Wednesday, January 4, 2023
Norman Regional Health System and OU Health are partnering to bring the highest level of cancer care to Norman by building a new cancer care facility, providing the expertise and convenience of Oklahoma’s only National Cancer Institute-Designated Cancer Center, OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center, to the residents of the south metro and south central Oklahoma.
The state-of-art facility will combine the full spectrum of medical oncology and radiation oncology services under one roof on the newly modernized Norman Regional HealthPlex campus. It will include two advanced linear accelerators to provide the more targeted and precise radiation therapy treatment, as well as advanced diagnostic imaging services to improve detection and monitoring of treatment results. The facility is scheduled for completion in 2025.
“This is an exciting day for our two health systems as we join together to offer high-quality, research-driven cancer care to people in Norman and from across southern Oklahoma,” said Richard Lofgren, M.D., MPH, president and CEO of OU Health. “We are pleased to welcome Norman’s excellent oncologists to the OU Health team and to partner with them to provide National Cancer Institute-level care that is driven by research. This is a natural evolution for the long-standing relationship of our health systems.”
Beginning in January 2023, OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center will assume operations and management of Norman Regional’s existing medical oncology services at the Norman Regional Oncology Clinic. In 2025, with the opening of the new facility, Stephenson will begin providing radiation oncology services in partnership with Norman Regional. This provides patients access to a larger range of expertise.
“Norman Regional has a long history of excellence in cancer care. Partnering with Stephenson Cancer Center will elevate those services in a variety of ways and allow patients to receive convenient care closer to their homes,” said Richie Splitt, president and CEO of Norman Regional Health System.
In addition to cancer treatments, patients in Norman will have access to other services offered through a National Cancer Institute-Designated Cancer Center, including clinical trials studying drugs for many types and stages of cancer.
Phase I clinical trials, in which humans receive a drug for the first time, will continue to be offered only at Stephenson Cancer Center in Oklahoma City. However, with the opening of the new facility, patients can enroll in Phase II and III clinical trials and receive their care in Norman.
Norman Regional also will offer patients an expanded range of supportive care services through Stephenson Cancer Center. This includes counseling services specific to cancer patients, nutritional services to support the body through cancer treatment, palliative care to manage cancer-related symptoms, cancer rehabilitation to recover function, and much more.
“We are excited to extend the reach of Stephenson Cancer Center and bring these opportunities to patients in Norman and surrounding communities,” said Robert Mannel, M.D., director of OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center. “This partnership represents Stephenson Cancer Center’s first opportunity to begin expanding into a statewide network for the residents of Oklahoma, which is the charge that the Oklahoma Legislature has given us. Stephenson Cancer Center is the state’s most comprehensive oncology practice, and we rank No. 1 among all cancer centers in the nation for the number of people participating in NCI-sponsored clinical trials. That means scientific breakthroughs are more readily translated into new treatment options that bring new hope to patients fighting cancer.”
Norman Regional Health System is a multi-campus system that serves the healthcare needs of south central Oklahoma. It is currently comprised of two acute-care hospitals in Norman, OK. The Norman Regional Porter campus, located on Porter Avenue, is licensed for 219 beds and offers a full range of services. The Norman Regional HealthPlex campus, on Interstate 35, is licensed for 168 acute care beds. The Health System also operates two freestanding emergency room plus facilities: Norman Regional Moore, in Moore, and Norman Regional Nine in southeast Norman.