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Tobacco fund money to help ease Oklahoma physician shortage

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma’s Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust is helping address a shortage of physicians in the state with a six-year, $3.8 million grant.

At a luncheon recognizing first responders on Monday, officials with the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences and OSU Medical Authority highlighted the grant that provides funding for physician training in the Norman area.

Oklahoma voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2000 to put billions of dollars from a settlement with major tobacco companies into a trust account and spend the earnings on programs to improve the state’s health.

The fund has a current balance of a little more than $1 billion.

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