s mission continue. “Philanthropy is about paying it forward and giving back to the community,” he said. “Whatever we can do to help, we’re all the better for it.”

Ted Stephens III