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OSUMC Press Release and Q&A
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Contact:

Mary Bea Drummond | 918-594-8223

Contact:

Sean Kennedy | 918-594-8360

Contract Signed for Transfer of OSU Medical Center

Tulsa, Okla. -- A City of Tulsa trust voted today to sign an agreement regarding the transfer of ownership of the OSU Medical Center from Ardent Health Services, the parent company of Hillcrest HealthCare System.  The agreement reached between the Oklahoma State University Medical Center Trust and Ardent follows recently-passed legislation that allows state funding of $5 million per year for the next five years to support the continued operations of OSU Medical Center.

St. John Health System has agreed to serve as the contracted management service provider to operate OSU Medical Center on behalf of the Trust.  Ardent and St. John will work together to ensure a seamless transition of daily management and operations.

Integral to the agreement is the multi-year financial commitment by the George Kaiser Family Foundation, in conjunction with St. John Health System, according to Robert Poe, chairman of the Trust. In addition, thanks to OSU President Burns Hargis and his Regents, OSU is providing $45 million in operating capital and capital improvements as a part of this partnership, Poe added.

“This agreement will benefit the entire Northeastern Oklahoma region,” said Mayor Kathy Taylor. “It leverages the power of public and private partnership to enhance the viability of the hospital through innovative Oklahoma healthcare products.”

“The approval of this agreement after several months of discussion is a big step toward the hospital maintaining its services for the citizens of Tulsa,” said Poe.  “This transfer also ensures the future of the OSU residency program by providing a stable teaching facility for the students. Ardent has provided very favorable terms that made the transfer of ownership possible.”

“Our transfer of this hospital reflects our strong commitment to graduate medical education and patient care for the community.  This move will prevent any disruption in care for patients of OSU Medical Center,” said Earl Denning, President, Oklahoma Division, Ardent Health Services and Chief Executive Officer of Hillcrest HealthCare System.

“St. John is pleased to be able to play a role in helping both Oklahoma State University Medical Center and the OSU medical education programs,” said Lex Anderson, St. John Health Center Chief Financial Officer. “We believe that the actions taken by state and local leadership, the trustees, OSU and Ardent will help to stabilize and preserve the vital role that OSUMC provides in serving many Tulsans. St. John is confident that with the proper support, OSUMC can continue its important place in Tulsa’s medical infrastructure and its role as the teaching home for future generations of osteopathic physicians.”

The actual date for the transfer of assets from Ardent Health Services to the Trust is targeted for March 31, 2009. Until the transfer of assets is finalized, Ardent will continue to own, operate and manage the daily operations of OSU Medical Center.

OSU Medical Center is one of the largest osteopathic teaching hospitals in the nation.  As a regional tertiary hospital licensed for 345 beds, the hospital provides care to more than 50,000 patients annually.  The facility serves as the primary teaching hospital for nationally-ranked OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine.  The hospital hosts 124 medical residents and 10 Fellows in 16 healthcare specialties.

 

Q&A

Q: When the transaction is completed, who will own the OSU Medical Center?

A:  The OSU Medical Center Trustupon closing of the transaction between Ardent Health Services and the Trust.

Q: What is the OSU Medical Center Trust?

A:  The Trust was formed by the City of Tulsa to pursue the transfer of ownership of OSU Medical Center from Ardent Health Services, which owns Hillcrest Medical Center.  The Trust is currently made up of eight members appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council – Joan Bartlett Atkinson, Kenneth L. Brune, Jay Helm, Jerry L. Hudson, Ken Levit, William D. Lohrey, Robert C. Poe and Donald O. Tyler.

Q:  What will this mean for the citizens of Tulsa and the surrounding area?

A:  A stable, locally owned and controlled OSU Medical Center ensures continued access to quality healthcare for some of Northeastern Oklahoma’s most underserved patients.  The teaching, training and research mission of OSU Medical Center is vitally important to our state.

Q:  Why is this transaction important?

A:  This unique and innovative public-private partnership will ensure the long-term viability of OSU Medical Center and reduce the financial impact to the state. 

      The closure of the OSU Medical Center would have put a strain on healthcare throughout Oklahoma, as well as the Tulsa hospitals. The negative impact on the state would have been losing the “pipeline” of physicians who have historically served rural Oklahoma. The negative impact on Tulsa would have been losing providers to the indigent.