Several years ago, the Huff family established the Richard G. and Patricia R. Huff Children’s Support Fund at the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation to combine their passion for wellness and education. The fund’s purpose is to improve health and wellness, with a focus on elementary students in Spring Lake, Grand Haven and Fruitport.
Huff died Jan. 28 at the age of 75.
Huff, who grew up in Kirksville, Missouri — the birthplace of osteopathy — spent his entire career as a doctor in the Muskegon area, initially in private family practice, then serving as a physician for the Muskegon Correctional Facility.
After selling his practice to Muskegon General Hospital, Huff was instrumental in founding the Mercy Health Physician Partners Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine clinic with the support of the Osteopathic Foundation of West Michigan and Mercy Hospital. The clinic serves the dual purpose of treating patients and advancing the hospital’s residency program to include OMM. The clinic has expanded to include a team of four physicians, three residents, and three staff members.
As a specialist in osteopathic manipulative medicine, Huff was well-versed in a range of hands-on techniques to evaluate and treat pain and other neuromusculoskeletal issues. These methods can be used alone or in combination with surgery, rehabilitation, or other therapies. OMM often focuses on empowering patients to influence their own health through education, diet and specific exercises.
Pat Huff, Richard’s wife of more than 51 years, has been an educator and a lifelong wellness advocate herself, so it was only natural that they would have the funds directed toward the youth at area schools.
“Today’s students face many pressures and needs,” Pat Huff said. “If we can help them to be healthier, well fed, physically active, and emotionally strong, we can set them up for a better life. Sometimes children need a few extra resources along the way and our family is grateful we can help.”
The initial contributions were provided by Fred and Sue Hohman, Denny and Grace Cherette, and the Osteopathic Foundation in celebration of the Huffs.
“My friend and partner Fred and I wanted to be a part of this wonderful opportunity to support the Huffs desire and help with the needs of young children in our community,” said Denny Cherette, board member of the Osteopathic Foundation of West Michigan. “My friend Dick’s influence has made a significant difference in the practice of osteopathic medicine in our community and beyond.
“Not only has he helped thousands of patients locally, he trained dozens of residents who are now treating people throughout the country.”
Andrea Masvero, executive director of the Osteopathic Foundation of West Michigan, echoed these sentiments.
“The Osteopathic Foundation shares this goal of wellness and has provided a memorial gift of $20,000 to help the Huff Children’s Support Fund meet these needs, and especially to honor the memory and legacy of Dr. Huff,” she said.
If you would like to consider making a donation to the Richard G. and Patricia R. Huff Children’s Support Fund, visit www.ghacf.org and select “Give Today.”