$30 Million Dollar Gift for Proposed Tulsa School of Community Medicine
The University of Oklahoma and the University of Tulsa have partnered together to start a school, Tulsa School of Community Medicine. With the help of the Oxley Foundation which is donating $30 million to the effort, these three years of planning can now become a reality. The goal is to keep the number of doctors in the area up because currently the number isn't as high as it needs to be.
TU President Steadman Upham says, "We just don't produce enough doctors. We have great medical education in the state we just don't produce enough doctors to take care of the needs of our citizens."
Upham also says the school will offer a forgivable loan program which reduces the student's price of education every year they stay in Tulsa. This means that if the students train here and practice here, they will know the culture well enough to help the community.
"It will connect the community with health providers so that they feel a trust," said State Representative Jabar Shumate.
That specific knowledge of the area is why some have already stayed in the Tulsa area to practice.
"It's a unique training opportunity that is very community focused; recognizing the needs of the community and taking steps to help the health of the community and I want to be a part of that," says Dr. Christopher Sudduth of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics.
One reason this new school is important to the community is because the life expectancy of a north Tulsa resident is 14 years shorter than those that live in south Tulsa. Which many can't believe.
"It's appalling and for us as a community to not do something about that would be rather immoral," says Dr. Sudduth.
Shumate agrees, "The fact that it's here means people can go right around the corner and they feel like the city and this school has made an investment in them."
The plan for the school is to open its doors in fall of 2015 at 111 South Greenwood Avenue in Tulsa. So, that means the doctors would be in our area in 2019.
The Oxley Foundation donation will come in two phases. The first $15 million dollars will provide start-up funding for personnel and operating expenses for the planned Tulsa School of Community Medicine. The second part of the grant money will go as a dollar-for-dollar match for contributions to the future of the school. The match portion will be given to the school on or before December 31, 2016.
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