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State leaders laud Pandemic Center as innovative solution to Oklahoma public health challenges

Friday, January 22, 2021

State legislators sign letter in support of new healthcare and research center

OKLAHOMA CITY — Following the unveiling of the new Oklahoma Pandemic Center for Innovation and Excellence and the newly relocated Public Health Lab, state legislators from across Oklahoma released the following support statement regarding the new facility in Stillwater: 

“Oklahoma will soon be the home of an incredible investment in the future of public health and research. 

Today’s ribbon cutting for the Oklahoma Pandemic Center for Innovation and Excellence (OPCIE) marks the launch of a public health and research center unlike any other in the nation. With this center, our state will be a leader in science and innovation. 

The OPCIE will leverage Oklahoma’s existing health and research infrastructure to build a strong network to improve current and future public health responses. The center’s mission is to develop innovative testing tools, conduct cutting edge research and grow public private partnerships. It will bridge the gap between laboratory and clinical practices and improve public health responses by establishing an all-encompassing approach to research for rural, urban and tribal communities.

Oklahoma is uniquely positioned to make this “one health” approach a success. As a rural, agricultural and centrally-located state, we can become a global leader in leveraging human, animal and environmental science insights to improve public health through collaborative research and innovation.

The OPCIE houses the relocated and modernized Public Health Lab. It will allow for all resources to be located in one place to collaborate on the highest caliber public health response. It will also leverage state-of-the-art equipment and resources to improve Oklahoma’s research capabilities. This will attract top talent in clinical research, innovative grants and national investment to our state.

The center is particularly important to help us increase testing capacity and improve our public health response as we battle the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as gather information to improve our response to future pandemics.

Oklahoma’s health outcomes have been in the bottom of states for too long. The new pandemic center and state-of-the-art lab will help us seize the opportunity to take the lead in public health response. This center will be a point of pride for our state and its citizens. As state leaders, we are proud to support this initiative and are excited to see it continue to develop in the coming months.”



Rep. Rhonda Baker, HD 60 - Yukon

Rep. Steve Bashore, HD 7 - Miami

Rep. Ty Burns, HD 35 – Pawnee

Rep. Trey Caldwell, HD 63 – Lawton

Rep. Sheila Dills, HD 69 – Tulsa

Rep. Jim Grego, HD 17 – Wilburton

Rep. David Hardin, HD 49 – Madill

Rep. Toni Hasenbeck, HD 65 – Elgin

Rep. Kyle Hilbert, HD 29 – Bristow

Rep. Justin Humphrey, HD 19 - Lane

Rep. Dell Kerbs, HD 26 – Shawnee

Rep. Dick Lowe, HD 59 – Amber

Rep. Mark McBride, HD 53 – Moore

Rep Carl Newton, HD 58 – Cherokee

Rep. Kenton Patzkowsky, HD 61 – Balko

Rep. John Pfeiffer, HD 38 – Orlando

Rep. Logan Phillips, HD 24 – Mounds

Rep. Trish Ranson, HD 34 – Stillwater

Rep. Cindy Roe, HD 42 - Lindsay

Rep. Lonnie Sims, HD 68 - Jenks

Rep. Danny Sterling, HD 27 – Tecumseh   

Rep. Judd Strom, HD 10 – Copan

Rep. John Talley, HD 33 – Stillwater

Rep. Tammy Townley, HD 48 – Ardmore

Rep. Josh West, HD - Grove



Senator Bill Coleman, SD 10 – Ponca City

Senator Kim David, SD 18 – Porter

Senator Tom Dugger, SD 21 – Stillwater

Senator John Haste, HD 36 – Broken Arrow

Senator Brent Howard, SD 38 – Altus

Senator Darcy Jech, SD 26 – Kingfisher

Senator Chris Kidd, SD 31 – Waurika

Senator James Leewright, SD 12 – Bristow

Senator Casey Murdock, SD 27 – Felt

Senator Dewayne Pemberton, SD 9 – Muskogee

Senator Roland Pederson, SD 19 - Burlington

Senator Marty Quinn, SD 2 – Claremore

Senator Blake Stephens, SD 3 – Tahlequah

Senator Zach Taylor, SD 28 – Seminole