Smith-Glynn-Callaway Medical Foundation: A Short History of a Long Legacy of Philanthropy

Aug 30, 2016

Dr's. Don Overend and Jake Thomas, join producer Mike Smith, in the KSMU studios, to record Making A Difference; Stories of Hope and Help
Credit Louise Knauer / Community Foundation of the Ozarks

Today on Making a Difference: Stories of Hope and Help, a conversation between 2 local doctors.  One is a recipient of a Community Foundation of the Ozarks/Smith-Glynn-Callaway Medical Foundation Scholarship, and recently was named to the Foundation's Board of Directors.  The other began his association with the CFO's SGCMF in 1957, and today too, serves on the Foundation's Board:  

DR. JACOB THOMAS:  “My name is Jacob Thomas, I’m a native of Springfield Missouri.  I received my undergraduate training at Drury University, went away to medical school at the University of Missouri, then to Dallas Texas, and I returned to Springfield in 2012 to start my practice in Ophthalmology.”

Dr. Don Overend:  “I’m Dr. Don Overend, I came to Springfield in 1957, to open the Pediatric Department at Smith-Glynn-Callaway Clinic.  I came to the clinic as Doctor # 13.”

Dr. Thomas:  “Where was the clinic when you came to town?”

Dr. Overend:  “It had just moved into the building on Glenstone. (1211 Glenstone) It had been downtown. (in the Holland Building near the Square)  The building on Glenstone was a fairly large building, but we filed it up pretty quickly”

Dr. Thomas:  “How did the Smith-Glynn-Callaway Medical Foundation begin?”

Dr. Overend:  “The clinic doctors had a monthly meeting, and along somewhere in 1958, Dr. Stan Peterson, one of the leaders of the clinic at that time, discussed the fact that we should give something back to the community.  When they decided to set up this (scholarship) program, the doctors all agreed to give a small amount from each paycheck into the foundation so we would establish a fund that would continue to grow in size.  It is not totally for physicians and pre-med students, it’s also for nurses, nursing students, and medical technicians.  The foundation was set up by the clinic with the idea of providing people in medical and para-medical fields, the chance to be educated properly, and to help them through that education.  In a very few years, 5,6 or 7 years, we added doctors, we were getting more money into the foundation, and it started to become a real active organization in the sense that we met, we selected recipients, and provided grant money to them on a regular basis once a year.”

Dr. Thomas:  “I’m a recipient, and it certainly was a meaningful part of my education.  There are several challenges in medical education, one of them financial.  The application process involved writing essays about future aspirations that we had, and I mentioned several of the physicians I had met in the community who were actually on the Board of the Smith-Glynn-Callaway Medical Foundation.  Dr. Seagrave was instrumental in inspiring me to go to medical school.  I discussed some of those experiences I had as an undergraduate, and how that played a role in me wanting to pursue a medical career, and also I am from Springfield, and expressed an interest in wanting to return to Springfield, and  I think demonstrating that kind of connection to the community was important in the application process.”

Dr. Overend:  “And we reviewed each of those applications.  We were looking first of all for their scholarship level.  We were looking for various activities they were involved with in college or in high school if they were pre-med’s, and any other things that pointed them out as a special person we would like to support.  That was the general idea we did with the choices.”

Dr. Thomas:  “I remember when were accepted to medical school and had a phone conference with the director of financial aid.  He always said he was happy to hear from people in Springfield because the medical community was very generous in Springfield, and had the most medical scholarships available than any community in the state.  Even more than St. Louis and Kansas City, and I thought that was really impressing considering how much smaller our town is compared to those larger communities.  Having that financial support to purchase books and help pay monthly expenses associated with medical training, was invaluable in my career.  Dr. Overend, thank you for your great leadership and service on the Smith-Glynn-Callaway Medical Foundation Board.  I know it’s made a great impact on my life, and I know several other people on whom it’s made a tremendous impact.”

Dr. Overend:  “It’s been a very great pleasure for me to be part of something I consider very worthy.  We intend for this foundation to be self-perpetuating, and for the board to continue ,and keep changing members with time and age, and keep giving scholarships, and perhaps the scholarships can keep getting larger as the years go along.”

For information about the Community Foundation of the Ozarks Smith-Glynn-Callaway Scholarship Fund: