OU-Tulsa Breaks Ground on Diabetes and Cancer Centers

EDUCATING KIDS: Dr. David Jelley teaches patients how to use insulin. Dr. Jelley is a doctor at the OU-Tulsa Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center, to open in January 2009. The Diabetes Center will accompany the addition of the OU-Tulsa Cancer Institute, to be built next to the current Schusterman Center Clinic. A groundbreaking ceremony was held in September.

Courtesy OU-Tulsa

OU-Tulsa administration leaders recently attended a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of construction on the Tulsa sites of the Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes center and OU Cancer Institute.

Speakers at the ceremony included OU President David L. Boren and OU-Tulsa President Gerard P. Clancy, M.D. The cancer and diabetes center at OU-Tulsa is made possible by the state tobacco tax, which was passed by the state legislature and by the Harold and Sue Ann Hamm Foundation; the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation; the Hille Foundation; the Gussman Family Foundation; the Cherokee, Chickasaw and Choctaw nations; the Anne and Henry Zarrow foundation; and other private donors.

“This groundbreaking is another major milestone in creating centers of excellence in the treatment of diabetes and cancer in Oklahoma so those impacted by these terrible diseases will not have to leave Oklahoma to receive state-of-the-art medical care,” said Boren.

The 23,000 square-foot, two-story addition to the north end of the Schusterman Center Clinic at OU-Tulsa will feature cancer and diabetes diagnostic and treatment space. The facility will also have a rooftop healing garden that will be directly visible from the chemotherapy infusion area on the third floor of the current clinic. The addition should be completed by January 2009.

“Our programs here will be closely linked with existing programs,” said Clancy, “established with our Tulsa area hospital partners, which include the St. John Health System, Jane Phillips in Bartlesville, Saint Francis Hospital and Hillcrest Health System. The link to the OU Cancer Institute and the Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center in Oklahoma City will be very strong as well.

“Central to our health-care struggles in Oklahoma are our alarming rates of cancer and diabetes,” Clancy adds. “It is our hope this new facility will allow us to expand existing programs and strengthen the health of our entire community.”

The diabetes center is a comprehensive teaching, research and treatment facility dedicated to the prevention and management of diabetes as well as its complications. Diabetes education is offered for patients as well as professionals. The diabetes center staff and physicians are specialists in diabetes care and utilize cutting-edge research for the best treatment available.

An important component of the Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center at OU-Tulsa is the pediatric diabetes program under the direction of Dr. David Jelley. Jelley and his staff treat pediatric Type 1 and Type 2 patients with diabetes. Newly diagnosed patients experience comprehensive training on what diabetes is and how to manage the disease to avoid serious complications.

The pediatric diabetes center features a teaching kitchen so that parents and children can learn how to better prepare meals. The center also has an exercise room where children learn the relationship between exercise and their blood sugar levels. The education library includes online learning opportunities as well as video games that are powered when the children perform physical activity such as riding a bike or dancing.

The diabetes team at the center continues care for the patient with diabetes throughout childhood and provides follow-up education and time with physicians to adjust medications and treatment plans as the disease matures.

“A special focus on families makes the Oklahoma Diabetes Center unique among diabetes treatment facilities,” says Jelley. “It is really the whole family, not just an individual child, who is diagnosed with diabetes. Receiving the diagnosis of diabetes is traumatic for patients and their families, so it is our goal to support them throughout the transition of living with this chronic illness by providing a comforting environment and the tools necessary for managing the disease. We have designed the diabetes center with this goal in mind.

“Diabetes education begins from the time patients register and continues in the interactive library, while having the first insulin injection, preparing breakfast in the demonstration kitchen or during one-on-one training with our certified diabetes educators, nurses, pharmacists and nutritionists,” says Jelley. “Our experience shows the management of diabetes can be improved dramatically if family members understand the disease and are able to help.”

The Cancer Institute is the only academic cancer center in Oklahoma. It is also the only center with a prestigious National Cancer Institute Cancer Center planning grant in the region. It is a unique entity where discovery, development and delivery come together to make progress in the fight against cancer. The second-leading cause of death in the United States, cancer is expected to pass the current number one killer, heart disease, over the next decade. According to the Oklahoma Department of health, one in two Oklahoma men and one in three Oklahoma women will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime. Cancer incidence and mortality are higher in Oklahoma for almost every form of cancer.

Physicians and researchers at the OU Cancer Institute will have a unique opportunity to address a particular disease in a comprehensive manner, relying on the best science, clinicians, community networks and patients groups to improve the quality of care in the Oklahoma region.

“The OU Cancer Institute is a statewide resource with a mission of raising the standard of care for all Oklahoma cancer patients through research and education,” said Dr. Robert Mannel. “We’re excited about the opportunity to work with cancer patients and their families in Tulsa and eastern Oklahoma. This new cancer facility will serve as a site for the OU Cancer Institute to accomplish this mission in partnership with community physicians in Tulsa and the surrounding area.”

Updated 10-24-2007

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