Breaking Ground for a Healthier Oklahoma

The A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Medical Academic Building at the OSU Center for Health Sciences will provide advanced learning facilities for medical students.

Center for Health Sciences America's Healthiest Campus

A new planned state-of-the-art training facility at the OSU Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa will help OSU transform medical education in Oklahoma.

"The A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Medical Academic Building will provide our medical students a significant advantage through an educational experience that closely mimics a real hospital or patient-care setting," says Dr. Kayse Shrum, OSU-CHS president and dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine. "The facility will also serve as a continuing-education center offering training to the many physicians and health care professionals caring for our state's citizens."

OSU-CHS broke ground for the 84,000-square-foot facility in October.

The A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Foundation donated $8 million, the largest private gift ever received by OSU-CHS, to support construction of the building. In recognition of the contribution, OSU-CHS has named the medical building for the late Tulsa businessman Bill Tandy and his wife, Marylouise.

"The Tandy Foundation's transformative gift was instrumental in making this concept a reality," Shrum says. "We greatly appreciate the Tandy Foundation's support in helping us fulfill our mission to train physicians to serve rural and underserved Oklahoma."

Paul Giehm, senior vice president of Trust Company of Oklahoma and Tandy Foundation adviser, notes Bill and Marylouise would be thrilled to know their love for the Tulsa community and the state of Oklahoma is being demonstrated through the Tandy Foundation's partnership with OSU.

"We are excited to support the OSU Center for Health Sciences in its efforts to train physicians who want to live and work here," Giehm says. "OSU has taken a lead role addressing our state's health care needs, and the Tandy Medical Academic Building will transform the quality of physician and patient-care training offered to students, residents, physicians and other health care workers."

The crown jewel of the Tandy Medical Academic Building is a four-unit hospital simulation center with an emergency room, operating room, intensive care unit, birthing suite and ambulance bay. The simulation center will enable students to practice procedures and skills commonly utilized in hospitals across the country.

"If you are working in a small hospital, you have to be prepared to walk a patient through every step from unloading them from the ambulance to operating in the emergency room," says Dr. Robin Dyer, associate dean for academic affairs. "Students and our medical residents will be able to use this simulation center to learn and polish these skills."

Dyer headed the committee of administrators, faculty and students who worked on designing the building with Dewberry Architects. Their goal was to create a facility that would enhance the medical education offered on campus and generate pride for alumni of the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine.

"The architects are phenomenal and did a great job working with us on the design of the building to meet our needs," Dyer says. "They have created a bright and friendly facility for us."

OSU-COM students are excited for the training opportunities they will receive in the new facility.

"The earlier we have the opportunity to enter a clinical setting, the more comfortable we are when we start clinical and hospital rotations in our third year," says fourth-year student Heather Hensley, who helped design the Tandy building. "The simulation center will make the transition to interacting with patients much smoother for us because we will be more confident in our clinical skills."

The Tandy Medical Academic Building's simulation center will include advanced medical technology to provide students with the best hospital training in the state.

"Students will be able to use programmable mannequins that bleed, breathe, blink and talk to test their skills in managing virtually any kind of medical situation, from heart attacks to obstetric complications," Shrum says. "Scenarios designed specifically for simulation learning will also give students the chance to work in a health care team and practice how to respond to life-threatening situations."

The Tandy Medical Academic Building will include an expanded clinical skills lab, a new osteopathic manipulative medicine lab, classrooms, two lecture halls, conference facilities, more than 20 small breakout rooms, 55 student-study carrels, a student kitchen and additional faculty and staff office space to accommodate increased enrollment in the College of Osteopathic Medicine. The project will also include an adjoining parking garage to replace parking lots that were removed for construction.

"This facility maximizes the usable space available on our campus to provide the best possible education for our students," Dyer says. "By providing us more space, we will be able to maintain our low student-faculty ratio and continue providing the personal interaction necessary to develop the best-quality physicians."

The clinical skills and osteopathic manipulative medicine laboratories will be nearly double the size of the present facilities. The labs will also include broadcast technology that will project professors demonstrating clinical techniques, such as casting or suturing, at the front of the classroom to giant monitors around the room. Because medical school requires students to absorb a vast amount of knowledge, having a quiet place to study is also critical for success.

Ferguson family

OSU-CHS broke ground on the new building Oct. 8, 2015.

The building will facilitate training, educational programs and camps for thousands of medical residents, nurses, emergency services personnel and other health care professionals from across the state, as well as students from public, private and charter schools. Through partnerships with area institutions that provide training for medical assistants, surgical technologists and phlebotomists, OSU medical students will have opportunities to learn how to build relationships and interact with other health care providers as part of a hospital team.

"We will be able to utilize that area for continuing medical education events," Dyer says. "It will also offer an opportunity to showcase our new facilities to alumni and others in the health care community."

The four-story facility will cost approximately $45 million to construct, with more than $33 million generated to date from private gifts and Center for Health Sciences funds, and has an anticipated completion date in 2017. Flintco is construction manager on the project.

Several naming opportunities are still available. For more information, contact Anhna Vuong of the OSU Foundation at 405-385-5606 or

Bill and Marylouise Tandy

Bill and Marylouise Tandy

The A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Foundation

The Tandys' legacy of philanthropy can be seen in nearly every corner of Tulsa. The Tandy family founded Tandy Corp. in 1919, eventually becoming the owners of RadioShack and developing the consumer electronics chain into the largest in the world. The TRS-80 personal computer revolutionized consumer electronics and became a must-have for students around the world.

In addition to his work as a director for Tandy Corp., Bill Tandy also developed Tandy Industries, a property development company, and Great Yellowstone Corp., an oil and gas producer. The couple married in 1944 and had two children, Alfred Randolph Tandy Jr. and Carol Tandy.

Marylouise devoted her life to community volunteerism, working with organizations like the Tulsa Education Fund, Gilcrease Museum, Junior League of Tulsa, Tulsa Ballet and Tulsa Arts Council.

While Bill passed away in 1971 and Marylouise in 2009, the couple's legacy for philanthropy continues through the A.R. and Marylouise Tandy Foundation.