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$20M healthcare grant to help ‘under-served’ rural areas of Okla.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – A $20.3 million grant is now going to allow the University of Oklahoma’s Health Sciences Center and other health organizations in the state to help the ‘under-served’ rural areas of Oklahoma.

Monday Governor Mary Fallin announced the grant from the National Institutes of Health that will target medically underserved populations, especially in rural areas of Oklahoma.

“This grant will help to support potentially life-saving research at Oklahoma’s world-class medical centers,” said Gov. Mary Fallin. “It will also help to provide additional resources for rural areas that have typically been underserved. I’m excited by this great development for the state and our citizens.”

The five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health supports an Institutional Development Award. The IDeA program builds research capacities in states with historically low levels of NIH funding by supporting basic, clinical and translational research, faculty development, and program infrastructure. This award funds the Oklahoma Shared Clinical and Translational Resources program, which forges critical collaborations across Oklahoma and beyond the state’s borders.

University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren said, “OU is pleased to be a part of this important and expansive effort to help ensure that all Oklahomans benefit from the advances of medical science. It is another example of our goal to move research from the bench to the bedside to help improve health care for all the people of our state.”

Dr. Stephen M. Prescott, OMRF president, said, “This project brings together the key components necessary to effect positive change in at-risk populations in Oklahoma and other participating states. We believe this effort provides the clinical and translational research infrastructure to foster new clinically relevant discoveries and to translate findings into improved health outcomes for citizens everywhere.”

The Oklahoma Shared Clinical and Translational Resources program forges partnerships between 10 Oklahoma institutions, physicians across the state, American Indian tribes throughout Oklahoma and Kansas, the Chickasaw, Cherokee and Choctaw nations, as well as with institutions in Arkansas and South Carolina. The goal is to improve health and health outcomes in medically underserved populations by improving access to both clinical and translational research and resources.