Community Engagement: Creating The Nation’s First School of Community Medicine
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Community Engagement: Creating The Nation’s First School of Community Medicine Established as a branch campus in 1972 using community based model. Purpose – workforce and service for northeast OK. OU Clinics 250,000 visits / year OU Departments / Divisions 186 OU employed faculty

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Ou college of medicine tulsa structure l.jpg

Established as a branch campus in 1972 using community based model.

Purpose – workforce and service for northeast OK.

OU Clinics

250,000 visits / year

OU Departments / Divisions

186 OU employed faculty

Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Surgery

Internal Medicine, OB/Gyn

Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Geriatrics, Dermatology, Physician Assistant, Sports Medicine

Additional OU Programs

Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, Allied Health, Social Work, Human Relations, Engineering, Telecommunications, Computer Science, Organizational Dynamics, Knowledge Management

Community Partners

Specialist Physicians

3 Large Private Hospitals


200 residents in 13 Residencies / Fellowships

Medical Students

Average 40 students each in the 3rd and 4th year classes.

50 Physician Assistant Students

OU College of Medicine, Tulsa Structure

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We thought we were doing fine….OU College of Medicine, Tulsa alumni practicing InOklahoma


1- 5

6- 10

11- 35



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…fine until we saw the death curve…. Tulsa alumni practicing In

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1,100 Tulsa alumni practicing In

Age Adjusted Death Rates

Over the Past 25 Years


Tulsa County



While the death rate of most U.S. residents is declining, that of Tulsans is not – and the trend is going in the wrong direction

United States



1980 1990 2000

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If you ask the public, what should a medical school do?? AAMC – 2000 Survey

  • Educate the next generation of physicians.

  • Advance care through research.

  • Take care of complex patients.

  • Take care of the poor.


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We needed a plan….. AAMC – 2000 Survey

OU College’s of Public Health and Medicine came together.

More data on health parameters, workforce, student satisfaction / trends.

Pilot Projects - Access.

Critical Mass – Clinical Services and Students

External Consultants

Prepared for Next Transformation

* Note – these are not real OU Football Players

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Health Status AAMC – 2000 Survey

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COMMONWEALTH FUND AAMC – 2000 SurveyState Scorecard Summary of Health System Performance

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Tulsa Area Health Status Varies By Zip Code: Life Lost Per Death


Red = very poor health status Zip Codes

Yellow = worsening health status Zip Codes

Green = good health status Zip Codes

Although north, east and west Tulsa have 40% of the region’s population, they have only 4% of the region’ physicians

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Rationale for Change Life Lost Per DeathResponsibility to Improve Health (continued)

Access to and equity in healthcare are key health determinants. Health status is variable across the Tulsa region.


Shorter Life Expectancy

14 Year difference

in Life Expectancy

Across Tulsa County


Longer Life Expectancy

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Tulsa County Prenatal Care Life Lost Per Deathand Infant Mortality Rates

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Initial Pilot Efforts: Life Lost Per DeathFocus on Access

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Primary Care Life Lost Per Death

2005 - New 60,000 sq ft Family Medicine.

2007 – New 100,000 sq ft multispecialty clinic

2003 – 2008 Network of 35 Bedlam Outreach Clinics, free pharmacy program, nursing and social work case management

Schools / Head Starts

Housing Authority Apartments

Mobile Clinics

Specialty Care

2003 - Mobile Psychiatric Team

2007 - New 10,000 sq ft Diabetes Center

2008 – Perinatal Outreach Initiative

2008 New 22,000 sq ft Cancer Center satellite

2008 - New 10,000 sq ft Surgery Clinic

2010 - 50,000 sq ft North Tulsa Specialty Clinic.

Access to Care Expansion

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EXAM ROOMS Life Lost Per Death

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OU PACT Team and Life Lost Per DeathCommunity Mental Health

  • PACT Team provides mobile psychiatric care and rehabilitation to those with the most severe forms of mental illness (e.g homeless mentally ill).

    Pre PACT1 Year in PACT

    Hospital Days / year 2898 Days 671 Days

    Jail Days / year 1196 Days 535 Days

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Emerging Workforce Trends Life Lost Per Death

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Oklahoma ranks 45th in the number of physicians per capita

Created by Michael Lapolla, OU College of Public Health, December 2007

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Oklahoma ranks 39th in number of primary care physicians per capita

Created by Michael Lapolla, OU College of Public Health, December 2007

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Oklahoma ranks 47th in number of specialists per capita

Created by Michael Lapolla, OU College of Public Health, December 2007

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Physicians are not practicing in the Tulsa metro areas where healthcare is needed most.

Age-Adjusted Death Rate in Tulsa

Physician Density in Tulsa

- Partner hospital

- Partner hospital

The age-adjusted death rate is highest in those areas with the fewest physicians.

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Student and Resident Attitudes and Skills healthcare is needed most.

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Resident Physician Skill Sets: System-based Practice Core Competencies

151 OU Resident Physicians: Wrote the Dean a paper on the worst health care problems in the region.

  • Excellent at identifying health system problems.

  • Excellent at innovative solutions to these problems.

  • No skills for researching, testing theories, developing a plan, implementation, financing strategies to carry out their unique interventions.

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AAMC Graduation Questionnaires Health of the Poor

“ The experiences in community medicine, particularly the Bedlam Clinics (student run free clinics), rekindled the spirit of why I wanted to be a physician.”

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In 2006 – 2 Driving Factors for a Dramatic Transformation….

  • Physician Work Force Trends:

    • Future National Shortage

    • Existing Oklahoma Shortage

    • Expansion of medical education would happen.

  • Oklahoma Health Status:

    • Although access to care was improving, much more needed to be done.

    • A different type of physician was needed.

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Transformation….http/:”Community Medicine”

  • Many academic…

    • Divisions

    • Departments

    • Centers

    • Institutes

  • 1 “School of Community Medicine” in New South Wales Australia

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School of Transformation….

Community Medicine

  • Vision

  • Leveraging our leadership, service, education and research expertise, we will be successful at “Improving the Health of Entire Communities”.

  • Strategies

  • Expanded Education Platforms – Start a physician assistant program. Expanded medical student, residency and fellowships in Tulsa.

  • Unique Aspects of Curriculum – close alignment with the OU College of Public Health. Educational themes include excellence in individual patient care as well as improving the health of entire communities, at risk populations, the underserved, complex problem solving skills, complex project management, translational research, physician character development and medical informatics.

  • Health Services Delivery: creating community partnerships to expand healthcare access to targeted populations.

  • Research: Targeted …not comprehensive research programs: services, outcomes and translational in focus.

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Nuts and Bolts of what we think may be the Nation’s First School of Community Medicine…..

  • Transform ourselves from branch campus status to a School with a unique purpose within the OU College of Medicine.

  • Renamed as OU College of Medicine’s School of Community Medicine – “improving the health of entire communities.”

  • Tulsa Public Schools shadowing programs and Undergraduate pre-med fast-track at University of Tulsa and OU.

  • National recruitment of students with dedication to the underserved to this specific medical education track that merges traditional medical education with public health curriculum  MD + Public Health Certificate or MD + MPH.

  • Creative use of “Summer Institutes” for in-depth work.

  • If possible and funding available, expand medical student class size from 40 to 70 per year, add Physician Assistant students – initial class of 25, expand residents from 201 to 251.

  • New scholarship program with incentives to establish career serving underserved and at-risk.

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February 2008 Announcement School of Community Medicine…..

“With this health data known, it is morally offensive not to act.”

George Kaiser,

February 2008.

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The Gift….”The Grand Experiment” School of Community Medicine…..

$ 50,000,000 from the George Kaiser Family Foundation:

  • $ 35,000,000 dedicated to new endowed chairs. Matched with $ 35,000,000 from state funds to create $ 70,000,000 endowment for faculty expansion.

  • $ 7,500,000 for school infrastructure expansion.

  • $ 7,500,000 for student scholarships.

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6 Lessons Learned School of Community Medicine…..

  • Physicians in training are very smart but need additional skills to tackle the toughest problems out there….

  • Altruism can be preserved with the right teaching / clinical environment.

  • Public health data and physician manpower data drove our planning and influenced philanthropy.

  • Important for us to create something complementary and not competitive with existing medical education and clinical services.

  • Planning:

    • Intimately involved students and philanthropy in planning.

    • Everyone Involved - Primary Care, Specialty Care, Bio-medical Researchers, Community Partners, DO and MD….and other Colleges….because team care works.

    • At the end of the day – one writer of the master plan. 180 pages and a 15 page executive summary.

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6. Had to create a “Business Plan for our Social Contract”

Mission (+)

Finance (-) Finance (+)

Mission (-)

Student scholarships

Physician assistant program

After-hours free clinics

Children’s Village

Private support

Endowment expansion

Expanding primary care network

Expanding specialty access

Native American partnerships

Corporate partnerships

90% FTE time as clinicians

Practice plan efficiency initiative

Patient Satisfaction

JCAHO accreditation of OU Clinics


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1,100 Contract”


Death Rates


Our Goal: Improve the Health of Entire Communities


Tulsa County



United States


1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030