By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — The demolition of Moore Medical Center is scheduled to start today immediately following a remembrance ceremony.
In a somber meeting of the Norman Regional Health System on Monday night, plans were discussed to recognize heroes and say goodbye to the 45-bed facility destroyed by a tornado on May 20. Health system officials, state and local dignitaries, and Moore Medical staff will gather near the ruined structure for a remembrance ceremony.
At 8 a.m., a quiet time of reflection in the Medical Center parking lots will allow employees to say goodbye to the place where they dedicated their lives to healing. The center was only eight years old at the time it was struck by an EF-5 tornado. About 400 people sheltered under its protective wings while the twister tore through the structure. Not one of the 400 was seriously injured.
The remembrance ceremony will start at 8:30 a.m. in the Warren Theatre north parking lot.
Norman Regional Health System CEO David Whitaker will recognize meteorologist Rick Smith of the National Weather Service for the advanced warning that saved so many lives.
First responders and Moore Medical staff also will be among those recognized for heroism in protecting and saving lives May 20.
Whitaker said the demolition is expected to take three weeks.
The loss of Moore Medical also dramatically changed the health system’s operating portfolio during the last 40 days of the fiscal year.
NRHS is revising its Fiscal Year 2014 budget and will present it to the health system’s authority board in August, Chief Financial Officer Ken Hopkins said. The new budget will take into account the loss of Moore Medical Center.
In addition to the impact of the tornado on operations, sequestration cuts of 2 percent had a negative affect on May operating revenue.
May net revenue was $27.8 million compared to a budget of $29 million — 4.3 percent below predictions.
May operating expenses include $1.1 million directly related to the tornado disaster at Moore Medical.