March 9, 2021
Dear OU Community,
Today I am thrilled to share with you exciting news that will further fulfill our fundamental purpose of changing lives. OU Health Physicians – the College of Medicine’s faculty practice – and OU Health hospitals are announcing our intent to merge the hospitals and clinics into one, unified organization. This merger of equals into a single enterprise will bring immense benefits to Oklahoma, our students, employees, and the patients we serve.
A fully integrated, comprehensive academic health system is critical to Oklahoma’s future health outcomes. Nearly every other successful academic health system in the nation has an integrated clinical structure. What we provide – research-driven care – is entirely unique in our state, so it is incumbent upon us to join together in delivering to Oklahomans the highest quality care possible. This merger is an incredible step forward for Oklahoma and for our OU Health Sciences Center. It will further pave the way for our seven colleges on the Health Sciences Center campus in advancing their mission of education, research, and clinical care.
Combining the strengths of these organizations will give Oklahomans the true flagship academic health system that we need. In the past, Oklahomans have traveled to other states to find treatment options fueled by the innovation that comes when researchers and physicians work side-by-side in academic hospital settings. Now that model will be available in the heart of Oklahoma under the OU banner. This structural change will unleash talent and collaboration across our faculty practice, clinics, and hospitals in a way that will position us to be among the top tier of academic health systems in the nation. And most importantly, a unified OU Health will dramatically improve the patient experience.
With this announcement, we are taking a dramatic step forward in “becoming we” and authenticating our new OU Health brand. The once virtual partnership between OU Health Physicians and OU Health hospitals is soon to be a very real, unified academic health system that will bring unparalleled benefits to our state.
The new OU Health will: make patient care between the clinics and hospitals seamless, improving quality of care and patient experience; attract the brightest healthcare researchers, educators, and doctors from across the nation; advance treatment options that are fueled by innovation and research discovery available nowhere else; and rapidly accelerate the growth of the education pipeline for health professionals in our state.
To learn more, I invite you to read on here or to watch the video below. As work continues to finalize the merger, which we expect will be by July 1, 2021, there will be additional information to be shared.
Nowhere is our core purpose of changing lives made more apparent than in our clinics and hospitals. Our healthcare professionals meet patients where they are each day to provide life-changing care. We have a responsibility to all Oklahomans to deliver world-class healthcare, train tomorrow’s health professionals, and meet the toughest medical challenges with pioneering research and innovation. This next critical step, the merging of our efforts, puts us in the best possible position to continue our life-changing work for our patients, students, and state.
Live On, University,
Joseph Harroz, Jr.