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OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine to establish residency programs at Saint Francis in July 2009

Saturday, September 6, 2008

(September 6, 2008) - Oklahoma State University officials announced Friday that they were notified late Friday that the Saint Francis Health System executive committee of the board of directors has reached agreement to relocate certain training programs sponsored by Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (OSU COM).

V. Burns Hargis, president of Oklahoma State University, said the agreement means residents would begin their programs at Saint Francis on July 1, 2009, the day following termination of a similar agreement with Ardent Health System, the for-profit parent company to Hillcrest Medical Center and OSU Medical Center and based in Nashville.  Hargis said the OSU board of regents will consider ratification of the agreement at its meeting this month. Ratification is expected, according to Hargis.

The agreement provides the following benefits for the state, the city, and the OSU College of Medicine:
1.  Protection of the residency program.
2.  Resumption of focusing on the OSU COM mission, which is preparing physicians for underserved/rural Oklahoma, a state that is ranked 46th in physicians per capita.
3.  Creation of the ability for OSU to explore opportunities to meet the critical medical needs of the state of Oklahoma.

OSU COM has provided physicians for 63 of Oklahoma's 77 counties in recent years.

"We are extremely pleased with this agreement," said Hargis.  "We approached Saint Francis several months ago and they recognized and appreciated the situation regarding the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine residency program and its value to the state of Oklahoma and the City of Tulsa. They stepped forward and today have answered our request to work out an arrangement that was beneficial for all concerned," Hargis commented.

Hargis said, "OSU will transition its graduate medical education programs from OSU to Saint Francis, thereby making hospitals within the Saint Francis Health System our new teaching sites for the majority of interns, residents and fellows.

"We appreciate Ardent allowing us time to pursue a long-term solution," he said.

Hargis said certain programs within the teaching system would not transition to Saint Francis but those details would be announced at a later date.

Hargis acknowledged that this agreement "allows the state of Oklahoma and the Tulsa community to continue receiving the benefits derived from having one of the nation's top medical colleges.”

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