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OU Physicians Tulsa Responds to COVID-19 Pandemic

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OU Physicians Tulsa is an invaluable resource for the city, advocating for the health and well-being of Tulsans as well as residents throughout our adjacent communities. This truth is perhaps more evident as we navigate the challenges of an unfamiliar healthcare landscape together.

As the COVID-19 crisis began to unfold, many believed it could not possibly reach the United States, and if it did, our advanced medical, scientific and technological capabilities would make quick work of it. People couldn’t grasp the idea that this corona virus was absolutely new, unknown and in many ways defied understanding. Moving across the globe at a pace that inspired shock and fear, or paradoxically, apathy, COVID-19 ultimately gained pandemic status, officially declared by the World Health Organization in mid-March.

OU Physicians Tulsa has a well-established leadership role in the medical community, and the foundation of trust we have built within the community has served well as we have navigated through the COVID-19 crisis, implementing preventive measures to control the contagion. Early on, initiatives such as sharply restricted visitation and universal masking were considered over-reaching by some. These bold measures were proactive and necessary efforts to contain, or at least limit the spread of this new health nemesis. These were the first and only effective means to “flatten the curve.”

Recognizing the critical need for expanded testing capability, OU Physicians Tulsa partnered with the Oklahoma State Department of Health to launch a drive-through COVID-19 testing site on the OU-Tulsa campus, Schusterman Learning Center. As of June 15, more than 2,200 tests were provided for residents in our community. This undertaking is essential if we are to reclaim any sense of our pre-COVID way of life. Physicians and staff in every area of clinical operations go the extra mile on a daily basis to ensure a testing process that is easy, convenient and accessible. If you believe you may have COVID-19 or want to be tested, you are encouraged first to self-isolate to avoid exposing others, then call the OU Physicians Hotline at (918) 619-4980 for a phone screening. It is necessary to schedule an appointment for testing. The OU Tulsa campus is located at 4502 E. 41st Street off Yale Avenue. Free testing is available on Fridays at the Wayman Tisdale Specialty Health Clinic, 591 E. 37th Street N. The Tisdale facility provides a range of services to an often underserved population at higher risk for poor health outcomes. Test results are processed in an OU Medicine CLIA-certified lab.

OU Physicians Tulsa offers the community a broad range of multidisciplinary expertise, now focused on minimizing the impact of COVID-19.  With access to the vast resources available as part of OU Medicine, the state’s largest integrated academic healthcare system, we are aggressively delving into the multi-faceted impact of COVID-19, with special consideration for pediatric risk factors. Our providers also are exploring ways to mitigate potential long-term effects on mental health, as stress factors including isolation and financial hardship heighten fear and anxiety.

We must all understand and acknowledge that COVID-19 is likely to pose an ongoing threat to public health. Yet, where extreme challenges arise, opportunities for innovation also become evident. OU Physicians Tulsa and the OU-TU School of Community Medicine are here to support the greater Tulsa community. Especially in a time of uncertainty and adversity, we welcome this opportunity to serve, care and heal – whatever it takes. 

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OU PHYSICIANS

With nearly one million patient visits per year, OU Physicians provides healthcare with a depth and breadth of expertise that is unmatched in the region. Locations range from the Oklahoma Health Center in downtown Oklahoma City to 23 total clinics in the Oklahoma City area, Edmond, Midwest City and Lawton. In the Tulsa area, 300 physicians and specialists provide clinical care at five OU Physicians clinics. All providers also serve as faculty of the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, training the next generation of physicians. For more information, visit oumedicine.com/ouphysicians.

OU MEDICINE

OU Medicine — along with its academic partner, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center — is the state’s only comprehensive academic health system of hospitals, clinics and centers of excellence. With 11,000 employees and more than 1,300 physicians and advanced practice providers, OU Medicine is home to Oklahoma’s largest physician network with a complete range of specialty care. OU Medicine serves Oklahoma and the region with the state’s only freestanding children’s hospital, the only National Cancer Institute-Designated Stephenson Cancer Center and Oklahoma’s flagship hospital, which serves as the state’s only Level 1 trauma center. OU Medicine is the No. 1 ranked hospital system in Oklahoma, and its oncology program at Stephenson Cancer Center and OU Medical Center ranked in the Top 50 in the nation, in the 2019-2020 rankings released by U.S. News & World Report. OU Medicine was also ranked by U.S. News & World Report as high performing in four specialties: Ophthalmology in partnership with Dean McGee Eye Institute, Colon Surgery, COPD and Congestive Heart Failure. OU Medicine’s mission is to lead healthcare in patient care, education and research. To learn more, visit oumedicine.com.