TU, OU made right decision to scrap downtown plan
BY World's Editorials Writers
Saturday, February 16, 2013
2/16/13 at 6:58 AM
It's a tad disappointing that the Tulsa School of Community Medicine won't be moving downtown after all, but school officials made the right decision to direct their available resources toward getting as many new doctors as possible trained and at work meeting the health needs of Oklahomans.
University of Tulsa officials announced Thursday they will not go through with the purchase of the Hartford Building at 111 S. Greenwood Ave., which was to be the new home for the medical school.
The Tulsa School of Community Medicine is a partnership between TU and the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa. Medical students will acquire their basic science instruction at TU, and the advanced medical education will take place at OU-Tulsa.
The plan now calls for instruction to occur on the existing two campuses. Officials stressed that their commitment to the medical school is as strong as ever.
"Our needs, our partnership and our mission for the medical school in Tulsa remain the same," TU President Steadman Upham said. "Only the location is changing, and it is doing so in a way that allows for more rapid opening of the Tulsa School of Community Medicine."
The decision to scrap the downtown plan came about as school officials delved more deeply into the planning and determined that the cost to acquire and redevelop the building would be prohibitive. It was estimated it would cost about $25 million to redevelop the building and about $500,000 a year to operate it.
OU-Tulsa President Dr. Gerard Clancy said more than $300 million in public and private funds have been obtained for the medical school, and "we really want to be wise and wonderful stewards of that."
By devoting all the resources to faculty and instruction, officials believe they can get more future doctors into the supply pipeline more quickly.
The existing OU-Tulsa medical school trains third- and fourth-year medical students and residents. When the new medical school opens in 2015, students will be able to get all of their medical education in Tulsa.
The Tulsa School of Community Medicine is still on course to change the health-care landscape by training doctors to treat not only individual patients, but also to address the root causes of community health issues. We're lucky to be home to such an exciting, pioneering effort.
Original Print Headline: Wise decision