LAWTON, OK (TNN) - OU Medical school announced tonight they will begin an18 month process of shutting down their family medicine residency clinic. The clinic provides medical care to around 12,000 patients. The closing of the clinic may seem sudden, but OU Medical School’s program here has been struggling for some time.
“OU’s been taking a loss for a number of years to keep this program alive. we feel its invaluable. Unfortunately due to the medical economics going on right now... we don’t have that ability.” - said Dr. Daniel Joyce
One reason for the 18 month period is to allow current residents to finish their programs... but that’s not OU’s main reason.
“Some of the patients and providers will remain in some capacity to care for the patients who hopefully want to remain with us.” - said Dr. Steven Crawford
Because OU has two residency programs in Lawton, closing down one location doesn’t mean the relationship between OU and Lawton will end.... OU Representatives believe this can end up being a positive situation for patients in Comanche County.
“We certainly think that one program, obviously the Comanche County Program has significant opportunity for expansion and one program with the proper resources that are applied to that is really going to be the best way to achieve the goals this community has in terms of it’s needs.” - Dr. John Zubialde
OU says the decision to close this clinic was an extremely tough one... but they plan on continuing to work on their relationship with Lawton and the rest of Southwest Oklahoma.
OU Medicine plans to work with Comanche County and patients they serve to help them all locate a permanent health care provider over this 18 month transitional period.
Correction: OU only has the one program - the program at Comanche County Memorial Hospital belongs to OSU, and it will be the one remaining.