BILL signing creates OSU center for health sciences in Tulsa

Wednesday, May 23rd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ A health sciences center with a mission to improve rural health care delivery in Oklahoma is one step closer to reality.

The Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa will serve as the umbrella organization for all health-related programs at OSU in Tulsa, including the College of Osteopathic Medicine, medical school spokeswoman Karen Wicker Tuesday.

``The creation of the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa underscores OSU's commitment to make a difference in Tulsa and the state,'' OSU President James Halligan said.

The Oklahoma Rural Health Policy & Research Center spawned SB 341, which Gov. Frank Keating signed into law on Tuesday. The center will fulfill its mission through the coordination of rural medical education, telemedicine, research and health-care policy.

Wicker said the measure does not mean more money for OSU's medical programs, which currently receive about $26 million in annual state funding.

Right now, OSU offers four health-related programs in Tulsa; the doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.); a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences; a master's of forensic sciences; and a master's of forensic sciences administration.

The medical personnel and staff associated with OSU's medical programs in Tulsa involves 884 people: 350 medical students, 64 full-time faculty, 249 part-time faculty and 221 staffers, Wicker said.

The school's academic programs, combined with a teaching affiliation with Tulsa Regional Medical Center, create a ``strong community infrastructure,'' said Tom Allen, vice president for health affairs and medical school dean.