Tulsa will soon have a new VA hospital with $120-million of federal funding being approved to build the new facility downtown.
The money is part of the COVID relief bill signed by President Trump Sunday night. The remodel will help roughly 30,000 veterans in Tulsa who are currently driving to Muskogee's veteran's hospital for medical care.
Dr. Kayse Shrum, the president of OSU's Center of Health and Sciences says it'll be a unique addition to the Oklahoma healthcare system.
"It's one of a kind in the United States, something that all Oklahomans can be proud of," she said. "The signing of the omnibus bill really was a landmark moment for Oklahomans."
Dr. Shrum says the Kerr-Edmondson building across the street from the OSU Medical Center in downtown Tulsa will be gutted and remodeled into a state-of-the-art facility for veteran treatment.
"Veterans will have better access to care. Quality care. And for medical students, the opportunity to train inside the VA hospital," she said.
Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe says the funding comes after years of planning and partnership with both state and federal governments.
In a statement, he said, "I am glad we were able to fully fund the Tulsa Veterans Hospital this week ... Oklahoma veterans have sacrificed a great deal for our country and it is one of my top priorities to ensure they get the care they deserve and have earned."
Dr. Shrum says having the building connected to the existing education and hospital buildings will let more medical students work and learn in Oklahoma.
"And that means, you know more access to care for all Oklahomans," she said. "This is one of those times where everybody's come together to do the right thing and take care of our veterans, but it benefits so many people."