The Norman (Okla.) Regional Health System ended its 2016 fiscal year on a high note, posting increased operating income (PDF) from the year earlier and opening a $32 million outpatient center in Moore, Okla. It's located on the site where a giant EF5 tornado leveled the system's hospital on May 20, 2013.
Norman Regional interim CEO Richie Splitt said the rebuilt Moore facility that replaced a 44-bed acute-care hospital was paid for entirely with insurance money covering the tornado destruction.
Splitt, who is a finalist for the permanent CEO position at Norman Regional, said there was never a doubt that the health system would rebuild after the tornado devastated the town of about 60,000.
Splitt, 50, had just joined the system as a chief administrative officer the week before the storm hit, he said.
The forecast the day of the tornado was for storms even more severe than the day before, Splitt said. So management made a fateful and ultimately life-saving decision to move all the patients at the Moore hospital into the cafeteria and away from exterior walls and windows.