About the Foundation Who We Are

The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation is the only national foundation dedicated solely to improving the education of health professionals.

Our guiding principle is that health professional education has at its core a strong social mission: to serve the public’s needs and improve the health of the public.

Founder Kate Macy Ladd

Our Founder

Kate Macy Ladd established the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation in 1930 to honor the memory of her father, a well-known philanthropist who died young. Ladd intended the Foundation to devote itself to the promotion of health and the ministry of healing. 

Our History

Over the decades, our founding mission has remained the same while our focus has shifted from medical research to health professions education.

1930 - 1945 Image 1930 - 1945

Before 1945, the Foundation focused its grantmaking on medical research in such fields as traumatic shock and war-related psychiatric disorders, geriatrics and aging, arteriosclerosis, genetics and human development, and psychosomatic medicine. The Foundation’s extensive conference and publication program was also started during this period.

1946 - 1960s Image 1946 - 1960s

From the end of World War II through the mid-1960s, the Foundation shifted its focus to support the efforts of medical schools to expand and strengthen their basic science faculties. During that time, the Foundation also began supporting the emerging fields of basic reproductive biology, human reproduction, and family planning, and fostered their incorporation into the biological, behavioral, and social science bases of academic obstetrics and gynecology.

1970 - present Image 1970 - present

Since the mid-1970s, the overwhelming majority of the Foundation’s grants have supported projects that broaden and improve medical and health professional education.

Today, the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation is the only national foundation solely dedicated to improving the education of health professionals.
Our Past Presidents
  • George E. Thibault, MD 2008 – 2018
  • June E. Osborn, MD 1996 – 2007
  • Thomas H. Meikle, Jr., MD 1987 – 1996
  • James G. Hirsch, MD 1980 – 1987
  • John Z. Bowers, MD 1965 – 1980
  • Willard C. Rappleye, MD 1941 – 1965
  • Ludwig Kast, MD 1930 – 1941
Learn More

Learn more by reading The History of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation.