A partnership between the University of Oklahoma and the University Hospitals Authority and Trust hopes to create better health outcomes for Oklahomans.
The merger, which became official Tuesday, created the newly-named OU Health. In a press release, hospital spokespeople said it is the state's first comprehensive academic health system.
The goal of the merger is to improve health outcomes in the state by aligning research with patient needs, according to University of Oklahoma president Joseph Harroz, Jr.
The Center for Disease Control reported that Oklahoma ranks as one of the highest states in the nation in rates of heart disease, respiratory disease and diabetes cases.
Harroz said the merger expands research capabilities, which it hopes will result in some economic benefits.
“To grow economic opportunity in the state, biotech, biomedical, all things health and economic flow from the research enterprise,” Harroz said. “Life-saving research that patients can only get here.”
OU Health employs over 11,000 people.