The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center has a rich history as the State's major educational resource for training physicians, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, public health specialists, and a wide range of allied health personnel. It is also instrumental in developing improved methods of health care delivery for Oklahoma. An internationally prominent faculty, state‐of‐the‐art facilities and new technology combine to make the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center a leader in education, research, and patient care.
At the turn of the Twentieth Century, the College of Medicine was founded as a two‐year pre‐clinical school. Ten years later in 1910, it merged with the Epworth Medical College in Oklahoma City and became a four‐year degree‐granting school. The first degree in medicine was awarded in 1911.
Under the direction of the College of Medicine, a two‐year School of Nursing was organized in 1911. In 1913, the school graduated its first class and became a three‐year diploma program.
Oklahoma Children's Memorial Hospital was completed in 1928 and became the second State‐owned University of Oklahoma hospital.
Established in 1972 as a branch program, the College of Medicine – Tulsa, has enabled the University to use hospital training facilities in Tulsa to establish additional medical residencies, and to provide for expanded health care capabilities in the State.
In 1973, the Oklahoma Legislature provided for the creation of a Board of Trustees to operate and govern University Hospital and transferred Children's Memorial Hospital to the Department of Institutions, Social and Rehabilitative Services, now known as Department of Human Services. The name of the hospital changed to Oklahoma Children's Memorial Hospital, and later to Children's Hospital of Oklahoma.
The College of Pharmacy, the University's oldest degree‐granting college, moved its base of operations from the Norman campus to the Health Sciences Center in the fall of 1976. The College joined Medicine, Nursing, Health, Dentistry, and the Graduate Colleges in Oklahoma City, and moved into its newly completed facility, the Henry D. and Ida Mosier Pharmacy Building, in 1983.
In 1981, the College of Health was divided into two colleges, the College of Allied Health and the College of Public Health. The College of Public Health occupies the Health Sciences Center's original teaching structure. The original medical school facility, completed in 1928, was renamed the College of Health Building and was renovated substantially in 1981. Space is also provided for the Office of Community Partnership and Health Policy.
In 1997, the state legislature and the Governor, backed by the Supreme Court, approved the teaching hospitals and the University to affiliate with a corporate entity in the health sciences center. In February 1998, the University Hospitals (University Hospital and Children's Hospital of Oklahoma) entered into a groundbreaking joint operating agreement with Columbia/HCA to manage the University Hospitals and Presbyterian Hospital located on the campus.
The Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center opened in 2011 and is Oklahoma's only comprehensive academic cancer center. This seven‐story facility provides Oklahomans with a world‐class diagnostic and treatment facility with the latest technology available in an environment of research and education.