OSU Health Sciences Center and State Medical Examiner’s Office Dedicate New Shared Facility | Education

A new building at the OSU Center for Health Sciences that will house both new school facilities and the eastern office of the state’s chief medical examiner was officially unveiled to the community on Thursday.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house was held for the recently completed North Hall on campus at 1111 W. 17th St.

The four-story, 120,000-square-foot building — a collaboration between Oklahoma State University and the Oklahoma Chief Medical Examiner’s Office — houses the latter’s office in Tulsa, as well as the new anatomy labs and neuroanatomy in school, classrooms, and administrative and departmental offices.

“It’s fabulous,” said Dr. Dennis Blankenship, the school’s acting dean. “As we’ve grown over the years, that growth has been impressive, but it’s made us feel a little cramped, with a lot of our facilities also getting a little outdated. It solves a lot of problems, and it’s just a beautiful, beautiful building.

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Officials said the final cost of the project is not yet known, but is expected to be significantly lower than the $62 million budgeted.

The Office of the Medical Examiner contributed $22 million in total.

The office, which moved from its former site on campus, occupies portions of the first and second floors.

It has almost three times more space than before, officials said.

“We’ve been talking about this for years,” said Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Josh Lanter. “It was one of those moments that we always hoped for, but it turned out even better than we had anticipated.”

He said the office, which serves 25 counties, has seen its workload increase significantly in recent years.

“It’s going to help us a lot with turnaround times,” Lanter said. “We can now hire new people for staff and we are already doing so – more doctors, more administrative staff, more path technicians.”

The new facility increases the number of autopsy tables from two to eight.

“We have six doctors right now, and now we can all work at the same time,” Lanter said.

“This building is built for 20 to 30 years later, so it allows us to continue to grow,” he added.

Blankenship said one of the highlights for OSU officials is the new anatomy lab.

“It’s a whole other level than what we had before,” he said.

The lab, which is used by OSU medical students, medical assistants, and athletics, can accommodate many more students than the old lab and has dedicated space for examination and study.

The storage cooler is twice the size of the previous one, and neuroanatomy has its own lab in the new facility.

The top floor of the building is mainly devoted to administration. It includes the offices of the president, provost, administrative offices, office of research, and the executive council chamber.

“New facilities like this help us attract and educate the best and brightest students in the state,” said Dr. Johnny Stephens, president of OSU’s Health Sciences Center. “As we celebrate 50 years of our College of Osteopathic Medicine on our campus, we look forward to continuing our mission of training primary care physicians for rural and underserved areas of Oklahoma.”

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