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A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Foundation Gives $6 Million

A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Foundation Gives $6 Million

The OU School of Community Medicine is the recipient of a $6 million grant from the A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Foundation.

The University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine is the recipient of a $6 million grant from the A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Foundation to establish a medical simulation center, OU President David L. Boren announced today at the October meeting of the OU Board of Regents.

The simulation center will utilize the latest advances in medical simulation training and education to train students.  Simulation is a training and feedback method in which students practice in lifelike circumstances using models or virtual reality. The models used for these scenarios are life-sized and look just like an adult, child or infant. They blink and breathe, have pulses, and can cry and speak.

“This generous gift from the Tandy Foundation will help the OU School of Community Medicine bring live-saving care to patients who need it most, especially those in underserved areas,” Boren said.

In appreciation of the grant, the center will be named The A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Medical Simulation Center. The grant will support the purchase of equipment, including simulators, computers, software, cameras, monitors and trainers; and building renovation and construction. The simulation center will include a viewing room, nurses’ station and patient rooms.

Simulation provides intensive and standardized experience for individuals and teams, allowing them to practice and learn from mistakes prior to contact with live patients. The result is reduced medical errors, improved patient safety and reduced overall health care costs.  During the simulation, students might treat a patient who is experiencing a heart attack or other emergency situation.  After a simulated scenario is completed, students receive feedback and instruction from medical faculty and other student observers. In addition, all simulations are videotaped and reviewed by students and faculty for further educational instruction.

“The Foundation is pleased to continue Bill and Marylouise’s legacy in the Tulsa community by supporting the OU School of Community Medicine, which is the first medical school in the United States established with the explicit purpose to improve the health status of underserved communities, both rural and urban,” said Foundation Trustee Paul Giehm.

The simulation center will be available to all OU nursing and School of Community Medicine students, physician assistants, resident physicians and faculty. The center also will offer community hours during which it can be utilized by medical physicians practicing in the Tulsa community who need additional training and certifications. It is anticipated that the simulation center will be used by 1,000 health care professionals annually.

“We are very grateful to the A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Foundation for its support of this innovative concept in medical education,” said Gerard P. Clancy, M.D., president of OU-Tulsa. “In the past, medical education has used a concept of ‘see one, do one, teach one.’ This new technology allows students to learn and strengthen clinical skills and manage hypothetical patient cases as members of a multidisciplinary health care team. As they advance in their training, these technologies allow practicing physicians to improve their clinical skills. This center will not only train physicians, it will advance the safety of health care across our region. This will be a community-wide resource.”

OU and the University of Tulsa are currently working together to create a joint four-year community medical education program to help address Oklahoma’s low health status, low health systems performance and physician shortage. The simulation center will be an integral part of that program.

TU has an established core of science education and research programs, and OU has an established medical training program in Tulsa focusing on residency training and the third and fourth years of clinical medical student education. The new Tulsa School of Community Medicine will allow medical students to complete all four years in Tulsa. The first class of students in the Tulsa School of Community Medicine is expected to start in the fall of 2015.

The program will build upon the concept of a School of Community Medicine, which was established at OU-Tulsa in February 2008 with a $50 million gift from the George Kaiser Family Foundation, with emphasis on helping those most in need of medical care. The curriculum, designed and supported by TU and OU faculty, will focus on priorities such as improving the health of entire communities, improvement in public health disparities, and recruitment of students with altruistic goals, health systems improvement and interdisciplinary work.