Veterans Hospital in Tulsa celebrates historic groundbreaking – Oklahoma State University

Veterans Hospital in Tulsa celebrates historic groundbreaking – Oklahoma State University

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Friday, October 15, 2021

Media Contact:
Sara Plummer | Communications Coordinator | 918-561-1282 | sara.plummer@okstate.edu

Leaders from across government, academia, health care and philanthropy came together
Friday to celebrate the ceremonial groundbreaking of the new Veterans Hospital in
downtown Tulsa.

The new hospital, which will be housed on the expanded OSU Medical Center Campus,
will convert the existing Kerr-Edmondson buildings into a modern 275,000 square-foot,
58-bed medical-surgical hospital for veterans.

The project, Veterans Hospital in Tulsa (VHiT), is a collaboration between the federal
government, state of Oklahoma, Tulsa County, city of Tulsa, private philanthropy and
Oklahoma State University.

“The new Veterans Hospital in Tulsa will be transformative in many ways, and Oklahoma
State University is proud to be a part of this visionary project. All of the partners
involved in the new hospital owe a debt of gratitude to Sens. Jim Inhofe and James
Lankford for their commitment to see this project funded at the federal level, as
well as other state, city and county leaders who have provided resources to ensure
that this modern health care facility for our veterans could become a reality,” said
OSU President Kayse Shrum. 

VHiT is a unique opportunity to secure a large and important veteran resource, operated
by the VA, but developed by and for the local community. The proximity to OSU’s academic
healthcare facilities will support a number of opportunities for collaboration, joint
physician appointments, increased medical residencies and shared services, all of
which will improve ease and efficiency for veterans.

“After many years of hard work, and thanks to the leadership from our congressional
delegation, federal partners at the VA, city, county and state leaders and, of course,
private philanthropists, we are bringing a new veterans hospital to Tulsa to provide
the best in patient care to Oklahoma veterans. The VA partnership with OSU Medicine
means our students and residents will benefit from the training they will receive
caring for those who have provided devoted service to our country. After today’s ceremony,
we look forward to the beginning of construction,” said Dr. Johnny Stephens, OSU Center
for Health Sciences president.

More than two-thirds of the 47,000 veterans who receive services at the current Jack
C. Montgomery Medical Center in Muskogee come from the Tulsa metro area. Of the 115,400-plus
veterans in the Eastern Oklahoma VA area, approximately 68 percent are closer to Tulsa
than to Muskogee, leading planners to estimate the new hospital could serve up to
14,000 more veterans annually. 

Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System Director Mark E. Morgan said by expanding services
in Tulsa the VA’s health care system in eastern Oklahoma will be strategically positioned
to provide the highest level of care to veterans for decades to come.

“The new VA hospital in Tulsa is a historic victory that will offer long lasting and
far-reaching benefits for our veterans, the VA, and our community,” Morgan said. “The
Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System has begun planning and analysis to convert
the Jack C. Montgomery Medical Center in Muskogee. These efforts include consideration
of expanding behavioral health, rehabilitation and long-term care for veterans in
Oklahoma and surrounding states.”

The total estimated construction cost is $130 million, funded by the $120 million
appropriation and $10 million in philanthropic support; the overall Oklahoma State
Medical Campus expansion includes a total of more than $73 million in support including
contributions from The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, Charles and Lynn Schusterman
Family Philanthropies, Morningcrest Healthcare Foundation, Maxine and Jack Zarrow
Family Foundation, The Helmerich Trust, Ruth Nelson, The H.A. and Mary K. Chapman
Charitable Trust, Sarah and John Graves, Common Bond Foundation, William S. Smith
Charitable Trust, city of Tulsa, Tulsa County and the state of Oklahoma.

Construction is slated to be completed and turned over to the VA for outfitting by
late 2023 and open to patients in late 2024.

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