Constructing Access to Health Care

As Tulsa sprawls and the area demand for specialized medical care increases, top hospitals break ground on satellite medical centers and begin extensive renovation projects on their main campuses.
Owasso is the hotspot for Tulsa hospital expansion. Bailey Medical Center, a $57-million, 73-bed hospital that boasts full services and community education programs, is the largest of the new Owasso hospitals. The 138,000-SF Bailey Medical Center at 10502 N. 110th East Ave. will open in late October.
“The physicians we recruit to serve Owasso are going to be in Owasso,” Hillcrest Healthcare System CFO Robert Langland said. “We won’t have to ship you downtown unless there is some significant care that’s needed.”
“The majority of patients that need care in Owasso will be taken care of in Owasso,” Langland added.
Bailey Medical Center is the result of a partnership between four Hillcrest physicians and the Larkin Bailey Foundation of Oklahoma, which provided the land for the Center. The goal from the start was to provide full medical services to Owasso residents in Owasso rather than requiring travel to Tulsa.
The Bailey Medical Center will be an acute-care general hospital. Specialized services will include obstetrics, gynecology, orthopedics, rehabilitation and occupational therapy and emergency and trauma care.
A 116,000-SF medical office building and the 6,000-SF Bailey Education Center were built adjacent to the medical center. Nearly 80 physicians are already on staff, and plans for the education center include community outreach projects and health education programs.
“The grounds have given us plenty of room to grow as Owasso grows,” Langland said. “We’re excited about the commitment to the community, and the community is excited about it.”
St. John Health System also anticipates growth for Owasso. As the population grows, so will its health care needs, said Lex Anderson, St. John Health System executive vice president and CFO.
“We go off campus to try to make it more convenient for patients when they don’t have serious problems for which they need to come to the hospital,” Anderson said.
Like Bailey Medical Center, St. John Owasso at 12451 E. 100th St. N. is slated to open in late October. Construction is complete on the 106,000-SF facility, which will open with 36 beds with room to expand to 60 beds.
St. John Owasso is most proud of its birthing center, emergency room, surgery suites and all-digital diagnostic imaging center, which is the only one of its kind Owasso. All rooms will be private, and room service will be available.
“We continue to add new services through primary care and diagnostic services all around the area,” Anderson said.
Owasso is not the only arena for St. John Health System expansion.
The campus at 1923 S. Utica Ave. continues to undergo renovation. The main Hillcrest campus at 1120 S. Utica Ave. anticipates the completion of a $13 million orthopedic spine hospital expansion as well as a $60 million heart hospital by 2008.
Construction on the Saint Francis campus continues.
The eight-story, 104-bed Children’s Hospital and the employee-parking garage are the largest of the construction projects under way. Saint Francis declined to provide further details.
Officials at Morton Comprehensive Health Center understand how the pace of modern medical technology makes old facilities “inefficient,” said Jerry Goodwin, director of public relations for Morton.
The Morton facility is organized according to medical service type so patients are served better and more quickly, Goodwin said.
Construction of the Vision 2025-funded Morton Comprehensive Health Center is complete, and staff is moving in and preparing for opening week, which starts on Oct. 9.
Commissioner Wilbert Collins passed the keys to the Morton Board on Sept. 8.
“Because of the lack of a public hospital, there is a great need to serve those of low to moderate to non-existent incomes,” said David Arnett, public information manager for Vision 2025. “This facility will do that.”
The 60,000-SF, $14 million facility will provide general medical services including podiatry, ophthalmology and behavioral health and includes a dental office and a patient education center.
The former Morton Health Center, on East Pine, saw an average of 50,000 patients per year. Projections say the annual capacity of the new facility will reach 75,000. Morton Comprehensive Health Center will be the largest freestanding health clinic within a 100-mile radius.
As demand for specialization in medical services increases and as the populations of Tulsa satellite communities continue to grow, hospital and clinic construction will increase, Langland of Hillcrest said. ?



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