Tulsa County Commissioners on Monday approved their biggest allocation of American Rescue Plan funding to date: $4 million for the expansion of OSU Medical Center.
The medical center received $120 million from Congress for a new veterans hospital, and the City of Tulsa and private donors have given money to OSU for what’s billed as the biggest downtown development in decades. Board of County Commissioners Chair Stan Sallee said OSU has also been in talks to double the capacity of the psychiatric hospital.
"Without this additional fund[ing], this expansion probably wouldn't happen. It would stay at the 50-bed level. And so, this is going to help not just veterans, but citizens throughout Tulsa County with mental health needs," Sallee said.
County funding will also go toward infrastructure improvements needed for the medical center expansion.
OSU Center for Health Sciences President Dr. Johnny Stephens said it all means the medical center will add 100 residency slots, bringing the total to 280 and giving medical students rotations in additional disciplines.
"Our data shows that those residents will continue to practice within an 80-mile radius of where they do their residencies. They put down roots, and those physicians staying in Tulsa, Tulsa County and northeast Oklahoma, we feel that we're going to have a great impact on the physician workforce," Stephens said.
To date, Tulsa County has approved $14.2 million in ARPA funding. The county received almost $127 million, with half coming this year and the other half next year.