Comments from Burns Hargis, President of Oklahoma State University, regarding the status of a prospective public-private partnership for the OSU Medical Center

"The health and economic value of the OSUMC to our state was distinctly enunciated in a recent economic impact study.  The state relies on our teaching hospital to supply doctors to work in hospitals and clinics in every corner of Oklahoma.  Tulsa relies on our medical center to care for the underserved citizens in the region many of whom are uninsured.  The state's willingness to provide $18.25 million in public investment will represent a significant step in the right direction and better enable us to attract a strong long-term private partner.  A public-private partnership modeled after the successful HCA and OU partnership in Oklahoma City would produce a viable and sustainable future for the medical center and teaching hospital near downtown Tulsa.   For almost six months, we worked with Mercy Health Systems in Oklahoma City on the framework of a prospective public-private partnership.  The discussions were constructive and productive.  The Mercy opportunity remains a possibility, and we appreciate their sincere interest in forming a public-private partnership.  We understand fellow Catholic healthcare systems in Tulsa and community leaders want time to consider the outgrowth of a partnership between Mercy and OSU on the overall marketplace.   Even so, a shared belief in the absolute necessity to secure a viable and sustainable future for the medical center and teaching hospital unites the various interested groups.  The opportunity to partner with Mercy demonstrates we can attract a solid partner with the right public investment.  We are optimistic—this is positive progress."

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