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University of Oklahoma to Dedicate Wayman Tisdale Specialty Health Clinic

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University of Oklahoma to Dedicate Wayman Tisdale Specialty Health Clinic



CONTACT: Glenda Silvey, (918) 660-3317 or Karen Mulkey, (918) 660-3098

TULSA – The OU Wayman Tisdale Specialty Health Clinic, established by the University of Oklahoma to address significant health disparities in Tulsa and provide quality health care to citizens of north, east and west Tulsa, is fulfilling that goal after its first year of operation. The clinic, named in memory of the late OU and NBA basketball star, Olympic gold medalist and musician Wayman Tisdale, will be formally dedicated at 3:00 p.m., Monday, December 2, 2013, at the site, located at 36th Street North and Hartford Avenue.

“We are honored that this facility bears the name of Wayman Tisdale, who was well known for his caring spirit,” said OU President David L. Boren. “This clinic will allow us to provide better medical care for the citizens in the surrounding area.”

The Tisdale Clinic was built in response to a study showing a considerably lower life expectancy and far fewer physicians in north Tulsa compared to south Tulsa. The initial goal was to provide vitally needed specialty care for this underserved area. Today, the clinic offers treatment in 16 medical specialties.

OU physicians have conducted almost 12,000 patient visits at Tisdale in this first year of operation, with the majority from Tulsa, followed by Sapulpa, Sand Springs, Owasso, Claremore, Broken Arrow and many other towns across the state, including rural areas. The clinic is also becoming a regional health care destination, drawing patients from Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Colorado and other states.

OU-Tulsa President Gerard P. Clancy, M.D., says the facility is more than a clinic. “It is hopefully the start of much more for north Tulsa in terms of economic development and livability. We’re proud that 25 percent of the Tisdale Clinic construction was done by north Tulsa businesses – the highest minority participation in Tulsa construction projects thus far. Eight members of the first construction crew were able to walk to work, and we continue to hire north Tulsans as support staff, nurses, and doctors.”

Clancy said students and faculty in OU-Tulsa’s Urban Design Program have worked with city leaders and north Tulsa residents in development of a vision for the north Tulsa area through the Northland and 36th Street North Corridor Plans, the latter adopted by the Tulsa Area Planning Commission in October. OU’s College of Architecture also established the Community Health and Environmental Design (CHED) studio, located at the Tisdale Clinic. CHED – whose motto is “Better Health by Design” – brings health and design professionals together to work on community health and design projects to benefit all of Tulsa.

Sharon Hanson, Chair of the Northstar Community Development Council, says programs such as those at Tisdale are helping create a rebirth of the 36th Street North corridor. “The Tisdale Clinic is having a major positive impact. We’ve taken part in the workshops and classes offered there pertaining to food access and community development. It’s created jobs for the area. And of course the most important benefit is that residents of north Tulsa and surrounding communities now have access to specialty health services.”   

As OU and The University of Tulsa move forward with plans to create a four-year medical education program in Tulsa, Dr. Clancy said the Tisdale Clinic will be an important teaching site for medical and physician assistant students.  

A future clinic expansion will provide space for minor surgery such as colonoscopy, endoscopy and other outpatient procedures.

“Our physicians and medical students talk about how much they enjoy their work with patients at Tisdale,” said Ondria Gleason, M.D., interim dean of the OU School of Community Medicine. “It’s clearly a positive experience in their clinical practice.”

Tisdale will also eventually be home to the Wayman Tisdale Foundation, formed after his death to provide funding for prosthetic devices for amputees in Oklahoma and the across the country.

“We’re so happy that the foundation will continue Wayman’s legacy in the health center that bears his name,” said Tisdale’s widow, Regina. “He was always a great model for fitness and wellness. He’d be so proud to see our work to help those disadvantaged by amputation operating here, where such progress is being made to provide access to quality health care to this community.”

Funding for the OU Wayman Tisdale Specialty Health Clinic came from public and private sources, including the Oklahoma Legislature, University Hospitals Authority and Trust, the George Kaiser Family Foundation, The Morningside Healthcare Foundation, Saint Francis Health System, Saint John Health System, the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation and the Helmerich Foundation.

The University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine’s mission is to improve the health status of all Oklahoma communities, where health statistics are consistently ranked near the lowest in the U.S.  The OU School of Community Medicine and its physician practice, OU Physicians, includes 180 faculty physicians, 220 resident and fellow physicians, some 70 medical students and 81 physician assistant students. They perform approximately 300,000 patient visits per year in clinics across the region and work at Saint Francis Hospital, Laureate Psychiatric Clinic and Hospital, Jane Phillips Medical Center in Bartlesville, Hillcrest Medical Center and St. John Medical Center. For more information about the OU School of Community Medicine, call 660-3098 or visit

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