OU planning new Tulsa clinic

Saturday, August 3rd 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A planned University of Oklahoma clinic in Tulsa will be triple the size of an existing university clinic there, OU officials said.

The three-story clinic will cost between $15 million and $20 million, said Ken Levit, president of OU's Tulsa branch.

``We see Tulsa as promising and with immense possibility to improve medical education and services while bringing in new, high-paying jobs and millions of dollars for the local economy,'' Levit said.

He said officials have not decided how to fund the project.

The new OU clinic would be expected to handle 120,000 patient visits a year, said Gerard Clancy, dean of the OU College of Medicine in Tulsa. Clancy said the clinics especially benefit the state's indigent patients and working poor.

Eighty percent of the clients seeking services at OU's six clinics are indigent or uninsured, he said.

``Those we are not able to see are going to the emergency room where costs are much higher and where overcrowding is occurring,'' Clancy said.

He said adding medical faculty and other resources brings in more federal funds for research and treatment. Clancy estimated the clinic could bring in another $1 million to $2 million a year for Tulsa health care.

The university's 30-year-old Roger C. Good Ambulatory Clinic now handles 70,000 patients visits a year. Officials say that is twice the clinic's intended capacity.

Oklahoma State University clinics in Tulsa are also full, OSU officials said. The OSU Health Care Center has about 37,000 patient visits a year, said spokeswoman Karen Wicker.

A new 2,300-square foot OSU clinic is being built with federal funds at a former apartment complex.

Officials say OSU's clinic system has more than 57,000 patient visits a year, while OU reports about 200,000.