The American Staff

OU president ask legislature to help build diabetes treatment center

Oklahoma is poised to create the nation's top research and treatment centers for diabetes, according to University of Oklahoma President David Boren.

Boren addressed the Senate Appropriations Committee last week asking for state support to build two facilities on the OU campuses in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

Senate Bill 1056 -- co-authored by Sen. Cal Hobson and Sen. Glenn Coffee -- would help fund the start up cost.

The committee gave its unanimous support to the measure, and it now will move to the full Senate for further consideration.

Boren told the Senators he began educating himself about diabetes after he had a health emergency last year due to the disease.

"One of the things I found was that the State of Oklahoma, unfortunately, ranks first in the nation per capita in terms of our population and the incidence of diabetes in this country," said Boren. "But this is moving, in not only our state but all across the country, in epidemic proportions."

Boren told the committee they are looking at start up funds of $15 million, with $10 to $12 million of that going to pay for the actual bricks and mortar and $3 to $5 million for operations, researchers and matching grants.

The facility would provide critical care treatment, conduct research and provide outreach programs for medical centers around the state.

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