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. General information about the history of the  awards is here.

Make a Nomination

To nominate an individual worthy of an OOA award, use this form or send the following information in an e-mail to Heidi Weber at hweber@OhioDO.org

  1. The name of the award.
  2. The name of the individual you are nominating.
  3. A narrative consisting of 500 words or less outlining the individual's accomplishments and why he/she deserves the award.
  4. A copy of the nominee's CV  is encouraged but not required.

The deadline to submit nominations is February 15. Recipients will be honored at the Ohio Osteopathic Symposium held in April. Contact the OOA office at 800-234-4848 with questions.

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

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

The award name was changed in 2005 in memory of M. Bridget Wagner, DO, who posthumously received the award that year. 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, presented annually at the Ohio Osteopathic Symposium, recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves through medical education or scientific endeavors that have resulted in the advancement of osteopathic health care, osteopathic medical education or research.

Candidates for the JO Watson Award will be well known through their health care, 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. 

Download the information sheet.
View a list of past lecturers and their topics.

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. The award is presented during the Ohio Osteopathic Symposium each spring.

The award is named in memory of Dr. Eckert, a family physician from Columbus who was a mentor and role George Eckertmodel to 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 member of the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation Board for many years.

Dr. Eckert cared for thousands and counseled hundreds on subjects ranging from community health, education, the practice of family medicine, professional politics, to life in general. And, most importantly, he was a friend to all those who had the privilege to know him. Through the Mentor of the Year award, his dedication will be remembered, treasured, and appreciated for many years to come.

Download the nomination form and criteria. Or use the online nomination form here.
Read about the Mentor of the Year recipients.

Legacy Award 

In 2015, the OOA Board of Trustees established the Legacy Award to recognize the first recipient--OOA Executive Director Jon F. Wills. Throughout his 40+ years at the OOA, Wills has worked to advance the osteopathic profession in Ohio.

Legacy Award Recipients
2015  Jon F. Wills
2016  Richard A. Vincent, MBA, president, Osteopathic Heritage Foundations
2017  Peter A. Bell, DO, past president, Ohio Osteopathic Association