Our Story

Over 135 Years. One Mission.

We have the same goal today that we set in 1882: to serve the healthcare industry with dedication, innovation, and a passion for excellent customer service. More than a century has passed since Owens & Minor opened its doors for business. Together with our manufacturer and provider customers and our teammates, we continue to make healing happen.

Pre-1880 America

picture of Pre-1880 AmericaThis is a time when healing is in its infancy, antiseptic surgery is not yet a generally accepted practice. Medical product manufacturers are few and far between. Doctors either import equipment from Europe or design their own. Opiates are commonplace, in the form of products like “Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup” (for teething babies) and “McMunn's Elixir of Opium” (for nervousness).

Owens & Minor's Inception

picture of 1882 store front1882: Owens & Minor Drug Company opens its first location in downtown Richmond, Virginia. The iron-front building that housed the company's original retail storefront still stands today.


Beginning to Grow

picture of old Owens, Minor & Bodeker logo1954: Gil Minor, Jr., and his board of directors decide to purchase Bodeker Drug Company. At the time, Owens & Minor's annual sales approach $5 million, while Bodeker's are a bit above $3 million. Within a few years, the total sales of the renamed firm, Owens, Minor & Bodeker (OMB), far exceed the combined total sales of its two predecessors.

That same year, OMB takes its first step into the Computer Age, as the company installs its first IBM computer to automate order processes.

Entering the Hospital Supply Business

picture of Fork Lift driver moving boxes in warehouse

1966: OMB's purchase of A&J Hospital Supply of Richmond, Virginia, marks the beginning of the company's enduring commitment to medical/surgical distribution.

Serving Drugstores

picture of Cardinal Drug Store Front1970: OMB creates Cardinal Drug Centers to provide a merchandising program for independent drugstores. By 1972, the drug warehouse contains more than 25,000 items.

Developing Expertise in Inventory Management

picture of Two workers doing Inventory1972: The company incorporates the PANDACSM perpetual inventory system for various disposable items, such as sutures and intravenous solutions.

The Minor Family Continues to Lead

picture of G. Gilmer Minor, III1981: G. Gilmer “Gil” Minor, III, great grandson of the founder, takes the helm. His leadership proves pivotal as the company grows beyond its drug wholesaling roots. Minor becomes President in 1981, Chief Executive Officer in 1984, and Chairman of the Board in 1994.

From NASDAQ to the NYSE

picture of Bull statue in New York City1988: Owens & Minor, Inc. begins trading on the NYSE under the symbol OMI. The company is now a FORTUNE 500 business.

Supply Chain Management Consulting Developed for Customers

picture of Workers managing Supply chain1999: Central to the reinvention of Owens & Minor is the creation of OMSolutions, developed under the leadership of Craig R. Smith as President. This new consulting service, providing supply chain management solutions, represents a definitive break from traditional distribution services.

Technology Leadership Recognized

picture of Information Week magazine cover2001: Information Week magazine names O&M the #1 company in the field for the innovative use of technology.

Launching Services Designed for Healthcare Manufacturers

picture of O&M Delivery Trucks Lined up2002: O&M introduces third-party logistics, designed to capture an increased percentage of the medical-surgical supply volume flowing directly from manufacturers to hospitals.

Embracing Private Labeling

picture of MediChoice Logo2002: MediChoice®, the company's first private label line, is created to offer provider customers products that offer value at competitive prices.

Building a Reputation for Supporting Supplier Diversity

picture of Supplier Diversity Symposium Attendees2005: Owens & Minor hosts the first annual Healthcare Supplier Diversity Symposium. Many products for the MediChoice® portfolio are sourced from diversity suppliers.

Growing into New Areas through Acquisitions

1989: Upon the acquisition of National Healthcare, Owens & Minor gains strength on the West Coast and expands its national reach.

1994: Owens & Minor acquires Stuart Medical, nearly doubling the size of the company.

2006: Owens & Minor acquires the acute-care medical and surgical distribution business of McKesson. The transaction expands Owens & Minor by nine distributions centers, 50,000 items, 600 new teammates, 12,000 new contracts, and 1,900 new customers.

2008: Owens & Minor acquires the Burrows Company, a large regional medical/surgical distribution business located in the Midwest. 

2012: Owens & Minor completes its acquisition of the Movianto Group, a leading European healthcare 3PL, thus beginning its expansion into the global market. 

2014: Owens & Minor acquires Medical Action Industries, a leading U.S.-based provider of procedural kits and trays, as well as ArcRoyal, a privately-held kitting company based in Ireland. 

2017: Owens & Minor acquires Byram Healthcare, a leading domestic distributor of medical supplies sold directly to patients and home health agencies. 

Earning Acclaim for Expertise

2008: Owens & Minor is ranked #82 on the Transport Topics Top 100 Private Carriers list.

2014-16: Owens & Minor receives the Premier Legacy Award three years in a row.

2015: The company receives the Dell World Impact Award for Cloud Computing, and is also named a Top 100 3PL provider by Inbound Logistics.

2015-16: Owens & Minor earns back-to-back rankings of #4 and #6 in the Gartner Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25.

2016: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honors O&M with its prestigious SmartWay® Excellence Award. With this award, O&M, which is already an EPA SmartWay® Partner, is recognized as a top environmental performer and leader in freight supply chain efficiency.