The University of Oklahoma and University Hospitals Authority and Trust signed an agreement Tuesday to merge their clinics and hospitals into Oklahoma's first comprehensive academic health system – OU Health, the systems announced.
The system will work under one leader and merge its operations and finances. OU Health said that it will invest clinical earnings into research to offer the latest treatments found nowhere else in the state.
"The healthiest states have one thing in common: an academic health system that brings together patient care, research and the training of tomorrow's health care leaders," said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. in a prepared statement. "Before today, we had each of those pieces, and while they worked together, they operated separately with different management structures. Now, this merger unlocks unlimited potential as we bring together research-driven care and education that will make Oklahomans healthier, lead to economic prosperity and move our state forward."
Last fall, OU Health opened a new eight-story tower at its main campus, adding 144 beds and 32 new operating rooms. The system also implemented Epic across its enterprise.
"The official signing of the merger represents the culmination of a vision, but it is only the beginning of our growth and the innovations that will be developed to address the healthcare needs of Oklahomans," said Senior Vice President and Provost of the OU Health Sciences Center and Acting Board Chair of OU Medicine, Dr. Jason Sanders.
OU Health employees 11,000 people and 1,300 physicians.