More Support For The OSU Medical Center

Tuesday, November 25th 2008, 7:52 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Tulsa County commissioners throw their support behind efforts to keep the OSU Medical Center operating. 

The vote on Monday was a unanimous 3-0.

The vote comes after months of hard work by others to keep the facility open at 13th and Lawton. 

Health care experts say there is an urgent need for the hospital to stay open.  They say if it closes, it would create a health care crisis in Tula and force 50,000 patients a year to go to other hospitals for treatment. 

The crisis at the OSU Medical Center reached a breaking point in September when Earl Denning, president and CEO, announced the hospital will begin shutting down if the state doesn't help out. 

Denning says $12 million a year is needed from the state to keep the doors open.  Right now, the OSU Medical Center gets no money from the state at all. 

The facility provides care to tens of thousands of uninsured and low income patients. 

If it closes, Denning believes those patients will swamp the other hospitals, which aren't prepared to handle the caseload. 

Denning says closing procedures will begin December 1 if the state doesn't help out. 

Officials at St. John in Tulsa have submitted a proposal to operate the medical center, but no deal has been worked out. 

OSU Medical Center employees are asking the public to wear orange in support of them. 

They're also asking the public to contact state lawmakers to push for their support for the OSU Medical Center.

Related story:

11/18/2008  Fighting To Save A Tulsa Hospital