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June 1, 2013

Norman Regional to remain

NORMAN — Moore Medical Center is scheduled for demolition, but Norman Regional Health System will continue to serve the city, Health System CEO David Whitaker said in a special message released this week.

Whitaker said he wanted to clarify how the recovery process will work as the health system moves forward.

“We stand together with Moore, now and into the future,” Whitaker said.

Earlier reports that the NRHS Board is unsure whether the Medical Center will be rebuilt created confusion as to future service. In reality, the clean slate created by the destructive tornado will allow health system officials to analyze how best to serve Moore and what type of facility is most needed on that site.

That assessment process will take time, Whitaker said.

Immediately following the tornado that destroyed Moore Medical Center, NRHS “implemented a three stage relief plan,” Whitaker said.

The first stage dealt with the immediate needs including seeing that all patients, staff and people who sought shelter at the Medical Center during the May 20 tornado were safe and had appropriate medical care.

Miraculously, 125 employees, 30 patients and more than 300 people seeking shelter escaped without serious injury.

Many employees lost homes, vehicles or both that day.

“The health system, with the help of the Norman Regional Health Foundation and the employee CARE Committee, began providing relief for these employees,” Whitaker said. “Also, part of the immediate need stage was securing the hospital, recovering what was salvageable inside and relocating the physicians that were housed at Moore Medical Center. These physicians will begin seeing patients tomorrow at their temporary locations.”

All drugs were successfully removed from the premises and equipment was salvaged.

Whitaker said hospital staff is in stage two which addresses short term needs. Health System leadership, along with members of the Master Facility Planning Group, are working to determine the level of hospital services immediately needed in the Moore community.

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