In a state with some of the country’s worst health outcomes, GKFF® has sought best practices to combat Tulsa’s significant health challenges. The Foundation invests in evidence-based practices and interventions dedicated to serving low-income populations.

In 2017, Oklahoma ranked 45th in physicians per capita.

In December 2017, it was reported that 22.9% of children in Oklahoma live in poverty. 


Eliminating health disparities and improving health care access to uninsured, underserved populations is critical to ensuring a strong quality of life among all socioeconomic groups. The Foundation believes that a healthy workforce, access to quality health care at a reasonable cost and increased numbers of insured individuals are important for a city to thrive.


Increasing access to quality health care for low-income families and underserved communities is at the core of GKFF’s community health efforts. The Foundation has invested in multiple data-driven interventions for adults and children as well as the community at large.

The OU-TU School of Community Medicine

In order to address the lack of health care access in certain areas of Oklahoma, the Foundation invested almost $100 million to create the OU-TU School of Community Medicine. The goal of the nation’s first School of Community Medicine is to recruit and train physicians and other health care professionals who will dedicate their careers to serving low-income populations and addressing health disparities within underserved populations in rural and urban areas of Oklahoma. Simultaneously, the school advances understanding of how new doctors can assess the social determinants of health to prevent and address chronic disease in the community. Recruiting students who will be inspired by this mission and training physicians via a unique curriculum that combines public health and preventive medicine concepts are at the core of the school’s mission.


Projects to Serve Specific Underserved Populations and Health Insurance Expansion

GKFF has funded several pilot projects to advance improved health and access to health care, including:

Tulsa Healthcare Coverage Project: Through an enrollment team, uninsured Tulsans are provided assistance to sign-up for available health insurance at free clinic locations, soup kitchens, schools and community agencies.

Heart Improvement Project: Uninsured adults living in specific high-risk, low-income ZIP codes are screened for cardiovascular disease risk factors (hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and hyperglycemia) and then given a prescription and prevention health regimen.

Vouchers for Specialty Care: Eligible indigent patients are referred from primary care clinics to area hospitals and specialists for secondary and tertiary health care coverage.

Educare Family Health Project: Purpose is to improve health of Educare households by ensuring that household members are connected to a medical home, are enrolled in affordable healthcare coverage — including EFHP’s primary care assistance program for Educare’s uninsurable — and have access to health education, healthy foods and exercise opportunities, as well as chronic disease prevention and management services.

Community Health Centers: GKFF supports Tulsa’s federally qualified community health centers for improved infrastructure, quality facilities and personnel as well as increased patient encounters.