Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release:
April 27, 2006
Senator Mike Mazzei
Sen. Mazzei Says Study Results in Proposal to Ensure
Strong Future for OSU Tulsa Med School
An advisory study examining how to ensure the future of the Oklahoma
State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (OSUCOM) residency
program in Tulsa has been concluded and negotiators are optimistic
about the proposal. That’s according to State Sen. Mike
Mazzei, a member and lead negotiator with the joint legislative
task force charged with finding a long term solution.
The task force is co-chaired by Sen. Tom
Adelson and Rep. Chris
Benge. There have been concerns that some programs, including
obstetrics, could be transferred out of Tulsa Regional Medical Center
(TRMC), which officials say would be devastating to OSUCOM.
“I am very pleased to announce the conclusion of the advisory
work done by Merrill Lynch. The health care industry experts, led
by Managing Director Maureen Spivack, have thoroughly reviewed the
operations of the school in connection with TRMC,” said Mazzei,
R-Tulsa. “The bottom line is we can ensure the future of this
excellent program and provide OSUCOM with operational control.”
Mazzei said after additional analysis of the Tulsa area health care
provider market and TRMC, the study weighed several options considered
by the task force to stabilize the long term teaching program of
OSUCOM. The final report recommends that OSUCOM and TRMC enter into
an Academic Affiliation Agreement (AAA).
The AAA would be a 50 year contractual arrangement to achieve governing
control and stability of the residency program. Appropriated funds
would be earmarked for direct support of the OSUCOM residency program.
“I heartily agree with this recommendation. This creative
solution not only allows OSUCOM to maintain its teaching hospital
with its preferred, nationally recognized pyramid model, but it
does so in a public/private relationship which involves low risk
to the state with significantly lower costs than other considered
options,” Mazzei said.
Dr. Jim Hess is the Vice President for Health Care Administration
and Chief Operating Officer for OSUCOM. He described the proposal
as a win-win for everyone involved.
“The long term stability of the OSU medical school as well
as the viability of Oklahoma’s rural health care are well
served by the recommendation,” Hess said. “It is absolutely
certain that we could not have come this far without the leadership
of Sen. Mazzei, Sen. Adelson, Rep. Benge and all the legislative
task force members. The state owes them a debt of gratitude.”
Mazzei said that throughout the analysis and evaluation work, discussions
with Ardent have been very productive.
“I believe they’ve proven their commitment to graduate
medical education. Ardent Managing Director George Garrett and CEO
David Vandewater have been very constructive partners in dialogues
regarding a final AAA,” Mazzei said. “I am extremely
optimistic that negotiations will lead to a final agreement this
Both chairmen of the task force have worked long and hard on the
commission for nearly a year and are very pleased with the resulting
proposal which they said would enable OSUCOM to continue to train
Oklahoma students to be doctors who then practice medicine in nearly
every county of the state.
“I am excited to bring long term stability to the students
and residents of OSUCOM,” said Adelson, D-Tulsa. In addition,
under this proposal we are going to enhance access to healthcare
for all of northeast Oklahoma.”
“This is a great example of legislators taking the right amount
of time to study an issue in depth and then with expert input bring
forward a strong recommendation that solves a problem in a fiscally
responsible manner,” said Benge, R-Tulsa.
Merrill Lynch Report
For more information,
Senator Mazzei's Office: (405) 521-5675