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TSET/OSU Medical Authority Grant Supports OSU-CHS Medical Residency Programs in Norman

Norman Regional Health System Benefits from Funding for New Emergency Room Physicians

OKLAHOMA CITY (May 16, 2016) --TSET, the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust, has partnered with Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences and OSU Medical Authority to provide new emergency department physicians to the Norman Regional Health System, which includes Norman Regional Hospital and Norman Regional HealthPlex.

Funding for the physican training program within the emergency department is part of a six-year, $3.8 million grant awarded by the TSET Board of Directors in 2015 to Oklahoma State University Medical Authority to address the critical shortage of physicians in Oklahoma.

“Norman is an ideal location for TSET grant money to fund emergency room physicians.  The Norman Regional Health System provides multi-county service to a large combined urban/rural population over a significant geographic area in central Oklahoma,” said Casey Killblane, TSET Board of Directors. “Reaching out to medically underserved in Oklahoma is the shared missions of TSET, OSU Centers for Health Sciences and the Norman Regional Health System.  Emergency rooms are often the first contact patients have with healthcare providers, making proper training for these physicians critical.”

“We are a vital acute care emergency department in this area of the state and the closest emergency room for people living in dozens of surrounding communities who count on our physicians in a medical crisis,” said Richie Splitt, President & CEO  Norman Regional Health System.  “This grant money will allow us to provide  our patients a new group of outstanding emergency department physicians each year, and well into the future.”

This grant will consist of bridge funding for the training of physicians in Oklahoma.  Norman Regional Health System will be the site of an OSU-CHS emergency physician medical resident program training a total of 24 physicians in the first four years of the program.  At the end of the grant period, federal health care dollars will then be used to support the program that seeks to add more doctors to Oklahoma’s health care system, especially in rural areas.

“Providing a sustained influx of medical residents for the people of Norman, Cleveland County and surrounding rural communities will mean better health outcomes and improved economic factors,” noted OSU Center for Health Sciences President Kayse Shrum, D.O.  “Medical residency training programs are a win-win for the cities they train in, the towns in surrounding areas, and the physicians themselves.  Norman Regional Health System’s very active emergency rooms will be a superior training ground for our physicians and beyond the care these doctors will provide is the added economic boost a physician brings to a community.”

TSET’s funding will assist the OSU Center for Health Sciences and the College of Osteopathic Medicine in reaching their goal of placing residents in Oklahoma primary care programs specializing in family medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and general surgery to serve rural and underserved populations.

The OSU Medical Authority serves as the lead agency for the grant and distributes the funding to the following OSU residency sites across the state: Norman Regional Health System; McAlester Regional Health Center; Comanche County Memorial Hospital in Lawton; and Mercy Health System-Oklahoma hospitals in Ada, Ardmore and Oklahoma City. Each program trains physicians that treat patients from across Oklahoma.

Research shows that most doctors will practice within 100 miles of where they completed their residency program. Residency is the capstone of medical education and a vital piece of the puzzle to solving the physician shortage in Oklahoma.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               
Julie Bisbee, julieb@tset.ok.gov
Direct: 405-521-4992
Cell: 405-301-3693

Jane Braden, jane@goodengroup.com
Cell: 405-818-1905

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About TSET: The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations working towards shaping a healthier future for all Oklahomans. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working with local coalitions and initiatives across the state, by cultivating innovative and life-changing research, and by working across public and private sectors to develop, support, implement and evaluate creative strategies to take advantage of emerging opportunities to improve the public's health.
TSET. Better Lives Through Better Health.

About Norman Regional Health System: Norman Regional Health System is a multi-campus system that serves the healthcare needs of south central Oklahoma. It is composed of an acute-care facility, Norman Regional, on Porter Avenue, and the Norman Regional HealthPlex, located on Interstate 35 and Tecumseh Road in Norman, OK. The Norman Regional HealthPlex is also the home of the Chest Pain Center and the HealthPlex Heart Hospital. In 2014, the Health System broke ground on a new facility in Moore, Oklahoma. This new facility named Norman Regional Moore is scheduled to open in summer of 2016. Norman Regional has grown to employ more than 2,700 people and have 356 physicians credentialed on the Medical Staff.