OKLAHOMA CITY — A Variety Care health center will be embedded in OSU-OKC’s new Allied Health Building to increase student, faculty and community access to health care and provide the university’s nursing students with cutting-edge training in primary care.
A ceremony will commemorate ground being broken for the new building at 3 pm, Thursday, May 7, on the northwest corner of the campus, 400 N. Portland Ave.
"We are delighted to welcome Variety Care onto our campus for this exciting partnership," said OSU-OKC President Natalie Shirley. "Our university, like most, has students, faculty and staff who inevitably need primary care during the year. In addition, our neighbors need access to care as well. Variety Care is a great partner for us because they will be able to offer primary care, dental and behavioral health services. They also accept many different insurances and offer uninsured patients affordable cash options based on their income."
Shirley said OSU-OKC allied health students will have opportunities to work in the Variety Care clinic, providing them with valuable experience in the real world of medicine.
“This makes sense for so many reasons,” said Lou Carmichael, Variety Care CEO. “OSU-OKC is a great community resource, and the campus lies directly in our service area. The new Allied Health Building is also exciting for the health care industry because everyone in health care is needing more and better-trained professionals at all levels.”
Variety Care is recognized nationally as a Patient-Centered Medical Home, an important designation that indicates multiple primary care services and resources are wrapped around patients to generate better health outcomes.
“It would be nearly impossible to simulate a Patient-Centered Medical Home for educational purposes, so this is an exciting training opportunity for young nurses and other health professionals to work in a PCMH-style clinical setting and help community members gain access to primary care at the same time,” Carmichael said
The new two-story building will also house OSU-OKC’s Allied Health programs, including nursing, cardiovascular technology, dietetics technology and health care administration. Existing student enrollment plus faculty and staff numbers total about 1,800 people per semester, so the new building will represent an expansion of space and program capacity for the university.
"This alliance will enable OSU-OKC to align health profession education with the health care needs of the community," said Danyel Germain, OSU-OKC Health Sciences division head. "Additionally, the new simulation center will allow for inter-professional, experiential learning as health science students and health care professionals simulate real-life patient scenarios side-by-side."
Carmichael said people of all ages need access to quality primary care, and that means having the workforce to offer those services. She credited the university with showing vision and innovation in this novel approach to make both happen at OSU-OKC.
“With this project, Variety Care will now have embedded clinics in an Oklahoma City elementary school, an Oklahoma City high school and a local university campus,” she said. “We believe firmly that health care is best provided to the public when it can be accessed comfortably and conveniently by patients.”
Completion of the 45,000-square-foot building is anticipated in time for the Fall 2016 semester.
About Variety Care: (www.VarietyCare.org)
Variety Care is a non-profit community health center with locations in Oklahoma City, Norman, Del City, Fort Cobb, Grandfield and Thomas. Variety Care saw more than 78,000 people in 2014, providing primary medical, dental, vision and behavioral health care with multiple services at some sites. A United Way partner agency, Variety Care serves patients with insurance and without insurance and strives to make health care affordable and accessible for all patients. The Variety Care Foundation provides philanthropic support and community awareness for Variety Care and its efforts.
About OSU-OKC: (www.OSUOKC.edu)
Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City (OSU-OKC) is part of the modern land-grant system of the Oklahoma State University (OSU) System that prepares students for success. Through leadership and service, OSU-OKC is preparing students for a bright future and building a brighter world for all. As Oklahoma’s only university with a statewide presence, OSU improves the lives of people in Oklahoma, the nation, and the world through integrated, high-quality teaching, research, and outreach. OSU has more than 37,000 students across its five-campus system, with more than 7,500 students from 38 states and 78 countries at OSU-OKC. Established in 1961, OSU-OKC has graduated thousands of students who have made a lasting impact on Oklahoma and the world. OSU is America’s Brightest Orange.