In 1984, Dr. Royice Everett was contacted by a new IVF program in the region wishing to start a satellite program in Oklahoma City. After a short period as a satellite, Dr. Everett, Dr. Tony Puckett, and Dr. David Kallenberger decided to open a new independent IVF program at Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City. Joined by Drs. Fenton Sanger and Michael Seikel, they founded Bennett Fertility Institute (BFI) in 1985. A generous donation to enable the creation of the institute was made by friends of the family of the late Dr. Henry G. Bennett, who served as a mentor to Drs Kallenberger, Seikel, and Everett as a clinical faculty member at the University of Oklahoma (OUHSC) Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Drs. Wortham, BFI’s laboratory director, and Bundren from Tulsa joined the institute at its founding.
Dr. Bennett, a widely-respected gynecologist at Baptist Medical Center, received his gynecology training at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Howard Jones, Jr., one of the pioneers of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and infertility in the United States, whose wife Georgianna was one of Dr. Bennet’s classmates, gave the dedication lecture during the opening ceremony in 1985, addressing ethical issues in assisted reproductive technology. The concern and awareness of moral and ethical issues has, and continues to be, an integral part of the institute's operation since its establishment.
The first birth from an IVF procedure at BFI occurred in 1986.
In 1995, Dr. Eli Reshef, formerly on faculty at OUHSC, joined BFI as its medical director.
Other milestones for BFI include:
- 1995- Egg donation started
- 1996- Intracytosplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
- 1999- Blastocyst (advanced embryo) culture and transfer
- 2005- Laser-assisted hatching (AH)
- 2013- Egg freezing
- 2016- Pre-implantation screening (PGS) and pre-implantation diagnosis (PGD)