OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center at Norman Regional will Bring Research-driven Cancer Care to More Oklahomans

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OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center at Norman Regional will Bring Research-driven Cancer Care to More Oklahomans

OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center and Norman Regional Health System celebrated a Topping Out Ceremony for the new cancer care facility on the Norman Regional HealthPlex campus, marking a significant milestone in the construction project and offering the community a first look at the new building.

Project and construction teams, along with leaders from OU Health, the University of Oklahoma and Norman Regional, gathered to mark the completion of the exterior structure. As the exterior receives its finishing touches, the focus shifts to the interior construction phase of the 50,000 square-foot building. The center’s opening in summer 2025 will bring the highest level of cancer care to Norman and south central Oklahoma.

In January 2023, OU Health and Norman Regional announced plans to build a new cancer center at I-35 and Tecumseh Road. Located at the Norman Regional HealthPlex, OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center at Norman Regional will provide residents of the south metro and south central Oklahoma increased access to patient-centered, research-driven, multidisciplinary cancer care, leveraging the expertise of Stephenson Cancer Center, Oklahoma’s only National Cancer Institute-Designated Cancer Center.

“When you are able to remain in your community to receive care, the impact is even more pronounced,” said OU Health President and CEO Richard P. Lofgren, M.D., MPH. "As the flagship academic health system, we have a responsibility to offer life-saving specialty and sub-specialty care to every Oklahoman, no matter where they live. No Oklahoman should have to leave the state to get the care they need."

Although the state’s cancer incidence overall is below the national average, Oklahoma ranks fourth in the nation for cancer-related deaths with nearly 23,000 new cases diagnosed annually. More than 2,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in Cleveland County and south central Oklahoma each year.

“This day marks an exciting milestone in our commitment to bring world-class, research-driven cancer care to even more Oklahomans,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “As part of Oklahoma’s flagship academic health system, OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center’s expansion to Norman delivers the most advanced cancer care and life-saving clinical trials to the people of south central Oklahoma, ensuring access to cutting-edge treatment close to their homes and support systems.”

The comprehensive services will include state-of-the-art medical oncology and radiation oncology services under one roof. The facility will double the capacity for infusion services, ensuring timely and efficient patient care, and it will house dedicated spaces for research coordinators and nurses to engage with patients about clinical trials, assessing eligibility and offering innovative treatment options. Additionally, it extends the reach of Stephenson Cancer Center’s clinical trials. Some trials may even allow patients to receive treatment closer to home.

“Norman Regional is proud to partner with OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center to bring enhanced cancer care to our community,” said President and CEO of Norman Regional Health System Richie Splitt. “This center will be located on our expanded campus just steps away from award-winning emergency care, leading-edge surgical services, an ambulatory care center and many other amenities at Norman Regional. Our campus will offer a healing place for people facing cancer. We’re honored to bring them the care they need closer to home.”

Norman Regional has been providing cancer care to the community since 1989 and looks forward to continuing this legacy with OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center.

Beyond medical treatments, the center will offer wrap-around services such as diet and nutrition counseling, social work support, and genetic counseling. These services exemplify the type of care model available to the Stephenson Cancer Center Network, emphasizing personalized patient well-being.

The facility will also house a new Computed Tomography (CT) Simulator and linear accelerator (TrueBeam) for precise radiation therapy as well as PET-CT imaging technologies to enhance diagnostic capabilities.

“Stephenson Cancer Center’s patient-centered care model aims to eliminate the barriers to accessing top-tier cancer care across the state," said Robert Mannel, M.D., OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center Director. “The facility will offer advanced diagnostic imaging services, improving detection and monitoring of treatment results. Patients also benefit from access to clinical trials for various cancer types and stages, all close to home. This commitment to Norman and south central Oklahoma is crucial in our mission to serve all Oklahomans."

In addition to the partnership with Norman Regional, OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center announced its expansion to the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa campus earlier this year. Expanding the scope and reach of an NCI-Designated Cancer Center will drive the University of Oklahoma’s goal to achieve the prestigious NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center status by 2028.