Senators Lankford, Inhofe, and Rep. Cole Applaud Grants for Graduate Medical Education

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Representative Tom Cole (R-OK) today applauded the Department of Health and Human Services announcement that Oklahoma has earned two grants from the Medical Student Education Program, totaling $9.25 million over four years. The program, created by Inhofe and Cole’s provision in the FY19 appropriations bill, provides grants to support graduate medical education in rural states.

Both the University of Oklahoma (OU) and Oklahoma State University (OSU) received grants that will allow them to support physician education to care for Oklahoma’s Medicaid recipients.

“OU and OSU deliver critical graduate learning programs to help medical students gain the practical skills they will need as successful doctors,” said Lankford. “With these grants, they can continue to provide the best-trained doctors and medical professionals possible. Since this is a key component of the medical education programs at both OU and OSU, I’m grateful for the funding clarity they need to plan for the bright futures at these institutions.”

“Oklahoma’s medical schools provide needed medical care for Oklahomans all across the state,” Inhofe said. “We needed to make sure they had the support to provide high-quality care, serve our state’s Medicaid population and recruit graduate medical students. These grants, created by a provision I authored with Congressman Cole last year, will make it possible to build a strong future for Oklahoma’s medical schools.”

“Certainly, the best way to get and keep exceptional Oklahoma doctors is to teach, train and mentor them in Oklahoma,” said Cole. “Through the significant grant funding awarded, I am proud and grateful that the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University will have greater resources to invest in our state’s future doctors. I am especially pleased that these grants come from a program that I designed and included in the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2019 while I served as subcommittee chairman. This funding will indeed make a difference in the lives of Oklahomans and help ensure better access to quality care for many years to come.”

“The awarding of these two grants will complement the state’s investment of $58.9 million for fiscal year 2020 to recruit and train the best medical professionals to serve across Oklahoma,” said Gov. Stitt. “Senator Inhofe, Senator Lankford, and Congressman Cole are tremendous advocates for our state, and we appreciate their leadership in helping us strengthen access to quality health care in Oklahoma.”

“Senator Inhofe, Congressman Cole and Senator Lankford led the effort to secure much needed federal funds to help OSU’s medical school address our state’s physician shortage, particularly in rural Oklahoma,” said Burns Hargis, President, Oklahoma State University. “We appreciate their leadership in Washington and their important work to support the medical schools at OSU and OU.” 

“This innovative grant enables OU to help lead the effort in creating a first-rate medical education pipeline in Oklahoma,” said Joseph Harroz Jr., OU Interim President. “These new federal funds bolster the recent investment in graduate medical education made by state leaders, and they support OU in our important work of creating long-term healthcare access solutions for all Oklahomans. We’re incredibly grateful to Senators Inhofe and Lankford and Congressman Cole for their advocacy in ensuring Oklahoma medical schools have the necessary resources to better serve our state.”