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History of The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

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 was merged with the Epworth Medical College in Oklahoma City and became a four‐year degree‐granting school. In 1911, the first degree in medicine was awarded.

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. Future physicians and nurses trained primarily in the old Rolater Home and Hospital in Oklahoma City until 1919, when University Hospital was built. Oklahoma Children's Memorial Hospital was completed in 1928 and became the second state‐owned University of Oklahoma hospital. Also, construction had begun on a new College of Medicine building, and by 1928, it was possible to centralize all of the College's pre‐clinical and medical operations.

During the ensuing years, enrollment climbed steadily, a Graduate College was formed, and new health facilities were added to help meet the comprehensive health care needs of the State. The Veterans' Administration Hospital and the privately sponsored Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation were constructed. In 1957, the School of Nursing was authorized to confer baccalaureate nursing degrees, and in 1967, a School of Health, which was later renamed the College of Health, was established.

The Basic Sciences Education Building, first in a series of construction projects aimed at helping meet the State's need for health care professionals, was completed in 1969 and substantially renovated in 2008. It provides teaching space for undergraduate, graduate, dental, and medical education. It is also used extensively for continuing education of practicing health professionals in Oklahoma. In addition, a dean was appointed for the College of Dentistry in 1969, and three years later the first class was accepted and began studies.

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. Under this program, selected third‐ and fourth‐year students receive their clinical training in the major Tulsa community hospitals.

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 was first changed to Oklahoma Children's Memorial Hospital, and later to Children's Hospital of Oklahoma.

The Biomedical Sciences Building and College of Dentistry Building were completed in 1976. The 10‐story Biomedical Sciences Building structure contains 500 rooms, over half of which are used for research by faculty and graduate students. It provides space for the administrative offices of the College of Medicine and the five basic sciences departments of biochemistry and molecular biology, cell biology, microbiology and immunology, physiology, and pathology. Also located in the building are animal quarters and specially designed temperature controlled research laboratories. The five‐story College of Dentistry Building structure provides teaching, research, clinical practice, and office space. Each of the five clover‐shaped clinics, which give the building its unique shape, contains 36 operatories where students provide patient treatment under faculty supervision. In addition to the modern operatories, clinical laboratories, and specialty clinics, clinically‐oriented research is conducted in special research operatories and laboratories located near faculty offices.

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.

The College of Nursing Building on Stonewall Avenue was dedicated in 1977. The four‐story building houses student activity space, teaching areas, and administrative and faculty offices. Features of the building include a 184‐seat lecture hall, a professional practice area with a nursing station and model patient rooms, a clinical practice space, and a computing area.

The Robert M. Bird Health Sciences Library was dedicated in 1978. In addition to library services, the building houses the Offices of the President, Senior Vice President and Provost, Legal Counsel, Alumni and Development, Graduate College, Vice President for Research and Research Administration, the University Privacy Official, Institutional Review Board, Academic Affairs and Faculty Development, Academic Technology, Telemedicine, and Academic Media and Digital Services.

The offices of Human Resources, Financial Administration, Budget, Equal Opportunity and Institutional Equity, Site Support, Operations, and OU Parking and Transportation are located in the Service Center Building. Some of these offices provide administrative support while others have the responsibility for the physical operation and maintenance of the campus.

In 1980, the state legislature transferred the governance of the University Hospital to the Department of Human Services. The University Hospital was renamed the Oklahoma Memorial Hospital. Significant expansion of the hospital facilities was undertaken during the early 1980s, as it became the major component of the Oklahoma Medical Center complex.

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.

The Rogers Building was acquired from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation in 1989. The Rogers Building provides the University with office support spaces for Information Technology and other entities.

In 1993, in response to the changing health care environment and other factors, the state legislature transferred the teaching hospitals complex to a new governance structure and state agency, The University Hospitals Authority. In this transfer, the name of the adult hospital was restored to its historic title of University Hospital.

The Family Medicine Center was completed in 1994 at a total project cost of $7.6 million. This two‐story facility contains 71,200 gross square feet, including primary care out‐patient clinics on the first floor and Department of Family and Preventive Medicine offices and educational facilities on the second floor. The building includes 68 treatment rooms in five clinic modules on the first floor and faculty and staff offices and a multi‐media classroom on the second floor. A building addition in 2002 provided a new, modern classroom for Physician Associate Students.

The Student Center was completed in 1996 at a total project cost of $4 million. This two‐story facility contains 26,900 gross square feet, including food service, meeting rooms and Student Association offices on the first floor and conference and study rooms, and computer facilities on the second floor. A third floor story addition was completed in 2002 at a construction cost of $2.7 million. The third floor consolidates campus student support services, including offices for HSC Student Affairs and Financial Aid. Also, available on the floor is the David L. Boren Lounge, an area to allow for student study, socialization and events for our campus community. In 2004, the Student Center was renamed the David L. Boren Student Union.

The Stanton L. Young Biomedical Research Center (BRC North) was completed in 1997 at a total project cost of $21.5 million. This four‐story structure includes 105,300 gross square feet. On the first floor, there are conference and seminar rooms, a bio‐safety level‐3 core laboratory, and building support spaces. The second, third, and fourth floors include research laboratory neighborhoods, each with eight research laboratories, principal investigator offices, and lab support spaces. In 2005, the second phase of the Stanton L. Young Biomedical Research Center (BRC West) was completed; adding 122,000 square feet of research space, targeted primarily for strategic research plan priority initiatives. The BRC West houses building management offices and the campus core facilities. The Johnnie Crutchfield Research Laboratory located on the first floor contains two divisions of the OUHSC Laboratory for Molecular Biology and Cytometry Research (LMBCR) core facilities; the division of DNA sequencing/Genomics and the Mass Spectrometry/Proteomics divisions. The Flow and Image Cytometry division of the LMBCR core facility is located on the third floor.

In 1997, the state legislature and the Governor approved the teaching hospitals and the University affiliating with a corporate entity in the health sciences center. The Supreme Court also approved this new arrangement. 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. At the same time, the University entered into an Academic Affiliation Agreement with Columbia/HCA to continue the support of the hospitals for the various teaching and patient care programs, primarily affecting the College of Medicine but involving all colleges at the center. The three hospitals are managed under the title of OU Medical Center, formerly University Health Partners, but each retains its own unique identity and special characteristics.

The Allied Health Practice Center, previously used as the Health Sciences Center's first Family Medicine Clinic, was renovated in 1997, and a technical facility was completed in the same year. These facilities are used by the Oklahoma Assistive Technology Center.

The George Nigh Rehabilitation Center, located in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, was transferred from the Department of Veterans' Affairs to the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 1999. This modern inpatient rehabilitation building contains over 60,000 gross square feet. The facility is managed by OU Physicians, College of Medicine.

The Schusterman Center, University of Oklahoma‐Tulsa Campus, was acquired in 1999. The campus is a 60‐ acre site with 16 buildings and 378,000 gross square feet. The Schusterman Center campus houses academic and research programs based in Tulsa, and some from the Norman and the Oklahoma City campuses. Current OU Health Sciences Center professional and graduate programs offered in Tulsa are the Colleges of Allied Health, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Public Health.

A new comprehensive ambulatory care facility for the medical faculty practice, the OU Physicians Building, was opened in November 2001. This five‐story facility contains 192,000 gross square feet. The building was designed primarily from a patient perspective and offers many modern conveniences for ease of access. This was the culmination of a plan to bring together most of the medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties outpatient practices in one building. Laboratories and complete radiological services occupy the first floor. The second through fifth floors accommodate all patient examination and care services of the various specialties and subspecialties. The building also houses the OU Breast Institute.

In 2005, the 62,000 gross square feet Hillcrest Family Medicine Center was constructed. In 2007, the OU Physicians‐Tulsa Research and Medical Clinic was completed on the Schusterman Center campus. The 100,000 gross square feet clinical facility houses a variety of clinical services, including the clinics previously located at the Sheridan campus. Additional clinical facilities, including University clinics and private hospitals, are located throughout the City of Tulsa.

Construction of a three‐story state‐of‐the‐art College of Allied Health Building was completed in 2009. The Allied Health building contains classrooms and class laboratories, distance education and computer facilities, clinical and research space, children's hearing impaired daycare center, faculty, staff, and student offices and building support spaces.

The Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center opened in 2011 and is Oklahoma's only comprehensive academic cancer center. This seven‐story facility contains 213,000 gross square feet. Incorporating a design that promotes multidisciplinary and patient‐centered care, the $128 million building provides Oklahomans with a world‐class diagnostic and treatment facility with the latest technology available in an environment of research and education.