Some twenty-seven business and higher education partnerships across the state were recently recognized as innovative collaborations that further the education of Oklahoma’s workforce.
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Business Partnership Excellence Award is designed to highlight successful partnerships and to further cultivate the higher learning environment through State Regents’ Economic Development Grants.
Among the award recipients was the Oklahoma State Department of Health (Region 9) and Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
“Southeastern has worked with the Health Department for many years in order to provide services to the campus community,’’ said Southeastern president Thomas Newsom. “They are very deserving of this recognition, having been instrumental in vaccination efforts for influenza and other preventable diseases, by providing on-site outreach for men’s health, and by collaborating on wellness initiatives. During the pandemic this year, Southeastern has relied a great deal on our partnership with the Health Department to assist in keeping employees at work and students in class by providing resources for free on-site testing capability.’’
Southeastern also partnered with the regional health departments to bring refrigeration facilities to the area to store vital vaccination resources for Bryan and the surrounding counties. During the set-up process of these facilities, they assisted financially in retrofitting the refrigeration unit to meet the storage requirements necessary to make this available to the community.
The Health Department also came to campus on two occasions to assist in ensuring that faculty, staff and students received on-site opportunities for vaccinations before they returned home for the summer. Plans are being made for additional vaccination opportunities on campus this fall.
Region 9 of the State Department of Health includes nine counties in southeastern Oklahoma — Bryan, Atoka, Coal, Choctaw, Latimer, Le Flore, McCurtain, Pittsburg, and Pushmataha.
To date, Region 9 has administered 16,377 COVID vaccines and 6,005 curbside tests in the community.
Southeastern will host a reception to present the award on Aug. 19.