Funding In Place, Design Work To Begin On Downtown VA Hospital

Funding In Place, Design Work To Begin On Downtown VA Hospital

Tulsa’s new Veterans Administration hospital in downtown, is not yet under construction, but could open four years from now.

The project developer said that almost all the money is in place and design work is starting.

The new hospital will go into what is now the state office building, after a total remodel. The federal money is all but assured, and the Zarrow Foundation has pledged $10 million dollars to get the project moving.

Tulsa's state office building will change hands next January. The OSU Regents will take it, and develop it into a new hospital for the VA.

The $173 million dollar project will reorient the front of the building, improve access and modernize the complex. The current state offices and employees will move out, in phases, to a site yet to be determined.

The OSU Center for Health Sciences team met Wednesday with Senator Jim Inhofe, who helped secure $120 million in federal funding for the project.

He said with the state donating the property, and Tulsa charities contributing, it's a project the VA can push forward.

"All these things, the more of those questions you can answer, it's easier to get things done,” Sen. Inhofe said. “I think we have a lot of support in the right places."

The new hospital will be across the street from the OSU Medical Center, and Veterans can use both facilities. The new campus will have a state-run mental health hospital, a research building and room for expansion.

The OSU connection will help the VA staff the hospital and give 50 OSU Medical residents a convenient place to continue training.

“Even maybe more important, is expanding the residency programs in Northeast Oklahoma, to train with the VA and be hired by the VA to work with Veterans all across the country, it's an excellent opportunity,” OSU Health Sciences Center VP Johnny Stephens said.

A new VA Outpatient clinic will open sooner, at 89th and Mingo, giving Tulsa area veterans more care, closer to home. The new downtown hospital will replace most in patient care that's now handled in Muskogee.